Watch: What Michelle Dockery Will Miss About "Downton Abbey"
Six seasons and a movie.
That's what Downton Abbeyfans were treated to when the period drama debuted on Jan. 9, 2011 in the U.S. on PBS. Yes, it's really been over 12 years since we were first introduced to the Crawley family and their servants in their stunning home in the English countryside. Then again, who can forget when Theo James' character died while defloweringMichelle Dockery's Lady Mary during its freshman run?
Created by Julian Fellowes, the series went on to become a pop culture phenomenon, turning Dockery, Dan Stevens and more of the cast into major stars and introducing one of TV's most beloved characters in Maggie Smith's Dowager Countess, a.k.a. the woman born to become a meme, thanks to her quips and insults.
After ending its initial run in 2015, viewers made a return trip to Downton Abbey when the first film hit theaters in September 2019 followed by Downton Abbey: A New Erain May 2022.
Now, in honor of Smith's 89th birthday Dec. 28, we're spilling behind-the-scenes facts about the show, including the real reason behind the series' most shocking death and which star almost bailed on her audition.
We're not Laura Linney and this is 15 secrets about Downton Abbey being revealed...