The Countess

Wife, mother, Oscar-winning actress, and musician, at 60 Elizabeth McGovern has lived an interesting life, to say the least. But that’s no surprise given her lineage. McGovern’s grandfather, William Montgomery McGovern was an adventurer thought by some to be the inspiration for the Indiana Jones character in Raiders of the Lost Ark

And while the striking brunette, originally from Illinois, hasn’t been tramping through exotic jungles hunting down treasure, she’s been carving her own path through a notoriously fickle industry with a calm and competent hand for more than 40 years.

McGovern’s first film, made while she was still a student at Juilliard in 1980, was the Oscar-winning Ordinary People, and the next year she won her own Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Ragtime, followed by a slew of incredible performances alongside Nicolas Cage, Sean Penn, Robert DeNiro, Helen Mirren, Brad Pitt – the list goes on and on. 

But it was her role as Cora Crawley, Countess of Graham in the much-beloved Downton Abbey television series and subsequent films that have brought her charms and acumen to a new generation, firmly establishing her place as a screen icon with more adventurous roles up her sleeve.

I’m someone who’s done the opposite of whatever the received wisdom is, to keep your career going into your 50s

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