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All you need to know about Downton Abbey star Dame Harriet Walter

The actress appears at the beginning of series four

harriet walter

Downton Abbey is known and loved for not only its stunning costumes, drama and scandalous plot, but also its glittering line-up. As well as the main cast such as Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery and plenty others, many more well-known names from the film and TV industry have popped up throughout the show's series'.

MORE: Inside Downton Abbey stars Laura Carmichael and Michael C. Fox's relationship

dame harriet© Photo: Getty Images

Dame Harriet Walter is a highly acclaimed actress

One of those stars to make a guest appearance is Dame Harriet Walter. Viewers will certainly recognise the actress from a number of other films and TV shows. Want to know more? Here's all the details you need...

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Who is Harriet Walter?

Harriet Walter is a highly acclaimed British actress who has been in the industry for over 40 years. She began her professional career working on the stage in many famed productions courtesy of the Royal Shakespeare Company including Midsummer Night's Dream and Macbeth, before being made associate artist at the company in 1987. Harriet also appeared in RSC productions on Broadway. Harriet's partner was actor Peter Blythe before his sad passing in 2004. Since 2011, she has married to Guy Schuessler.

MORE: Downton Abbey's Joanne Froggatt to star as lead in exciting new drama

harriet and partner© Photo: Getty Images

Harriet with her partner Guy

What else has Harriet Walter appeared in?

As well as a successful career in theatre, Harriet has appeared in plenty TV shows and films over the years. One of her most notable TV roles was in Law & Order: UK but the actress has also appeared in popular shows such as Midsomer Murders, Heading Out, Spooks and more. The 69-year-old's film credits include: Star Wars, A Royal Affair and Rocketman. More recently she has appeared as Clementine Churchill in The Crown, as Lady Caroline Collingwood in Succession, as Russian assassination Dasha in BBC America's Killing Eve and as Countess of Brockenhurst in ITV's Belgravia.

harriet walter belgravia© Photo: ITV

Harriet in Belgravia

Harriet Walter in Downton Abbey

Fans of Downton Abbey who are enjoying watching reruns on ITV will know that Harriet first appears in the Julian Fellowes period drama in episode one of series four, but appears in other episodes throughout. Harriet plays Lady Shackleton, a former school friend of Violet Crawler. Her nephew is Henry Talbot, who ends up marrying Lady Mary Crawley – giving Lady Shackleton a distinct connection to the Crawley household.

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