Wondering what the talented cast of Downton Abbey have been up to since the epic series finale? Learn all about what the stars have been working on, including a Western thriller, a Queen biopic and more, and what we can expect from them next!
Before the premiere of the Downton Abbey film this fall, transport yourself back to Downton by binge watching the entire series now on PBS Passport, an added member benefit.
After her years playing the respectable Lady Mary Crawley, Michelle Dockery moved on to roles very different from her ladyship, including con artist Letty Raines in the TV series Good Behavior, and as a hardened widow in the Western series Godless. She is currently filming a new Apple TV+ limited series alongside Marvel star Chris Evans called Defending Jacob.
The role of Lady Mary will forever have a special place in Dockery’s heart. When asked if she’s looking forward to the day when someone doesn’t mention Downton Abbey, Dockery said in a 2018 interview with the Los Angeles Times, “I feel the opposite. I would worry if people didn’t mention it. It’s always going to be part of my life. It would be lovely if ‘Downton’ continued, and people watched it time and time again. I never have the feeling that I don’t want to talk about it. I’m very proud of it. I wouldn’t be where I am without it.”
After Lady Edith’s happy ending with Bertie (and, of course, Marigold!), Laura Carmichael went on to film the TV detective series Marcella. Carmichael will next appear in the new Catherine of Aragon inspired series The Spanish Princess as Margaret Pole, the Countess of Salisbury, who was eventually ordered to be executed by King Henry VIII. Additionally, MASTERPIECE fans may have also recognized her in 2018’s Man in an Orange Shirt.
Yet still, Downton Abbey, and the ever persevering Lady Edith, will always stay with her. “I can’t imagine that anyone feels about Downton the way that I do,” she told Harper’s Bazaar earlier this year. “It changed my life in the most dramatic way possible. If I hear the theme music, I can get a bit emotional.”
Post Downton Abbey, Hugh Bonneville has been hard at work, voicing Merlin on the children’s series Thomas & Friends (including various Thomas specials), as well as working on the Disney children’s series Sofia the First, appearing in the film Paddington 2, and on the TV series Galavant (with Downton Abbey co-star Sophie McShera). Just recently, it was announced that Bonneville was cast in the upcoming, first ever, live action original musical on Netflix called Jingle Jangle, a holiday musical tale.
In her days after Downton Abbey, Elizabeth McGovern went on to work with Downton writer Julian Fellowes on MASTERPIECE Films’ first theatrical release, called The Chaperone, which tells the story of young 1920s silent film star Louise Brooks and her chaperone (McGovern). In addition to The Chaperone, McGovern appeared in the 2018 Liam Neeson film The Commuter, and is currently filming a TV series adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic War of the Worlds.
On top of her on-screen talents, McGovern released a solo album titled The Truth. (Joining her on the album: musician James Walsh, and Samuel L. Jackson.)
Allen Leech, long known as Downton Abbey’s resident chauffeur turned gentleman Tom Branson, went on to appear in the TV crime drama series Bellevue alongside Anna Paquin, as well as scoring a role in the Academy Award winning 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody as Freddie Mercury’s former personal assistant (and former lover) Paul Prenter.
After a six season run as the Dowager Countess, and a lifetime of iconic roles marked by more than fifty awards (including an Academy Award, an Emmy Award and a Tony Award), Maggie Smith continued appearing on screens everywhere. In 2015, she starred in a film version of The Lady in the Van. (Fifteen years earlier, Smith had been nominated for an Olivier Award, a prestigious London theater award, for her work in the play.) Smith is slated to appear in the 2020 holiday movie A Boy Called Christmas.
Wilton, after starring as kind-hearted cousin Isobel Crawley, went on to star in the 2018 film The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society alongside Downton Abbey costars Lily James, Matthew Goode and Jessica Brown Findlay. She also appeared in the hit film The BFG, in 2017’s Zoo, and is currently working on Eternal Beauty and Summerland.
Phyllis Logan & Jim Carter
After their years portraying Downton Abbey’s household staff leaders Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes, who eventually found their own slices of happiness together, Jim Carter and Phyllis Logan continued on to roles on the big screen, TV screens and beyond. Carter appeared in a TV original production of King Lear as the Earl of Kent, starring alongside Emma Thompson, Anthony Hopkins and Jim Broadbent. He also lent his vocal talents to Transformers: The Last Knight, and is set to appear later this year in the feature film The Good Liar alongside Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen. Logan has appeared in TV series such as Doctor Who and Girlfriends, and is next set to be seen in Misbehaviour, starring Keira Knightley and The Durrells in Corfu star Keeley Hawes.
Joanne Froggatt & Brendan Coyle
Since making our hearts race as beloved couple Anna and Mr. Bates, actors Joanne Froggatt and Brendan Coyle have both appeared in a number of hit films and series. Coyle went on to appear in the Academy Award nominated Mary Queen of Scots, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, in the romantic film Me Before You, starring Sam Claflin and Emilia Clarke, as well as in the sci-fi series 12 Monkeys. Froggatt has lent her vocal talents to the beloved children’s series Bob the Builder, as the titular character’s business partner and wife Wendy. She also starred in MASTERPIECE’s Dark Angel as real-life Victorian poisoner Mary Ann Cotton.
After hanging up her apron as Mrs. Patmore, Lesley Nicol went on to appear in a number of children’s programs including Sarah & Duck and Goldie and Bear. MASTERPIECE fans will have the chance to see her again in the upcoming series Beecham House, also starring Tom Bateman and Leo Suter, a six-part drama which tells the story of a former British soldier (Bateman) who purchases a mansion in 19th century Delhi to begin a new life with his family (including Nicol, who stars as his meddling mother!).
After her days working in Downton’s kitchen alongside Lesley Nicol’s Mrs. Patmore, Sophie McShera went on to appear in Disney’s live-action remake of Cinderella (starring Downton Abbey costar Lily James), as well as in TV series such as Galavant (with Downton Abbey costar Hugh Bonneville), and Murdoch Mysteries. Next up for McShera: a role in the film The Personal History of David Copperfield, starring Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton and Gwendoline Christie.
After his days scheming as Thomas Barrow, Robert James-Collier appeared in a number of TV series, including The Level, Death in Paradise, and Vera, as well as film appearances including The Ritual and A Christmas Star.
His days on Downton Abbey, however, were wonderfully memorable to him, and still are – especially his first Christmas special. “I didn’t take my first acting job until I was 28 and there I was at 35 dancing with a two-time Oscar winner [Maggie Smith],” he told Radio Times back in 2017. “If someone had told me that I’d be doing a waltz with Dame Maggie – and that I’d stand on her toe in one take and that she’d give me a funny look – I’d have said, ‘No chance!’”
Once his days as the lovable Mr. Molesley came to end, Kevin Doyle went on to appear in television series such as Death in Paradise, Doc Martin, Paranoid and Happy Valley (starring former Downton Abbey costar Siobhan Finneran and Grantchester star James Norton!).
After Matthew Goode’s Henry Talbot went on to marry Lady Mary and begin their life together at the end of Downton Abbey, Goode went on to star in The Crown as Princess Margaret’s first husband Tony Armstrong-Jones, in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (alongside Downton Abbey costars Lily James and Penelope Wilton), and the television series A Discovery of Witches. Goode is currently working on films including The King’s Man, Medieval and Four Kids and It.
After his days on Downton Abbey as Edith’s love (and now husband!) Bertie Pelham, Harry Hadden-Paton went on to star in The Crown as Martin Charteris (Baron Charteris of Amisfield) alongside Downton costar Matthew Goode, as well as TV series including Wallander and Versailles.