Maggie Smith: A Biography

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0120150907

0120150907

No one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith, one of Britain's best-loved actors. This new biography shines the stage-lights on the life and work of a truly remarkable performer, whose career spans six decades.

From her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path would cross with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era. Whether stealing scenes from Richard Burton (by his own admission), answering back to Laurence Olivier, or impressing Ingmar

Bergman, her career can be seen as a Who's Who of British theatre in the twentieth century.

We also hear about her success in Hollywood - inaugurated by her first Oscar for her signature film, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - as well as her subsequent departure to Canada for a prolific four-season run of leading theatre roles.

Recently, Dame Maggie has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham in the phenomenally successful Downton Abbey, and in the Harry Potter films as Professor Minerva McGonagall - a role she describes as 'Miss Jean Brodie in a wizard's hat'.

Yet paradoxically, Dame Maggie remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent. Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, drawing on personal archives, interviews and encounters with the actress, as well as conversations with immediate family and dear friends, is therefore as close as it gets to seeing the real Maggie Smith.

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

0320150909

032015090920150910 (R4)

Maggie Smith marries and wins her first major award.

0320150909

No one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith, one of Britain's best-loved actors. This new biography shines the stage-lights on the life and work of a truly remarkable performer, whose career spans six decades.

From her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path would cross with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era. Whether stealing scenes from Richard Burton (by his own admission), answering back to Laurence Olivier, or impressing Ingmar

Bergman, her career can be seen as a Who's Who of British theatre in the twentieth century.

We also hear about her success in Hollywood - inaugurated by her first Oscar for her signature film, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - as well as her subsequent departure to Canada for a prolific four-season run of leading theatre roles.

Recently, Dame Maggie has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham in the phenomenally successful Downton Abbey, and in the Harry Potter films as Professor Minerva McGonagall - a role she describes as 'Miss Jean Brodie in a wizard's hat'.

Yet paradoxically, Dame Maggie remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent. Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, drawing on personal archives, interviews and encounters with the actress, as well as conversations with immediate family and dear friends, is therefore as close as it gets to seeing the real Maggie Smith.

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

032015090920150910 (R4)

No one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith, one of Britain's best-loved actors. This new biography shines the stage-lights on the life and work of a truly remarkable performer, whose career spans six decades.

From her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path would cross with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era. Whether stealing scenes from Richard Burton (by his own admission), answering back to Laurence Olivier, or impressing Ingmar

Bergman, her career can be seen as a Who's Who of British theatre in the twentieth century.

We also hear about her success in Hollywood - inaugurated by her first Oscar for her signature film, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - as well as her subsequent departure to Canada for a prolific four-season run of leading theatre roles.

Recently, Dame Maggie has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham in the phenomenally successful Downton Abbey, and in the Harry Potter films as Professor Minerva McGonagall - a role she describes as 'Miss Jean Brodie in a wizard's hat'.

Yet paradoxically, Dame Maggie remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent. Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, drawing on personal archives, interviews and encounters with the actress, as well as conversations with immediate family and dear friends, is therefore as close as it gets to seeing the real Maggie Smith.

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

0420150910

042015091020150911 (R4)

Maggie Smith's film career blossoms.

0420150910

No one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith, one of Britain's best-loved actors. This new biography shines the stage-lights on the life and work of a truly remarkable performer, whose career spans six decades.

From her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path would cross with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era. Whether stealing scenes from Richard Burton (by his own admission), answering back to Laurence Olivier, or impressing Ingmar

Bergman, her career can be seen as a Who's Who of British theatre in the twentieth century.

We also hear about her success in Hollywood - inaugurated by her first Oscar for her signature film, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - as well as her subsequent departure to Canada for a prolific four-season run of leading theatre roles.

Recently, Dame Maggie has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles such as Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham in the phenomenally successful Downton Abbey, and in the Harry Potter films as Professor Minerva McGonagall - a role she describes as 'Miss Jean Brodie in a wizard's hat'.

Yet paradoxically, Dame Maggie remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent. Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, drawing on personal archives, interviews and encounters with the actress, as well as conversations with immediate family and dear friends, is therefore as close as it gets to seeing the real Maggie Smith.

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.

0520150911

052015091120150912 (R4)

Maggie Smith joins the cast of Downton Abbey.

0520150911

No one does glamour, severity, girlish charm or tight-lipped witticism better than Dame Maggie Smith, one of Britain's best-loved actors. This new biography shines the stage-lights on the life and work of a truly remarkable performer, whose career spans six decades.

From her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie's path would cross with those of the greatest actors, playwrights and directors of the era. Whether stealing scenes from Richard Burton (by his own admission), answering back to Laurence Olivier, or impressing Ingmar

Bergman, her career can be seen as a Who's Who of British theatre in the twentieth century.

We also hear about her success in Hollywood - inaugurated by her first Oscar for her signature film, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - as well as her subsequent departure to Canada for a prolific four-season run of leading theatre roles.

Recently, Dame Maggie has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess of Grantham in the phenomenally successful Downton Abbey, and in the Harry Potter films as Professor Minerva McGonagall - a role she describes as 'Miss Jean Brodie in a wizard's hat'.

Yet paradoxically, Dame Maggie remains an enigmatic figure, rarely appearing in public and carefully guarding her considerable talent. Michael Coveney's absorbing biography, drawing on personal archives, interviews and encounters with the actress, as well as conversations with immediate family and dear friends, is therefore as close as it gets to seeing the real Maggie Smith.

Produced by Clive Brill

A Brill production for BBC Radio 4.