What happened to the stars of Downton Abbey – tragic death, photo scandal and sad split
Downton Abbey first appeared on screens in 2010, showing the life of the aristocratic Crawley family in their lavish home, surrounded by their servants.
Set in the 19th century, the ITV show quickly captured legions of fans with an elite glimpse, following real life storylines such as the sinking of the Titanic and the Spanish Flu.
The period drama ran for six series between 2010 and 2015, and the first film was eventually dropped in 2019. And fans can look forward to a real treat this Christmas – the release of a second film based on the TV show.
Meanwhile, many stars have found fame after their stint on the show, while other cast members have found their success marred by scandal.
Daily Star took a look at what happened to some of the show’s biggest actors.
Michelle played Lady Mary, Crawley’s oldest granddaughter and hostess. In a bit of a departure from her period drama role, after the end of Downton Abbey, she starred in the Guy Ritchie film The Gentleman where she played a gangster’s wife.
She received an Emmy nomination for her role in the Netflix miniseries Godless and also starred in the American drama series Defending Jacob.
In 2015, her fiance John Dineen was diagnosed with tragic cancer and died at the age of 34 with Michelle at her bedside. She later said that the act of acting served as a “liberation” from her experience.
Joanne’s character, Anna Bates, was Mary Crawley’s maid on the show. After completing the role, she starred in the crime thriller Liar and the film adaptation of the book A Street Cat Named Bob, and played the Victorian murderer Mary Ann Cotton in the ITV drama Dark Angel.
Joanne also voiced Wendy in the new version of the children’s show Bob The Builder. In February 2019, she made her stage debut at the Bridge Theater in London in the play Als, Always.
Last year, she announced that she had separated from her eight-year-old husband, James Cannon.
Hugh won rave reviews and a Golden Globe nomination for his performance as the father of the Robert Crawley family, Earl of Grantham. After Downton, he is best known for his role as Henry Brown in the two Paddington films, alongside Ben Whishaw.
Hugh also played Lord Mountbatten in the film Viceroy’s House, which depicts the violence surrounding the partition of India during the last days of British rule, and he’s also set to play author Roald Dahl in an upcoming biopic.
In 2019, he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of West Sussex, an award given to someone who has served their local community.
Dame Maggie Smith
She was already one of Britain’s most recognizable actresses before she took on the role of Dowager Countess Violet Crawley, and the character was so popular she was even usurped by a drag queen in an episode of Ru Paul’s. Drag Race.
When Downton was done, Dame Maggie starred in the film adaptation of Alan Bennett’s The Lady in the Van and discussed it on The Graham Norton Show, which was her first appearance in a cat in 42 years.
In 2019, she returned to the London stage for the first time in over a decade to star in A German Life.
As Mr. Carson, the Butler of Downton Abbey, Jim has won four Primetime Emmy Award nominations. He has been married to actress Imelda Staunton, who will play Queen Elizabeth in The Crown for the fifth series, since 1983, after they met in rehearsal for the musical Guys and Dolls.
After Downton, Jim recounted various history documentaries on topics such as the Workshop, Stonehenge, and Queen Victoria.
In 2017, he starred in the historic drama series Knightfall as the 13th century Pope Boniface VIII and was the Earl of Kent in Shakespeare’s television film adaptation of King Lear.
He also earns a pretty penny by recounting the announcements of the Hex – The Legend of the Towers ride at Alton Towers theme park in Staffordshire.
Dame Penelope Wilton
Dame Penelope also had several recognizable roles before playing the role of Isobel Crawley during Downton’s six seasons. Since then, she is best known for playing Anne in Ricky Gervais’ Netflix comedy After Life.
She also starred as The Queen in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG in 2016.
That same year, she appeared in the ITV comedy Brief Encounters, which tells the story of the founding of lingerie and sex toy brand Ann Summers.
In 2016, she was named Lady of the Queen’s Birthday Honors for her services to the theater.
Her role as Lady Rose Aldridge propelled her to stardom, and Lily became a hugely successful Hollywood actress with lead roles in films such as Cinderella, Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! and Rebecca.
In 2019, she starred alongside American actress Gillian Anderson in the stage adaptation of All About Eve, as her career got better and better.
She was in a five-year relationship with Doctor Who actor Matt Smith until 2019. Last year she made headlines when she was pictured kissing married actor Dominic. West in Rome.
Dominic has joined the cast of the new film, and after promising his wife Catherine FitzGerald he would never work with Lily again, the actress is unlikely to return.
Brendan had the role of Anna’s husband John, who is Robert Crawley’s downtrodden valet in Downton.
After the show, he starred in films such as Me Before You, The Rising and the critically acclaimed film Mary Queen of Scots, where he played the traitorous Earl of Lennox alongside Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.
Brendan also co-founded Anderson Shelter Productions, an organization that helps young filmmakers make short films.
He lives between London and the village of Heacham in Norfolk – which made headlines earlier this year when a 60-year-old man was stabbed near his home.