DOWNTON ABBEY, PBS, Shirley MacLaine
Amidst all the cast changes happening on DOWNTON ABBEY, fans can breathe a sigh of relief for the fate of one more character: Masterpiece on PBS and Carnival films announced today that Shirley MacLaine will officially be back for season 4 as 'Martha Levinson.'
MacLaine made her DOWNTON debut in season 3, quickly becoming a fan-favorite with her unwavering sharp wit.
In addition, the Carnival and PBS announced that six new characters would be added to the period drama for the upcoming series, which began filming last month.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the acclaimed Opera singer, will join the cast an unnamed guest who regularly sings at the house. Julien Ovendon will play the role of 'Charles Blake,' an esteemed aristocrat. Tom Cullen has also joined, set to take on the role of 'Lord Gillingham,' an old friend of the Crawleys who appears as a guest at a house party. Dame Harriet Walter will play 'Lady Shackleton,' a long-time friend of the Dowager (Maggie Smith.) Nigel Harman has also signed on to play a valet named 'Green,' and Joanne David has secured a guest role as the Duchess of Yeovil.
"'Downton Abbey' has seen many great characters visit the house over the years and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the new faces that will be joining the regular cast of 'Downton' in series four," executive producer Gareth Naeme said.
Rebecca Eaton, who also serves as executive producer, said, "The addition of these characters can only mean more delicious drama - which is what Downton Abbey is all about."
Shirley MacLaine has performed concerts on Broadway as well as appeared in the original productions of THE PAJAMA GAME and ME AND JULIET. MacLaine has appeared in numerous films including the film version of 'Sweet Charity" and "Terms of Endearment" for which she won the 1983 Academy Award for Best Actress.