Shirley [=MacLaine=] (born Shirley Beatty in 1934) is an American film and theater actress, dancer, activist, and author. She's the older sister of Creator/WarrenBeatty. She made her film debut in 1955, in the Creator/AlfredHitchcock movie ''TheTroubleWithHarry''. She also appeared in the 1956 version of ''AroundTheWorldInEightyDays'', ''Film/TheApartment'' and ''BeingThere''. More recently, in 2011, she appeared in ''Film/{{Bernie}}'' with Creator/JackBlack. In 1983 she won the AcademyAward for Best Actress for her role in ''TermsOfEndearment'', and has been nominated five other times. She's well-known for her beliefs in new age spirituality and reincarnation. She has written a large number of autobiographical works, many dealing with her spiritual beliefs.

She played the character of [[GrandeDame Martha Levinson]], mother of Elizabeth [=McGovern=]'s Lady Cora Crawley, in the third season of ITV's ''Series/DowntonAbbey''. The contrast between her and MaggieSmith's Dowager Countess Violet is generally considered priceless.