Get ready for a very proper catfight!

Oscar-winning acting legend Shirley MacLaine will be joining one of TV's hottest shows, Downton Abbey, Carnival films announced Monday. MacLaine will appear on the UK series during its upcoming third season as Martha Levinson, the mother of Lady Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern). Shooting begins next month on the award-winning show.

“My late grandfather directed Shirley MacLaine in Gambit in 1966, so it is a delight for me that she will be joining us on Downtown Abbey," Gareth Neame, Carnival's managing director, told The Hollywood Reporter. "[Creator] Julian [Fellowes] has written another brilliant character in Martha Levinson, who will be a wonderful combatant for Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess and we are excited at the prospect of Shirley MacLaine playing her.”

Currently in its second season, Downton Abbey has had a ratings jump and is growing among both British and American audiences. It airs on Masterpiece Classic.

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  • Mijon Zulu
    Mijon Zulu on

    Finally, someone will stand up for Lady Grantham.

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