Hearing the news that Dame might quit Downton Abbey was enough to make me choke on my slice of Mrs. Patmore's fruitcake. With her googly eyes, outlandish hats, and outraged pout, Cousin Violet has been the cornerstone of Downton's success. She personifies the series' inimitably eccentric combination of gravitas and hilarity. Downton would not be Downton without her.
So, some good news for you today, fans! According to TV Line, the recent Golden Globe winner will return to Downton for its next installment - even if the Crawleys are forced to downsize into a depressingly normal-sized manor house near Durham.
Over the summer, Abbey creator admitted that even he didn't know if Smith would be back, as she had not signed on to a fourth tour with the period drama:
With Maggie, you never know... Other [actors] sign on for the next series and they sign for this and they sign for that, but she doesn't. She stays her own person. But as far as I'm concerned, I hope she stays with the show until Downton falls down.
Smith's decision to stick around ensures that all of the show's major cast members are onboard for Season 4, with the exception of and .
If you'd like to get into spoilers concerning other cast members, click the [[follow]] button for regular updates. What say you? Are you glad Downton Abbey will at least keep Maggie Smith for Season 4? Tell us in the comments what you think of season 3 so far!