Maggie Smith

December 28, 1934 – Birthdate of Maggie Smith, English actress.

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith, has had an extensive, varied career in stage, film and television spanning over sixty years. Smith has appeared in over 50 films and is one of Britain’s most recognizable actresses. A prominent figure in British culture for six decades, she was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for services to the performing arts, and received the Companion of Honour from the Queen in 2014 for services to drama.

Smith was born in Ilford, Essex, but moved with her family to Oxford when she was four years old. She is the daughter of Nathaniel Smith, a Newcastle-born public health pathologist who worked at Oxford University, and Margaret (née Hutton), a Glasgow-born secretary.

As a child, her parents used to tell Smith the romantic story of how they had met on the train from Glasgow to London via Newcastle. She has older twin brothers, Alistair and Ian, who went to architecture school. She attended Oxford High School until age sixteen, when she left to study acting at the Oxford Playhouse.

Smith played Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film series (2001–11) and the U.S. Postal Service issued a booklet of stamps in 2013 with photos of the major characters in the film series.  The panel pictured here shows Smith (lower right-hand corner) in her witchy garb:

maggie-smith-as-professor-mcgonagle-usps-2013

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