Dame Maggie Smith was named Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at the 64th annual Primetime Emmy Awards held Sunday night at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre. This is Smith’s second win for her acclaimed role as Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham in Downton Abbey. Last year, she won the honour for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. For this year’s Emmy competition, the series was entered into the drama categories.
Smith, who wasn’t in attendance at this year’s Emmys, bested Downton Abbey co-star Joanne Froggatt, Breaking Bad‘s Anna Gunn, Christine Baranski and Archie Panjabi of The Good Wife and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks for the win. This also marks the third Emmy Award overall for the legendary 77-year-old actress. She won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 2003 for her role as Mrs. Delahunty in My House in Umbria.
A widely renowned and revered actress who first graced the stage and screen in the mid 1950s, Smith has also won two Oscars amongst a myriad of awards that also includes two Golden Globes. In 1970, she was given the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the title role The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and in 1979, she took home Best Actress in a Supporting Role for playing Diana Barrie in California Suite. Other recent notable roles for Smith include her recurring appearance as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film franchise and as Muriel Donnelly in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Additionally, Smith was honoured earlier this month by the Stratford Shakespeare Festival with their 2012 Legacy Award for her contributions to the festival from 1976 to 1980.
Originally scoring 16 nominations for the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards, Downton Abbey won two awards in the Creative Arts categories of Outstanding Hairstyling for a Single-Camera Series for hairstylists Anne “Nosh” Oldham and Christine Greenwood, and Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Original Dramatic Score) for composer John Lunn.