Maggie Smith and Beverley Cross were happily married for 23 years – Losing him made her life ‘futile’

Maggie Smith and Beverly Cross have fought against winds and tides to live their romance. However, after the screenwriter passed away, Maggie Smith was heartbroken and found life to be for nothing.

Maggie Smith is a Hollywood star who has seduced her audience with her acting skills, while remaining discreet in her personal life.

She is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood thanks to her performances in cinema, in films and in theater. However, she is best known to modern audiences for her role as Professor Minerva McGonagall in “Harry Potter,” a strict but fair character.

Maggie Smith at ‘The Lady In The Van’ press conference at Claridges Hotel on October 13, 2015 [à gauche]English actress Maggie Smith with her husband, playwright Beverley Cross (1931 – 1998), at the Evening Standard Drama Awards, in November 1994 [à droite] | Photo: Getty Images

She also appeared in “Downton Abbey“, playing Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham. However, these are only the latest in a long line of characters that the powerful actress has brought to life.

Smith starred in several films during the 1990s, including Whoopi Goldberg’s comedy “Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit.” Also, the actress won wide acclaim for her role in the period drama “Downton Abbey.” A performance that earned him three Emmy Awards in 2011, 2012 and 2016.

Besides, Smith has two Oscars to his name. She won the top prize in 1969, playing an idealistic and unconventional schoolteacher in “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.” In 1978, she received second prize for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Neil Simon’s “California Suite”.

Maggie Smith attends the EE British Academy Film Awards on February 14, 2016 | Photo: Getty Images

To say the least, Smith had such a successful acting career that the industry ran out of accolades for her. Indeed, she has been honored with lifetime achievement awards.

Most notable is her induction into the Order of the British Empire (DBE) as a “Dame” Commander in 1990. In 2014 she was also made a Companion of Honor (CH).

Otherwise, far from the cameras, Smith lived one of the most significant love stories of the century. The Hollywood star notably enjoyed a happy life with her companion, Beverley Cross. Here’s how they met.

Dame Maggie Smith attends the London Evening Standard British Film Awards on February 7, 2016 | Photo: Getty Images

Cross was a prolific writer, best known for his first play, “One More River,” which premiered in 1959, and the raucous musical “Half a Sixpence,” which he also wrote the same year. However, he is most remembered for his long conquest of Smith.

The couple met for the first time in 1952 during a student review at Oxford, where Cross was a student. The playwright was immediately stunned by Smith, who was 18 at the time.

And although Cross was already married to Elizabeth Clunies-Ross, a classmate from Oxford, he was struggling to separate from Smith. The duo therefore began an affair, and Cross divorced his wife to be with his darling. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as planned.

In fact, Smith met and fell in love with another actor, Robert Stephens, at Laurence Olivier’s new National Theater. The couple later married, and Cross developed a murderous hatred for Stephens. The disappointed playwright therefore ended up marrying Gayden Collins, a model.

During the early years of their marriage, Smith was happily alongside Stephens. The couple even welcomed two children, Chris Larkin and Toby, who followed in the actress’ footsteps, making a career in the film industry.

However, life with Stephens became unbearable, with the actor being unfaithful and struggling with alcohol. Later, in 1975, Smith’s marriage to her first husband ended, making her a prime target for her former lover, Cross.

After Smith divorced in 1975, Cross, who was married to model Collins, quickly filed for divorce and married the actress the same year, helping her raise her two sons. And although the couple never had children together, their years of romance were their best.

Smith spent the next 23 years of her life married to the playwright. The actress declined to talk about her marriage to Stephens during their married years, as she didn’t want to offend Cross.

The actress would later confess that she still loved Stephens for being the father of her children. However, she was enjoying life with Cross. The 87-year-old considers herself lucky to have married the man of her dreams.

Actress Dame Maggie Smith and her partner Beverley Cross, circa 1995 | Photo: Getty Images

In 1998 Cross is dead at the age of 66. Before his death, the playwright was being treated for a series of aneurysms. So his passing was not only heartbreaking for his fans, but it also turned the life of his wife, Smith, upside down.

Note that apart from the latter, the sexagenarian also left behind him, two daughters from his first marriage, a son from his second marriage and two stepsons.

Years after her disappearance, the ‘Downton Abbey’ actress notably opened up about how she felt without her longtime husband. When asked how she coped with her disappearance, the mother-of-two said,

“I don’t know. It seems a little futile. Living alone and not having someone to share your life with.”

Smith also shared that to deal with her pain, she focused on her job. The star of the “Harry Potter” saga said : “Everyone says it’s getting better, but I don’t think it’s the case. It’s different. It’s horrible, but what are you doing?”

She has added later: “After the hustle and bustle, you are more alone, much more. An absolutely crowded day prevents your mind from understanding why you are alone, but when it stops, there is deafening silence.”

It is clear that the actress has done her best to move forward in her life. However, she has remained single since her husband’s death. When asked if she would consider finding love again, Smith responded “I don’t think I’ll find anyone who can come close to Bev.”

After Cross’s passing, Smith continued to appear in films. However, she also struggled with her health. The actress of “Sister Act” had in particular been diagnosed of breast cancer.

The mother-of-two said her treatments scared her of going back to acting. However, the actress was later informed that she was free of the disease after two years of treatment.

Maggie Smith at the screening of ‘The Lady in The Van’ during the BFI London Film Festival at Odeon Leicester Square on October 13, 2015 | Photo: Getty Images

Speaking of how she was diagnosed, the octogenarian has explained that she had felt a lump in her breast and that a visit to the doctor had confirmed her fears. After the diagnosis, the star filmed the movie “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” while undergoing treatment.

Smith has remained a key figure in Hollywood but has scaled back her public appearances in recent years. However, his legacy remains intact.

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Maggie Smith and Beverley Cross were happily married for 23 years – Losing him made her life ‘futile’