: I longed to be bright and most certainly never was. I was rather hopeless, I suspect.
Dame Margaret Natalie Smith CH DBE is an English actress. She has had an extensive, varied career on stage, film, and television, spanning almost 70 years.
Smith has appeared in more than 60 films, and is one of Britain's most recognisable actresses. She was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for contributions to the performing arts, and a Companion of Honour in 2014 for services to drama.
Smith began her career on stage as a student, performing at the Oxford Playhouse in 1952, and made her professional debut on Broadway in New Faces of '56. For her work on the London stage, she has won a record six Best Actress Evening Standard Awards.
On screen, Smith first drew praise for the crime film Nowhere to Go, for which she received her first nomination for a British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Award.
She has won two Academy Awards, winning Best Actress for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and Best Supporting Actress for California Suite. She is one of only seven actresses to have won in both categories. She has won a record four BAFTA Awards for Best Actress.
Smith played Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter film series. Other notable films include Love and Pain and the Whole Damn Thing, Death on the Nile, Clash of the Titans, Evil Under the Sun, Hook, Sister Act, Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, The Secret Garden, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and The Lady in the Van.
She won an Emmy Award in 2003 for My House in Umbria, to become one of the few actresses to have achieved the Triple Crown of Acting, and starred as Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, on Downton Abbey, for which she won three Emmy.