Dame Maggie Smith (Prof. McGonagall) turns to TV

  May 21, 2003 at 2:43 PM ET
  Cheeser     HPANA (via Yahoo! News)

AP via Yahoo! Newsopens in new window:

Maggie Smithopens in new window has a simple explanation for her career: "I tend to do what turns up," she says.

Among the things that turned up: the HBO film My House In Umbriaopens in new window, based on the William Trevor novelopens in new window. (It airs 9 p.m. EDT Sunday.) The 68-year-old actress has enjoyed an enduring and successful career on-screen and onstage (both on Broadway and in England, where most recently she starred opposite Judi Denchopens in new window in the West End hit "The Breath of Life").

But, as she notes, "I never seem to do TV."

She's virtually in every minute of the movie, portraying Emily Delahunty, an English romance novelist with a traumatic past and a loveless present who makes a desperate play for an American played by Chris Cooperopens in new window (this year's supporting-actor Oscar winner, for "Adaptation").


The Harry Potter franchise, Smith says, feels like a gift. "I think they're great fun, I really do; I mean, it's a terrific job. It's like a pension; I'm incredibly lucky. I'm very, very grateful."

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