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A trio of stars are joining Downton Abbey’s fourth season, including one who will be familiar to viewers of the acclaimed British drama.
Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine will return for the show’s new season, reports The Telegraph. The veteran actress joined the show for its season three Christmas episode to play Martha Levinson and “proved a huge hit with viewers last year” that she had to come back, the producers said.
The BBC reports that Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, the New Zealand Opera star, has also joined the show. She will be a houseguest who will sing during her episode.
Tom Cullen, who starred in the acclaimed 2011 film Weekend, will play Lord Gillingham, a young aristocrat who tries to comfort Lord Gillingham, according to AceShowBiz. Cullen couldn’t hide his excitement on Twitter, telling fans, “I can announce that I'm in the new season four of Downton Abbey. So excited. My heart is beating a little too fast.”
I can announce that I'm in the new season four of Downton Abbey. So excited. My heart is beating a little too fast... telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandr…
— Tom Cullen (@tomcullenactor) March 2, 2013
Other new actors joining Downton Abbey include Julian Ovenden (Smash), Dame Harriet Walters and Nigle Harman. The show’s fourth season is already in production.