Actor. Born Margaret Natalie Smith in Ilford, Essex. She began her acting career in 1952 with the Oxford University Dramatic Society. Since then she has appeared in many stage productions, both in Britain and on Broadway. Her film career is also extensive, including the title role in 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie' (for which she was awarded best actress Oscar), 'California Suite' (another Oscar for best supporting actress) and Professor Minerva McGonagall in many of the Harry Potter films. On television she was featured in the Alan Bennett series 'Talking Heads', and has achieved international fame as Lady Violet Crawley in 'Downton Abbey'. Appointed CBE in 1970, DBE in 1990 and a member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in 2014.
Credit for this entry to: Alan Patient of www.plaquesoflondon.co.uk