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Maggie Smith's Second Husband Proposed When He Was Still Married – Who Was the Love of Her Life?

Christell Fatima M. Tudtud
May 18, 2022
10:00 A.M.
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English actress Maggie Smith, now 87 years old, has enjoyed a long and successful Hollywood career. In the early years of her career, she met two men, and her relationship with one of them turned out to be controversial.


Showing no signs of slowing down, Maggie Smith starred again as Violet Crawley in the 2022 film "Downtown Abbey: A New Era," gracing the film alongside Hugh Dancey and Elizabeth McGovern.

Smith plays the Dowager Countess of Grantham and Crawley family matriarch, a role not far from her actual life, being a proud mother and dedicated wife. She was married twice and raised two sons.

Maggie Smith attends "The Lady In The Van" screening during the BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 13, 2015 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images



Besides her illustrious career, love has been an interesting part of Smith's life. She was happily married to her second and late husband, brilliant writer Beverly Cross, with whom she tied the knot in 1975.

Born in London, United Kingdom, on April 13, 1931, Cross gained prominence for his adaptation of Marc Camoletti's French farce "Boeing-Boeing" in 1962.

Among Cross's last works for theater was an adaptation of "The Scarlet Pimpernel," directed by Nicholas Hytner and starred by Donald Sinden. It was shown at Her Majesty's Theatre in London in 1985.

Maggie Smith poses with her second husband, playwright Beverley Cross at the Evening Standard Drama Awards in November 1994, in London, England. | Source: Getty Images


In 1960, Cross met and fell in love with then-18-year-old Smith, whom he cast in his second play, "Strip the Willow." Despite still being married at the time, the lovestruck writer eventually proposed to the "Sister Act" star.

However, Cross's proposal raised eyebrows within their circle. At that time, the playwright genius and dramatist was married to his first wife, Elizabeth Clunies-Ross, but he ultimately divorced her to be with Smith.



After several years together as a married couple, Cross sadly passed away due to a heart attack in London in 1998, leaving Smith heartbroken. He was 66 at the time of his death.

Since her second husband's death, Smith has dedicated most of her time to making TV shows and movies. While continuing as an actress, she could not help but still feel lonely without her beloved husband around her. She said:

"I don't know. It seems a bit pointless."

Maggie Smith and her first husband Robert Stephens lead the singing of 'Auld Lang Syne' at a New Year's Eve party on January 1, 1973. | Source: Getty Images



Amidst her loneliness, the "Harry Potter" actress has been fortunate to have two grown-up sons, Toby and Chris Larkin. Smith's children have been helping her move on from grief.

Amidst her divorce from her first husband, Smith revealed it was Cross who raised her sons alongside her.

Maggie Smith with her two children, Chris Larkin and Toby at the London Airport in March 1971. | Source: Getty Images


She shared her sons with her first husband, actor Robert Stephens, who died of alcohol-related disease in 1995. Stephens' presence appeared to be an interesting twist in Smith's relationship timeline.

Smith met Stephens while Cross was embroiled in a lengthy divorce process from his former wife. The TV actress married Stephens in 1967, but they went on to face issues throughout their marriage.

Maggie Smith smiles beside Robert Stephens on April 27, 1973 in UK. | Source: Getty Images


Their marital woes ultimately led to their split in 1975. Amidst her divorce from her first husband, Smith revealed it was Cross who raised her sons alongside her. Smith and Cross had no children of their own.

While Smith remarried, she never stopped loving Stephens as the father of her sons, who are now married and have families of their own. Despite their failed marriage, Smith and Stephen stayed friends.