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Is Downton Abbey Killing Off Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess?

Downton Abbey, Maggie Smith PBS

If you are a fan of Downton Abbey you are probably familiar with shockingly polite drama and, most important, Lady Violet's (Maggie Smith) zingers. But to imagine Downton Abbey and life without the Dowager Countess' snide remarks is too much to bear.

Britain's Daily Mail reported this weekend (that foreign concept to Lady Violet) that Smith was ready to leave and had asked creator Julian Fellowes to write off her character. So is this the end of the imperious matriarch's reign at Downton?

MORE: Five Things to Know About Downton Abbey

Not at all! A rep for Downton Abbey's production shoots down these frightful rumors: "Series 3 is currently filming with Maggie along with the other cast. We do not comment on future story lines, however there is no truth in the story that Maggie is leaving the show."

Phew! Now we can relax and get back to obsessing over those other rumors of a wedding, a birth and a major death in season three! We accept our role as Julian Fellowes' emotional punching bag, but a Downton Abbey without the Dowager Countess of Grantham would be like a Spanish flu epidemic all over again.

Are you relieved that Dame Maggie Smith isn't going anywhere? And what are you most looking forward to in season three? Head to the comments!

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