Married to Robert Crawley. Mother of Mary, Edith and Sybil Crawley
Played by Academy Award nominee Elizabeth McGovern
Qualities: serene, steadfast, adaptable, nurturing, trusting
Quick to comfort, defend, encourage and sometimes reprimand, Cora intently watches over her three daughters but also gives way for them to find their own paths in life and love, She is the strong yet sensitive heart of the household who gave up control of her fortune for the sake of the man and the family that she loves. She knows Robert initially married her for security but, grew to love her deeply in time. Her love for her husband and the roots that having a family has created make her an indelible part of the British aristocratic landscape, but her American upbringing gave her the flexibility and openness that her stalwart husband sometimes lacks.
When it came time for Downton to do its part for the war and transform into a convalescent facility, Cora was at the fore, organizing and overseeing the role her beloved home would play. In times of familial and financial uncertainty, she has been a centre of resolve in the eye of the storm, and in Season 3 Downton Abbey, her belief system, loyalty, love and the very fibre of her being were put to greater tests than ever before.
After weathering a period of tragic loss and daunting uncertainty, will Season 4 see the great house’s maternal figure once again exerting her calming influence?
Cora to Robert: “I’m an American, I don’t share your English hatred of comfort.”