Maggie Smith's B-day is Reason to Celebrate

by Alicia Lutes

Ah yes, the holiday season: Thanksgiving, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, Maggie Smith's Birthday, and New Years' Eve. And given that today is December 28, we're celebrating perhaps the most beloved one of them all: Downton Abbey star Maggie Smith's 79th year on this earth is upon us. We are ever so grateful for the woman Dame Margaret Natalie Smith has grown up to be, and that she keeps getting better with age.

Personally, I like to think of Maggie Smith as Tilda Swinton's shade-throwing but-still-refined older aunt. That hip, secretly cool but slightly terrifying older woman in your life that you've always been sort of fascinated by and kind of want to emulate in some ways. I mean — have you even seen those cheekbones of hers? C'mon!

She's played some of the greatest characters of all time, including snippy Internet icon, Downton Abbey's Dowager Countess as well as childhood hero Professor Minerva McGonagall from Harry Potter, two women ill-afraid of throwing down in the name of what they believe is right. To say nothing of her roles in films (of which there are over 50!) like Murder by Death, Death on the Nile, A Room with a View, Gosford Park, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Hook, and both Sister Act films.

And the Golden Globes-nominated Dame Maggie is a boss on her own, as well: do you know anyone else who could act through cancer treatment AND a mean case of the shingles like she did on the Potter set? No, you probably don't.

Which is why we must bow down, bitches. But properly, and with a sense of decorum, please. To do this you must first mix yourself a Minerva McGonagall cocktail:

Minerva McGonagall


  • 2 oz Vodka
  • 6 oz Earl Grey or strong black tea
  • Dash simple syrup
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • Garnish lemon
  • 2 mint leaves


  • Combine all ingredients into a tall glass.
  • Stir.
  • Garnish with mint leaves and lemon.
  • Enjoy like a boss queen.

Now, with a drink in hand, you're ready to GIF out:

Go on, it's OK. Keep scrolling.


Sike! We're just playing don't leave.

I'm sure you hated that joke.

Well, that'd be a first.

Of course, anything for granny.


We know: we never questioned it!

Thanks: we try.

What: is there something wrong with trying?

The scorn on that one! Stop being so pious.

Oh, OK, so it's like that?

OK, I'll take that as a yes then. Shit!

Oh jeez, sorry. I just get so excited when you're involved, Dame Maggie. I'm like a small dog that shakes a lot and pees on the rug when he's excited.

No, you can't! The puppy was a metaphor!

I said a metaphor! Jeez that's dark, Mags.

Oh, so you're a comedian now, eh?

Sorry, sorry — we were just kidding, totally. It was a bad joke.

Well we clearly have a lot to learn, don't we?

Thank goodness your birthday fell on a weekend this year, Dame Maggie, or else we'd be too verklempt to work!

Oh, you wouldn't know, would you?

Cats + Maggie Smith + Harry Potter + GIFs = holy shit the Internet just died.

And if that weren't enough, Smith also gave birth to an acting dynasty. Both of her sons (including actor Chris Larkin) ply the family trade, including this Hottie McHandsome you may have seen before (his name is Toby Stephens, though you may know him as the bad guy Gustav Graves from Bond film Die Another Day):

So help us celebrate Maggie Smith as she begins another turn around the sun. May there be many more of them in our future.

Image: GIF Huntress/Tumblr [20]; Fuck Yeah Dame Maggie/Tumblr [4]