Shirley MacLaine Is Moving To Downton Abbey For Season Three

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Looks like Dowager Countess of Grantham is about to meet her match and her name is Martha Levinson.

It was announced yesterday by Masterpiece on PBS and Carnival Films that Shirley MacLaine will be joining the Downton Abbey cast for the third season that will begin taping within the next few months.

She will be paying Martha Levinson, the mother of Lady Grantham (played by Elizabeth McGovern). Basically she'll be the American equivalent to Maggie Smith‘s amazing portrayal of Dowager Countess.

Explained Masterpiece executive producer, Rebecca Eaton, “Shirley MacLaine is a great actress and she's as American as the day is long.” With a quote like that it looks like MacLaine is about to shake things up a bit at Downton.

MacLaine has a long history of playing characters that could possibly provide inspiration for her big new role. Let's take a look at a few past roles that may have helped in her preparing for this new one.