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Maggie Smith's Spouse, Beverly Cross - Echoes Of A Lost Mate: 'I Still Miss Him So Much'

Dame Maggie Smith, an iconic figure in the world of entertainment, has enchanted audiences for over six decades with her remarkable talent. Beyond the glitz and glamour of her illustrious career, Smith's personal life has been marked by love, tragedy, and the enduring pursuit of her passion for acting.

Beverley Cross Maggie Smith Source: Google Images

Born in 1934 and raised in Oxford, Smith's early desire to pursue acting met resistance from her parents. Despite the challenges, Maggie Smith found solace in the guidance of her teacher, Dorothy Bartholomew, who encouraged her to attend a local drama school. It was here, at the Oxford Playhouse, that she first encountered Beverley Cross, a playwright who would later become a significant figure in her life.

At the age of 18, while playing Viola in Twelfth Night, Smith met Robert Stephens, already an established actor with Laurence Olivier's National Theatre company. Their union in 1967 brought forth two sons, Toby Stephens and Chris Larkin, both now accomplished actors. However, the marriage was fraught with challenges as Stephens struggled with alcoholism, mood swings, and infidelity.
In 1970, while working on the main role in Billy Wilder's film "The Private Life Of Sherlock Holmes," Stephens attempted to take his own life. Maggie reflected:
"And after that it was just hopeless. We had two little boys. He didn't understand. I sure as hell didn't understand. It got worse and then it went on getting worse and worse. In the end it was destroying everybody. And he was having so many affairs."

Despite the tumultuous nature of their relationship, Smith remained devoted. The breaking point came in 1973 when she decided to leave the marriage for the sake of her sons. Even in the face of adversity, she acknowledged Stephens as the reason for her two wonderful sons. Stephens passed away in 1995 from alcohol-related disease, leaving a complex legacy in Smith's life.

After the dissolution of her first marriage, Beverley Cross re-entered Smith's life, and by 1975, the two were married. Cross, a supportive and "lovely man," played a crucial role in helping Smith raise her sons. For 23 years, they built a life together, with Cross becoming an honorary father to Toby and Chris. Tragically, Cross passed away in 1998 due to heart disease, leaving Smith to face the challenges of loneliness once more.

After 25 years, at the age of 88, Smith's unwavering devotion to Cross remains palpable. In an interview, she candidly expressed:
"I still miss him so much it’s ridiculous. People say it gets better, but it doesn’t. It just gets different, that’s all. Even in my dreams I keep saying to him, 'You are dead. You can't be here.'"
When confronted with the possibility of remarrying, Smith's response is steadfast and resolute:
"Absolutely not. I don’t think I would find anyone who could come anywhere near Bev."
The enduring love and grief she carries reveal the profound impact Cross had on her life, making him an indelible presence even in his absence.
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