Meet Downton Abbey star Dame Maggie Smith's family – and you may recognise her sons

Maggie Smith's sons are also actors

Dame Maggie Smith is one of the nation's favourite actors having starred in a number of huge films and TV shows over her successful career spanning over 50 years, which is set to be celebrated in the Channel 5 film The Marvellous Maggie Smith: A Celebration, which her co-stars including Hugh Bonneville will gather to discuss her incredible career. 

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The 85-year-old is perhaps best known for her work in the long-running period drama franchise Downton Abbey, playing Lady Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham - as well as her role as Professor McGonagall in Harry Potter. But did you know that her sons followed have in her footsteps to embark on a career in acting? Here's all there is to know about her family... 

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Maggie Smith's son Chris

Maggie has two sons from her first marriage and both have carved out successful careers in film and TV. Her eldest Christopher Larkin (born Stephens), now 55, began his acting career by studying at LAMDA and had early roles in TV and radio shows. He changed his name to distance himself from his parents as he didn't want to "to trade on the family connection" at the beginning of his career. 

Dame Maggie Smith and her eldest son, Chris

His first major film credit came when he starred as Capt. Howard of the Marines in Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World alongside other acting heavyweights Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany. He also appeared in the film Valkyrie alongside Tom Cruise and, more recently, appeared in Outlander as Richard Brown.

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Chris Larkin stars in Outlander

Maggie Smith's son Toby

Maggie's second son is Toby Stephens. Toby, 53, is perhaps best known for appearing as Bond villain Gustav Graves in the James Bond film Die Another Day alongside Pierce Brosnan and Halle Berry. 

Both Maggie's sons have had success in the acting world

However, through the years he has had other notable credits in films and TV shows such as: Waking the Dead, Agatha Christie's Poirot, the BBC adaptation of Jane Eyre and many more. He shares three children with his partner, and opened up about Maggie as a granny, telling The Daily Mail: "She loves, really loves, being around them.

"She was stern with me but around them, she is a real softie. That’s the privilege of being a grandparent — they can indulge the children while parents have to be the bad guy. Grandparents can also be subversive and naughty with them. And she certainly is."

Toby played the Bond villain in Die Another Day

Maggie Smith's former partners

Chris and Toby's father is Sir Robert Stephens. Robert was often considered one the greatest theatre actors of his generation and was dubbed the next 'Laurence Olivier'. He appeared in the iconic Cleopatra film remake starring Elizabeth Taylor, Henry V alongside Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson and Dereck Jacobi, and many more.

Maggie and her late husband Beverley Cross

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The couple divorced in 1975, and Robert later died of an illness in 1995. Maggie second husband was Beverley Cross. Beverley worked as a playwright and the couple were married soon after her divorce from Robert, and remained so until Beverley's death until 1998.

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