Character: Martha Levinson
(played by Shirley MacClaine)
Widow of Isidore Levinson and mother of Cora, Countess of Grantham. Comes to visit Downton in 1920 for the wedding of Matthew Crawley to her granddaughter Mary. Generally contemptuous of the old British order, she frequently clashes with the Dowager Countess. Despite this Violet and the other female family members hatch a plot to use her riches to save Downton, but she explains this is impossible and soon returns to America.