Entertainment

The Best Downton Abbey Actors  

Ranker TV
502 votes 71 voters 1.3k views 21 items

List Rules Only main and supporting cast members - no guest stars. Vote based on their performances on Downton Abbey.

While you might assume that the Downton Abbey cast would be swimming in awards, surprisingly this hasn't always been the case. While some of the Downton Abbey actors have indeed won a slew of awards including Oscar nominations and most have received shared SAG Awards for Best Ensemble cast, not all of them have racked in many more. Some of the actors playing your favorite Downton Abbey characters have gotten random festival awards but not a lot else, despite being incredible actors. That's why you'll have a chance to vote on the best actors on Downton Abbey regardless of how many awards they may or may not have received. 

Just vote for your favorite Downton Abbey actor or actress on the list of cast members below in order to help discover the internet's picks for the best actors on the historical family drama series. Next, to each, you'll also find a list of the awards they've received so you can be appropriately appeased or outraged. 

 

Maggie Smith is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency/Shutterstock

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television (2012, 2013- Win)

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (2012- Win, 2013, 2014, 2016- Win)
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie​​​​​​​ (2011- Win)

Dame Margaret Natalie Smith (born 28 December 1934) is an English actress. She has had an extensive, varied career on stage, film, and television, spanning over 67 years. Smith has appeared in more than 50 films, and is one of Britain's most recognisable actresses. She was made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for contributions to the performing arts, and received the Companion of Honour from the Queen in 2014 for services to drama.Smith began her career on stage as a student, performing at the Oxford Playhouse in 1952, and made her professional debut on Broadway in New Faces of '56. For her work on the London stage, she has won a record five Best Actress Evening Standard Awards: for ...more on Wikipedia

Characters: Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham

Age: 81

Birthplace: Ilford, London, United Kingdom

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Jim Carter is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Photo: via Reddit

Primetime Emmy Awards
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015)

Online Film & Television Association
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (2015, 2016)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

 

James Edward Carter, (born August 19, 1948) is an English actor. Carter's film credits include Top Secret! (1984), A Month in the Country (1987), A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992), The Madness of King George (1994), Richard III (1995), Brassed Off (1996), Shakespeare in Love (1998), The Little Vampire (2000), Ella Enchanted (2004), and Detective Victor Getz in The Thief Lord (2006). He plays John Faa in The Golden Compass (2007), the first film in the adaptation of the His Dark Materials trilogy, and also stars in House of 9 (2005) as The Watcher, and the executioner in Tim Burton's adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. His television credits include Lipstick on Your Collar (1993), ...more on Wikipedia

Characters: Charles Carson

Age: 70

Birthplace: England, Harrogate

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Michelle Dockery is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Photo:  Kevin Winter/Getty images

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series - Drama (2013) 

Primetime Emmys
Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (2012, 2013, 2014) 

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Michelle Suzanne Dockery (born 15 December 1981) is an English actress and singer. She is most widely known for her leading performance as Lady Mary Crawley in the ITV (UK) and PBS (U.S.) television period drama series Downton Abbey (2010–15), for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award and three consecutive Primetime Emmy Awards in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.Dockery made her professional stage debut in His Dark Materials in 2004. For her role as Eliza Doolittle in the 2007 London revival of Pygmalion, she was nominated for the Evening Standard Award. For her role in the 2009 play Burnt by the Sun, she earned an Olivier Award nomination for Best ...more on Wikipedia

Characters: Lady Mary Crawley

Age: 34

Birthplace: Romford, London, United Kingdom

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Joanne Froggatt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Downton Abbey Actors
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

Golden Globes
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television (2015- Win, 2016)

Primetime Emmy Awards​​​​​​​
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series​​​​​​​ (2012, 2014, 2015)

Screen Actors Guild Awards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series (2013- Win, 2014, 2015- Win, 2016- Win, 2017)

Joanne Froggatt (born 23 August 1980) is an English actress of stage, television, and film. From 2010, she played lady's maid Anna Bates in all six seasons of the period drama Downton Abbey. For this role, she received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television in 2014. In autumn 2017, she starred in the six-part suspense miniseries Liar, which aired on ITV in the UK and on SundanceTV in the U.S. Froggatt's early TV appearances include Coronation Street (1997–98), Bad Girls (1999), Dinnerladies (1999) and A Touch of Frost (2003). She went on to star in the television ...more on Wikipedia

Characters: Anna Bates

Age: 38

Birthplace: Littlebeck, North Yorkshire

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