Elizabeth McGovern: Born July 18, 1961 (Cancer)
At 19 years old, McGovern dropped out of Juilliard School to accept a role in the Oscar award winning film Ordinary People. McGovern moved to Los Angeles with her family when her father was transferred from Northwestern University to UCLA. After Ordinary People, she earned an academy award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Ragtime in 1981. McGovern was engaged to Sean Penn after falling in love on the set of Racing with the Moon in 1984. Also in the same year, a decidedly big one for Elizabeth McGovern, she starred in Once Upon a Time in America as Robert De Niro’s romantic interest. No stranger to the big time in the late 1980s, she played Mickey Rourke’s girlfriend in Johnny Handsome.
Elizabeth McGovern has lived in London, England since 1982 with her two daughters Matilda and Grace. She keeps busy beyond Downton Abbey as singer-songwriter in the band Sadie and the Hotheads. Michelle Dockery, who plays McGovern’s daughter Lady Mary in Downton Abbey, occasionally sings with the band.