Maggie Smith has won the 2012 Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series for her role as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, in the PBS show "Downton Abbey," marking her second win and sixth nomination.
The 77-year-old British actress, who is also an Oscar recipient, beat co-star Joanne Froggatt, Archie Panjabi and Christine Baranski of CBS' "The Good Wife," Anna Gunn of AMC's "Breaking Bad" and Christina Hendricks of AMC's "Mad Men." Smith was not present to accept her award in person at Sunday's ceremony.
"Downton Abbey" debuted in 2010 and depicts the fictional English estate of Downton Abbey, the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants. Hugh Bonneville plays Lord Robert Crawley. Smith's character is his mother.
The actress had last year won an Emmy for her role, although at the time, "Downton Abbey" was put in the mini-series category rather than drama series. Smith won her first Emmy in 2003 for her role in the mini-series "My House in Umbria."
Smith is known for roles such as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the "Harry Potter" films, Mother Superior in the "Sister Act" movies and also played Granny Wendy in the 1991 Peter Pan flick "Hook," which featured a cameo from current Emmy nominee Glenn Close as a male pirate.
Smith has two Oscars - for her roles in the 1969 film "The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie" and the 1978 movie "California Suite." She has been nominated for four other Academy Awards for her parts in "Othello," "Travels With My Aunt," "A Room With a View" and "Gosford Park."
Elizabeth McGovern portrays Crawley's American wife, Lady Cora Crawley. The third season takes place during the 1920s and Shirley MacLaine guest stars as her mother, Martha Levinson.
"Downton Abbey" was nominated for 16 awards this year. Beforehand, the series had won six Emmys.
The 2012 Emmy Awards ceremony was held at L.A. Live's Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 23 and aired on ABC. The event was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who also hosts the network's hit late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!."