O'Brien Exiting Downton Abbey; Shirley MacLaine's Martha Levinson To Return

Lady Cora’s scheming maid, Sarah O’Brien, is departing “Downton Abbey.”

A rep for Masterpiece confirmed to AccessHollywood.com that the maid to Cora Crowley, The Countess of Grantham (Elizabeth McGovern), who in Season 3 caused major trouble for Thomas, is leaving Downton to do other things.

But, the rep adds, the door is left open for the character, played by Siobhan Finneran, to return.

Fans who saw the Season 3 finale might have had an inkling that the character was working on her exit plan.

While in Scotland – and after she realized Wilkins, the maid to Lady Susan MacLare, had attempted to spike her drink at a party – O’Brien went up to Shrimpy’s wife and had a conversation.

The presumption, of course, was that O’Brien was working an angle. O’Brien did indicate her delight over the idea of a change of scenery when Wilkins whined earlier in the episode about having to move to India with the MacLare family.

In related “Downton Abbey” news, Shirley MacLaine is coming back.

The Masterpiece rep confirmed that Shirley’s character, Martha Levinson, will appear in the Season 4 finale. Shirley’s Martha is the opinionated and wealthy mother of Cora.

-- Jolie Lash

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