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the dowager countess

Maggie Smith May Depart Downton Abbey After Season Three

Prepare to savor every last burn the Dowager Countess dishes out in Downton Abbey's third season, as it looks to be Maggie Smith's last. "She is filming until August and then wants to leave, going out on a high," a source tells the U.K.'s Daily Mail. "She thinks that three [seasons] is enough and she wants to get back to the stage and big screen. She is keen to pursue other roles, so Julian is preparing to write her out. He always has several endings so it won’t be too difficult for him, but losing Maggie will be a great loss." On the plus side, we finally know Maggie Smith is definitely taking part in season three. On the negative side, everything else about this news. At least, should the news prove true, Smith should indeed go out on a strong note by facing off against Shirley MacLaine, recently cast as an intended nemesis.