‘Downton Abbey’ season 4 spoilers: Is end really near for Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess?

The latest -The title here should really be self-explanatory, and the entire basis of this story is something that is the subject of frequent annoying rumors that just because Maggie Smith is of a certain age, we may be seeing the end of the Dowager Countess soon. The woman is “Downton Abbey” in many ways: She’s traditional yet progressive, funny yet serious, and always the smartest person in the room. She is also the most-heralded member of the show’s cast.

Yet, despite all of this and even claims from the producers that nobody is dying this year, the press is still almost yelling “is Violet going to die?” from the rooftops, hoping that someone will desperately confirm their worst fears. Heck, even one outlet talked to Maggie all about it.

Speaking to the Daily Star, the actress did her part to explain (and possibly add fuel to the fire) by saying that sooner or later, we are going to be seeing her character kick the bucket eventually. It’s more or less a question of when:

“Logically Violet must be about a hundred-and-something now, so I don’t know how long she’ll go on … There will be bath chairs and things they can push me around in.”

Now, a dose of reality. Unless there is some horrible surprise coming or something happens during the off months, Maggie will be back for season 5. It’s really a very nice gig for her in that the travel is not that rigorous, there are no daily stage performances, and there is clearly a good bit of money and enjoyment that comes out of it at this point. What remains curious to us is how it must feel to be involved in this business for as long as she has, and to be suddenly known mostly for this role.

More scoop – Want to look ahead at the future of “Downton Abbey,” and see some more scoop about tonight’s episode? Then just click here. We’re going to have a full review of tonight’s episode published here soon, as well as a preview for the one airing next week.

Photo: ITV

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