Shirley MacLaine Will Join Downtown Abbey in Series 3 As Cora's Mother

Shirley MacLaine (yes that Shirley MacLaine) will be joining the cast of Downtown Abbey for Series 3 next fall, adding some serious weight to the already ensemble cast.

Shirley MacLaineShirley MacLaine (yes that Shirley MacLaine) will be joining the cast of Downtown Abbey,a British period drama which follows an aristocratic family, for Series 3 next fall. The show already has a great ensemble line-up of veritable British who€™s who, including Maggie Smith and Hugh Bonneville in recurring roles, but MacLaine adds some serious weight. For those not familiar with MacLaine€™s work, she won an Oscar for Terms of Endearment in 1983 and has been nominated five other times. She€™s won BAFTA€™s, Golden Globes, she was in The Apartment and Steel Magnolias. She€™s Warren Beatty€™s older sister. She€™s an all around classy lady that absolutely kills every role she€™s in. She will play Martha Levinson in Downtown Abbey, mother to Lady Cora Grantham, who is played by Elizabeth McGovern. Cora€™s American roots are a sort of collision point for the show, and MacLaine will reflect this side of the show. In fact, series showrunner Gareth Neame said that she will act as a €œwonderful combatant Maggie Smith€™s Dowanger Countess.€ Full on fistfights? Maybe not. Needless to say, MacLaine is certainly of the proper caliber to handle the powerful performances of the show. And it should be fun. Downtown Abbey will premiere in September in the UK, and shortly after that on PBS in the US (where you can currently go to catch episodes from Series 2.)

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