Show Business: The Prime of Miss Downbeat

One of her directors calls her Miss Downbeat. Her hairdresser considers her a "depressive maniac." Friends more kindly describe her as "a hell of a vulnerable creature." Maggie Smith herself admits that she can never believe anything good will happen—and when it does, she worries about it.

Maggie had a lot to worry about last week. First, she won an Oscar for her witty and sympathetic portrayal of the title character in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Then, the night after the award, Maggie's opening performance in London's National Theater production of Farquhar's...

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