|Dame Maggie Smith as Minerva McGonagall|
Most people in my generation know and love Maggie Smith for her dead-on portrayal of Professor McGonagall in all eight Harry Potter movies. Maggie Smith, who is in fact a Dame, boasts a huge career on the screen and on the stage. In her seventies, Smith recently admitted that she battled breast cancer while filming the Potter films, all the more reason to respect and love her. Dame Smith currently stars as Violet Crawley, the old school grandmother of old school money in the monstrous hit Downton Abbey. Smith delivers the most quotable lines of the show including: "What is a weekend?", "No Englishmen would dream of dying in someone else's house," and "We can't have him assassinated...I suppose." She is a runaway favorite who steals any scene she's in, chewing every line with wit and fire. In my mind, she is the Englishman's Betty White. A little more refined perhaps, but just as deliciously snarky. Now, if only she could host an episode of SNL.