Shirley MacLaine is set to join the next season of the popular Julian Fellowes-helmed PBS show Downton Abbey, Masterpiece on PBS and Carnival Films announced today. MacLaine, 77, will play Lady Grantham’s mother, a new character named Martha Levinson. Lady Grantham is played by Elizabeth McGovern.
“Shirley MacLaine is a great actress and she’s as American as the day is long,” Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton said in a statement. “I can’t wait to see her go toe-to-toe with Maggie Smith’s Lady Violet.”
The first season of Downton Abbey won six Primetime Emmy awards.