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Downton Abbey star Penelope Wilton was once married to Lord of the Rings star - details 

The star plays Isobel Crawley in the smash hit period drama 

Emmy Griffiths

Penelope Wilton has been playing Isobel Crawley on Downton Abbey since 2010, and as much we feel like we practically know her - but did you know that the star was once married to an iconic The Lord of the Rings cast member? Find out more here… 

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The actress has been married twice, firstly to Daniel Massey until their split in 1983, and a second time to the late Sir Ian Holm, who is perhaps best known for playing Bilbo Baggins in The Lord of the Rings and as the older Bilbo in The Hobbit. 

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The pair tied the knot in 1991, and co-starred in The Borrowers and The Return of the Borrowers as Pod and Homily. The pair called it quits in 2001 after ten years of marriage. Ian went on to marry artist Sophie de Stempel. He sadly passed away in June 2020, aged 88. His agent released a statement to The Guardian at the time which read: “He died peacefully in hospital, with his family and carer.”

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Did you know the pair were married?

Meanwhile, Penelope has kept her relationships out of the spotlight. She is very private about her personal life, and previously told Woman’s Weekly: “I don’t want anyone to know too much about me.” She shares one daughter, Alice Massey, with her first husband, who went on to marry her sister, Linda.

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Previously opening up about the situation, she told The Daily Mail: ‘It was odd to begin with but I got used to it. It didn’t change my relationship with my sister but it wasn’t all easy. It was quite tricky sometimes but in the end it was fine once everyone got used to the idea.”

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