Downton Abbey was produced from 2010 to 2015 by the British TV station ITV. The period drama ran for six series and had an enormous 11 million viewers on average per episode. Downton Abbey has won countless Golden Globes, Emmys, BAFTAs and other awards.
Downton Abbey was one of the most successful British series of all time. The series is set at the beginning of the 20th century and reflects the social, economic and political upheavals of the era. Downton Abbey follows the lives of the aristocratic "Crawley" family and their domestic help. Screenwriter Julian Fellowes placed a lot of emphasis on representing the era in the most realistic way possible and in painstaking detail.
Hugh Bonneville played the head of the family "Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham". Bonneville was already a household name having appeared in box office hits such as Notting Hill and Mansfield Park in the 1990's. He also starred alongside Matt Damon and George Clooney in The Monuments Men in 2014.
Elizabeth McGovern played "Robert Crawley's" wife "Lady Cora Crawley", mother to "Mary", "Edith" and "Sybil". Elizabeth McGovern, is originally from the United States, just like her character in the series. The actress was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy Award for her role in Downton Abbey.
Michelle Dockery played "Lady Mary Crawley" one of the main characters in the series. "Mary" is "Robert" and "Cora Crawley's" eldest daughter. Downton Abbey was Michelle's big breakthrough. She has won the SAG Award twice for her role as "Lady Mary" and has been nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe several times. She now stars as "Letty Raines" on the TV show Good Behaviour.
Laura Carmichael played "Lady Edith", the middle "Crawley" sister. Her role in Downton Abbey was her first after graduating from the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. In 2016 she also starred in the ITV series Marcella and the film A United Kingdom.
Joanne Froggatt played "Anna Bates", "Lady Mary's" personal maid. Froggatt won a Golden Globe for her role in Downton Abbey and was nominated three times for an Emmy Award.
Phyllis Logan played the housekeeper, "Mrs Hughes". The actress has starred in countless TV shows and movies over the years including Silent Witness, Wallander and Lovejoy.
Jim Carter played head butler "Mr. Carson". He is a household name, having starred in numerous Hollywood productions such as The Golden Compass, Alice in Wonderland and Shakespeare in Love. Carter was nominated for several awards for his role in Downton Abbey.
Oscar-winning actress Maggie Smith is probably the most famous member of the cast. The British actress played "Lady Violet Crawley", "Robert Crawley's" mother. She has starred in a vast array of films including The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Quartet. The talented actress also plays "Minerva McGonagall" in the much-loved Harry Potter film series.
Allen Leech played the Irish chauffeur "Tom Branson". "Branson" eventually marries the youngest "Crawley" sister "Sybil". Allen Leech appeared in numerous TV series before joining the Downton Abbey cast and is also a well-known theatre actor.
Dan Stevens played "Matthew Crawley" who is "Lord Grantham's" legitimate heir in the series. "Matthew" marries "Mary Crawley" in the second series, but his death at the end of the third series shocked the series' fans. After his time in Downton Abbey, Dan Stevens starred in The Tomorrow People, Inside Wikileaks and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. He played The Beast/Prince Adam in the 2017 hit Beauty and the Beast, too.
Jessica Brown played "Robert Crawley's" youngest daughter "Sybil Crawley". "Sybil" marries "Tom Branson", but dies during childbirth at just 24. Jessica Brown also starred in the 2014 film A Winter's Tale and in This Beautiful Fantastic in 2016.
Brendan Coyle played "John Bates" in the series, "Robert Crawley's" personal valet. Brendan Coyle was nominated for an Emmy and a BAFTA Award for his performance as "John Bates".
Penelope Wilton played "Isobel Crawley", mother of "Matthew Crawley". Wilton is a popular British actress and has been a viewer-favorite since the 1970s already. She starred in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel alongside Maggie Smith, for instance.
Sophie McShera played kitchen maid "Daisy Mason". McShera also starred in productions like the ITV2 sitcom The Job Lot and in Disney's Cinderella in 2015.
Siobhan Finneran played "Sarah O'Brien" in the series, "Lady Cora Crawley's" personal maid. The actress also starred in Benidorm and Clocking Off.
Hollywood legend Shirley MacLaine played "Martha Levinson", "Lady Cora's" mother. MacLaine has worked as an actress since the 1950's and has starred in countless classics such as Steel Magnolias and Coco Chanel. The ambitious actress has won an Oscar, five Golden Globes, one Emmy and two BAFTA awards so far.
Samantha Bond played "Rosamund Painswick", "Robert Crawley's" sister. Bond starred in numerous TV series before Downton Abbey. Samantha Bond, fittingly, found fame in the Bond films GoldenEye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough and Die Another Day as "Miss Moneypenny".
Edward Speleers played the servant "James 'Jimmy' Kent". The handsome actor also starred in Wolf Hall in 2015 and Beowulf in 2016. Fans can watch him in Outlander since 2018 as well.
Lesley Nicol played "Beryl Patmore", Downton Abbey's head cook. Lesley Nicol has been working as an actress since the 1980's and has had numerous guest appearances on television shows such as Shameless, Once Upon a Time and Supernatural.
The British model and actor Rob James-Collier played "Thomas Barrow" in the series. James Collier became a household name in the UK when he joined Coronation Street in 2006. His role in Downton Abbey made him famous all over the world.
Kevin Doyle played valet "Joseph Moseley". Doyle is a well-known theatre and television actor in Great Britain and has appeared in a vast number of productions including the 2016 hit BBC series Happy Valley.
Lily James played "Lady Rose MacClare", "Robert Crawley's" niece in the third series. The stunning actress also played Cinderella in the 2015 Disney remake. James starred in Baby Driver in 2017 and in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again in 2018.
The entire Downton Abbey cast won a SAG award for "Best Acting Ensemble" in the category "Drama" in 2013.