Friday, September 18, 2015

The Beauty of Retrospect, September Actress Edition: Elizabeth McGovern

As "Downton Abbey," the British early-twentieth-century-period drama that Americans can't get enough of, approaches its final season, I thought I'd revisit its American star.

The actress, whom I first featured in February 2012, plays the American wife of Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham.  Her Jewish heritage and her nouveau riche background causes conflicts with her mother-in-law. 

Elizabeth McGovern's work on "Downton Abbey" has largely taken her away from the movies, but she's had two notable roles this past year.  She plays the mother of an inner-city teacher who unintentionally gets pregnant (played by Cobie Smulders, an earlier honoree on this blog); the teacher bonds with a student who's in the same situation.  Ms. McGovern also played a judge in the drama Woman In Gold, starring Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, an Austrian Jewish immigrant in Los Angeles who seeks to recover a rare Klimt painting of her aunt stolen by the Nazis in 1938.  It was not much of a coincidence that Woman In Gold was directed by Ms. McGovern's husband, British filmmaker Simon Curtis, but it's still nice to see her still working in the movies.

If you get a chance, be sure to catch Elizabeth McGovern with her band Sadie and the Hotheads, which she leads as the acoustic guitarist, singer and songwriter.  That maxim that actors can't be rock stars?  Don't believe it. :-) 

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