Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith honoured

Downton Abbey's Oscar-winning star Dame Maggie Smith has been elevated to a Companion of Honour.

For TV viewers, the 79-year-old is now inextricably linked with her role as the Countess of Grantham in the ITV period drama, while Harry Potter fans will recognise her as Professor McGonagal.

Downton Abbey's star Dame Maggie Smith. Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

Her career stretches back to the 1950s, beginning at the Oxford Playhouse in 1952 and within four years appearing on Broadway.

Her stage performances have continually drawn acclaim and she has collected numerous awards for roles in plays such as Hedda Gabler, Three Sisters and Private Lives.

She earned the first of six Oscar nominations in 1965 for best supporting actress in Othello, going on to win best actress four years later for her commanding performance in The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie. Dame Maggie won a further Oscar in 1978 with the supporting actress prize for California Suite.

Find out who else received an honour from the Queen here

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