Downton Abbey star Maggie Smith’s family: meet her famous sons, ex-husband and more

Dame Maggie Smith is one of the nation’s favourite actors having been in a number of films and TV shows over her successful career spanning over 50 years. In recent times, the 85-year-old is best known for her work in films such as A Room With a View, The Lady in the Van and Harry Potter.

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However, she’s also known for her work in long-running ITV period drama Downton Abbey, playing Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, and her extensive theatre work in Shakespeare productions in the West End and Broadway. Maggie is one of the few actresses to receive the ‘Triple Crown’ of awards: an Academy Award, a Tony Award and an Emmy. With her impressive credentials as a thespian, it’s no wonder her sons followed in her footsteps to embark on a career in acting. Here’s all there is to know about her family below…

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Maggie Smith’s son Chris

Maggie has two sons from her first marriage and both have carved out successful careers in film and TV. Her eldest Christopher Lark (born Stephens), now 52, began his acting career by studying at LAMDA and had early roles in TV and radio shows. 

Dame Maggie Smith and her eldest son, Chris

His first major film credit came when he starred as Capt. Howard of the Marines in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World alongside other acting heavyweights Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. He also appeared in the film Valkyrie alongside Tom Cruise and, more recently, appeared in Outlander as Richard Brown.

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Maggie Smith’s son Toby

Maggie’s second son is Toby Stephens. Toby, 51, is perhaps best known for appearing as Bond villain Gustav Graves in the James Bond film Die Another Day alongside Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry. 

Both Maggie’s sons have had success in the acting world

However, through the years he has had another notable credits in films and TV shows such as: Waking the Dead, Agatha Christie’s Poirot, the BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre and many more.

Toby played the Bond villain in Die Another Day

Maggie Smith’s former partners

Chris and Toby’s father is Sir Robert Stephens. Robert was often considered one the greatest theatre actors of his generation and was dubbed the next ‘Laurence Olivier’. He appeared in the iconic Cleopatra film remake starring Elizabeth Taylor, Henry V alongside Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson and Dereck Jacobi, and many more.

Maggie and her late husband Beverley Cross

The couple divorced in 1975, and Robert later died of an illness in 1995. Maggie second husband was Beverley Cross. Beverley worked as a playwright and the couple were married soon after her divorce from Robert, and remained so until Beverley’s death until 1998.


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