Will The Dowager Countess Be Killed Off ‘Downton Abbey?’

The 'Downton' Gals
Stars from the series at the BAFTA Awards.
Michelle Dockery
The 'Downton Abbey' star does press in NYC.
Oh dear.  Last week when we reported that a character in Downton Abbey would die in season three, it never occurred to us that it might be the Dowager Countess, played by Dame Maggie Smith.

According to the Daily Mail (via MSNBC), reports claim that Smith asked creator Julian Fellowes to write her out of the hit ITV series.  “Maggie has asked Julian to write her character out,” so says a source. “She is filming until August and then wants to leave, going out on a high. She thinks that three (seasons) is enough and she wants to get back to the stage and big screen.”

It appears that cousin Violet will go the way of Lavinia, struck down by an ailment that not even Dr. Clarkson will be able to cure (he has proved to be such an asset to the medical community in the past). 

This is really depressing.  How can one survive without her potent one-liners?