Dame Maggie Smith to be made a Companion of Honor by the Queen

Dame Maggie Smith, who played Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Potter films, has been made a Companion of Honor by Queen Elizabeth II. The actress is set to receive the award in the Queen’s Birthday Honors List, which will be published tomorrow. The award, one of Britain’s top honors, is in recognition of her magnificent stage, film, and TV career, which has spanned over six decades.

The Companion of Honor Awards were founded by the Queen’s grandfather, King George, in June 1917 in recognition of outstanding achievements in the arts, sciences, and politics. They are awarded to only 46 people at a time. New admissions come only with another’s death, and the Queen is understood to have major say in who receives the prestigious honor.

The award has previously been given to fellow veteran actress Dame Judi Dench, Olympics star Lord Sebastian Coe, and Sir Ian McKellen. After making her stage debut in 1952, Dame Smith has appeared in over 50 films. She has won two Academy Awards, five BAFTAs, and two Golden Globes. The actress was given a CBE in 1970 and made a Dame in 1990.

What are your favorite roles of Dame Maggie Smith? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Remusina

    Hooray and congratulations to Dame Maggie. I think you’ll find that the title is Companion of Honour, in the Queen’s birthday Honours list however… (picky, agreed, but one must have standards you know)

  • Becca

    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie was great (because, duh, she won an Oscar for her performance), as was California Suite (again, an Oscar-winning performance) and pretty much anything she’s ever been in, but my all-time favorite of hers is The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne.

  • Jim Walton

    The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Gosford Park (the 2001 precursor to Downton Abbey written by Julian Fellowes also stars Michael Gambon (2nd Dumbledore) and Stephen Fry (UK audiobooks), Ladies in Lavender with Miriam Margolyes (Pomona Sprout) and Toby Jones (Dobby), the Secret Garden as the interfering housekeeper, David Copperfield as Betsey Trotwood with HP stars Daniel Radcliffe (aged 9 his first notable role), Zoe Wanamaker (Hooch), Imelda Staunton (Umbridge), Dawn French (Fat Lady POA) and Paul Whitehouse (Sir Cadogan POA), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel as Muriel Donnelly with Bill Nighy (Rufus Scrimgeour DH1) Dame Maggie and Bill Nighy will reprise their roles in the 2015 sequel and Quartet with Michael Gambon.

    I should note that most of these films apart from comedies BEMH and Quartet are all period dramas or historical in some form or other although they’re not exactly lacking in the odd light hearted moments entirely either. Even if they aren’t normally your kind of flick try them, you might change your mind after viewing.

    All the above films are excellent for Dame Maggie Smith fans (I should know – I’m one) and readily available from libraries, on dvd from Amazon, and with perhaps a few exceptions for free on Youtube either as the whole film in a single video or in multiple parts/videos usually uploaded from the same channel.

    However please only resort to Youtube if your library doesn’t have them. In these days of Kindles/e-books and film streaming sites like Netflix libraries are in danger of closing down more than ever so, for the sake of a few pounds or dollars charge for rental, borrow if you can – they’ll be grateful for your support. If you do end up viewing for nothing on Youtube, don’t tell them I sent you! LOL DX


  • Heather

    Also, it’s Dame Maggie, not Dame Smith.