Hollywood legend joins Joanne and Co in Abbey

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SCARBOROUGH-born actress Joanne Froggatt is set to share the screen with Hollywood royalty Shirley MacLaine.

Oscar-winner MacLaine is joining Downton Abbey for its third series. She will play Martha Levinson – Lady Grantham’s mother.

Joanne plays head housemaid Anna in the multi-award winning drama and Scarborough-born actress Penelope Wilton plays Lady Isobel Crawley.

Besides winning a statue for Terms of Endearment, MacLaine was also nominated for Some Came Running, The Apartment and Irma la Douce.

Carnival Films’ managing director, Gareth Neame said: “Julian [Fellowes] has written another brilliant character in Martha Levinson, who will be a wonderful combatant for Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess and we are excited at the prospect of Shirley MacLaine playing her.”

Filming for the third series starts later this year.