The 88-year-old actress contemplated putting an end to her career after being "knocked sideways" by cancer treatment.
Dame Maggie Smith has been going steady in the film industry since the 1950s and the actress has conquered the hearts of millions with her stellar performances on the theater stage, television, and big screens. Being a consistent performer, she has not kept herself away from showbiz until recent times. Smith, who is known for her iconic performance as Professor Minerva Mcgonagall in the Harry Potter film franchise, was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, reports The Times. She had contemplated putting an end to her career after being "knocked sideways" fighting breast cancer.
"It leaves you so flattened. I'm not sure I could go back to theatre work, although film work is more tiring. I'm frightened to work in theatre now. I feel very uncertain. I haven't done it for a while," the English actress told the outlet in 2009.
Smith has suffered quite a few health crises throughout her life. According to Mirror, the veteran star was previously rushed to the private Wellington Hospital in London after she complained of severe chest pains. A source close to the actress said: "It was a big scare for Maggie and she was really worried because she was in a lot of pain. It was extremely distressing for her but she did the right thing and made sure she got to the hospital as soon as possible."
"Maggie loves her work and her performances in 'Downton [Abbey]' have helped make it a worldwide success,” the source continued. "But she will have to think very carefully now about whether she stays in the show. Her health always comes first and I am sure she will take advice from the experts."
But as she holds onto her remaining strength, Smith hopes and aims to continue her career for as long as she can. "I don't know what the future holds. I don't think there's a lot of it, because of my age - there just isn't," she told The Times and recounted the difficulties she faced while filming Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince.
"I was hairless. I had no problem getting the wig on. I was like a boiled egg," she said. The chemotherapy made her feel "horribly sick and she was holding on to railings, thinking "I can't do this."
"My energy is coming back. I ought to pull myself together a little bit," she added at the time.
Although Smith's strength was failing and she almost made peace with the fact that she wouldn't survive, what saddened her more was watching young people suffering from similar conditions as hers. "I was relieved to be the age I was because by now you feel like it's all over anyway. That's why I hated seeing young people receive treatment. I couldn't bear that, it didn't seem fair," she told the outlet.
She still remains somewhat active in Hollywood with her latest performance as Violet Grantham in Downton Abbey: A New Era and has two upcoming projects titled, The Miracle Club and The German Life.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Tabatha Fireman