Playing the role of Professor McGonagall and being involved in the ‘Harry Potter’ projects is something Dame Maggie Smith takes seriously. Very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that she was working on the movies despite battling breast cancer.
She has vowed to “stagger” through the filming of the final installment of the series: ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows’. Battling the “hideous” disease, as she calls it, she says in an interview with British publication The Times: “If there’s work to do I’ll do it. I’ve still got to stagger through the last ‘Harry Potter’. The cancer was hideous.
“It takes the wind out of your sails and I don’t know what the future holds, if anything.
“You feel so ghastly, you wouldn’t mind dying a lot of the time. The last couple of years have been a write-off, though I’m beginning to feel like a person now. My energy is coming back. S**t happens. I ought to pull myself together a bit.”
The 74-year-old was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007, and reportedly began chemotherapy almost immediately thereafter. It was during the filming of ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ that Smith felt the worst – right in the middle of her treatment.
“I was hairless,” she said. “I had no problem getting the wig on. I was like a boiled egg. The chemotherapy made me feel horribly sick. I was holding onto railings, thinking, ‘I can’t do this.”
Maggie Smith, who is one of Britain’s most distinguished actresses, has a long history in theater and cinema. She’s been active as an actress for well over half a century and has been involved in over 60 movies, has acted on many stages and played a role in several TV series. Some of her most famous pieces of work include ‘Gosford Park’, ‘A Room With a View’ and ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’.
Her acting premier was on the Oxford Playhouse stage in 1952. Four years later she was on Broadway.
Dame Maggie Smith, one of the most talented and versatile actresses of her time, is reportedly slowly recovering from breast cancer.
Other celebrities who have been diagnosed with breast cancer include: Melissa Etheridge, Nancy Reagan, Anastacia, Bette Davis and Sheryl Crow, to name just a few.