Maggie Smith

Maggie Smith

A Biography

Book - 2015 | First U.S. edition
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"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, one whose career spans six decades. From her days as a star of West End comedy and revue, Dame Maggie would cross paths 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, she built a career that can be seen as a 'Who's Who' of British theatre in the twentieth century. This book also covers 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 she has been as prominent on our screens as ever, with high-profile roles as Violet Crawley, the formidable Dowager Countess, in the phenomenally successful television series Downton Abbey, and as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film franchise; what she herself describes as "Miss Jean Brodie in a wizard's hat." Yet paradoxically she 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."--Jacket.
Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2015
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250081483
Branch Call Number: 792.028 SMITH COVENEY
Characteristics: xi, 353 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 14, 2018

I'm a big fan, but I felt I was slugging through more of her history than I was interested in. I scanned through when I felt bogged down, and gleaned enough to follow her life. It's been an interesting one and she is loved by everyone. In the end I was glad it stayed with it.

Oct 21, 2017

Book and Audiobook are long and a bit boring. More a list of what Maggie has done, description of plays, tv and movies. Do not get much of a feeling for her.

Aug 30, 2016

I didn't get past the first chapter. This book seems to be more about all the famous people the author knows personally, and Dame Maggie is one of them which he will talk about a little more than the rest. It really seemed more like his personal musings on the last 50 years of British theater and film than a biopic.

ChristchurchLib Feb 16, 2016

Versatile, award-winning actress Dame Maggie Smith, a favourite of many fans of television's Downton Abbey, has been appearing on stage and screen for over 60 years. In this detailed biography, British theatre critic Michael Coveney reviews Smith's remarkable career, which has ranged from comedy to tragedy and from London's West End to Hollywood -- and even a touch of Bollywood (in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). Though Smith guards her privacy when offstage, she and her husband, family, and colleagues cooperated with Coveney in his research, allowing him to develop a full portrait of her professional and personal life.

Dec 30, 2015

This book bored me. When I read a biography, I want to get a sense of what the subject's personality and personal life is, her hopes, disappointments, etc. This is a great biography if you only want to read jminute by minute details of her working/acting assignments.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PACL

To Top