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Meet Downton Abbey star Jim Carter's family – from co-star wife Imelda Staunton to children

Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton are both actors

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Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior Features Writer
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Downton Abbey has seen some of the acting world's very best talent throughout the years the show has graced the small and big screen. And one of the stars is Jim Carter who played Mr Carson in the long-running ITV series.

MORE: Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville shares incredible news with fans

As well as his role in the period drama, the actor has had many notable parts in other films and theatre productions throughout his career; most recently, the Downton Abbey follow-up film, A New Era, which was released in April.

WATCH: The stars of Downton Abbey reflect on 12 years of the beloved drama

It was during his work in the theatre that he met his wife, Imelda Staunton, and the two have been happily married ever since. The two even worked together when Imelda joined the cast for the Downton Abbey film last year, in which she played Maud, Lady Bagshaw. Want to know more about their family? Here's all you need to know…

How did Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton meet?

In 1982, Jim and Imelda were both starring in the National Theatre production of Guys and Dolls and began dating shortly after. After meeting at work and both being in the acting industry, the two would then go on to work together in other projects.

MORE: Downton Abbey cast then vs now: see how the stars have changed over the years

MORE: The Downton Abbey cast and their children

jim and imelda© Photo: Getty Images

Jim and Imelda are both famed actors

The couple's shared credits include, Shakespeare in Love, Alice in Wonderland and Bright Young Things, and more recently, Downton

Once Imelda had joined the cast of the period drama for the first film in 2019, Imelda spoke to HELLO! about what it was like to work with her husband. Since Jim plays a butler and Imelda plays a Lady, she admitted that they didn't directly have any lines with one another, explaining: "Downton was just luxury, like a nice box of chocolates.

"Jim and I only worked together for about two days. It was so nice, so exciting. But of course I have been living with Downton for six or seven years… I tried to get the dog in it, no they weren't having [it]."

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Jim and Imelda met in the early eighties

Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton's marriage

The couple wed in 1983, a year after meeting, and have been the picture of marital bliss during their 37-year union. The couple even recently spoke about their marriage during lockdown and admitted that they're averse to technology despite its use in keeping communication.

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Jim told the Mail on Sunday: "We both hate technology and we're not very good at it. We don't feel the need for it. I'm enjoying making phone calls rather than sending emails, having the luxury of a long conversation, not shovelling out information."

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The couple welcomed daughter Bessie in 1993

Jim Carter and Imelda Staunton's daughter

Jim and Imelda have one daughter together, Bessie, who was born in 1993. Given her parents' successful careers in the industry, it's perhaps unsurprising that she has followed in her footsteps! She is perhaps best known for playing Prudence Featherington in Bridgerton. 

Bessie has appeared on stage at the Old Vic and The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

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Bessie has embarked on a career in acting

The actress has also appeared in BBC drama Howards End and ITV drama Beecham House. Bessie lived with her parents during lockdown, and Jim even revealed that her flatmate had also moved in to isolate with them as their flat was being redecorated. "It's been lovely," he told the Mail on Sunday at the time. "It's playing to my strengths because I'm not the world's greatest shopper. We've all been slotting into our little domestic routine."

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