The Downton Abbey family is getting a little bigger. Six new faces will appear in the hit period drama’s fourth season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The new castmembers include Tom Cullen as Lord Gillingham, an old Crawley family friend whose history with Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) dates back to childhood; Nigel Harman as a visiting valet named Green; and Dame Harriet Walters as Lady Shackleton, a friend of the Dowager (Maggie Smith).
Also making their Downton debuts will be Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, who will play a singing house guest; Joanna David, who will guest star as the Duchess of Yeovil; and Julian Ovenden as the aristocrat Charles Blake.
"Downton Abbey has seen many great characters visit the house over the years and we couldn't be more thrilled to welcome the new faces that will be joining the regular cast of Downton in series 4,” Downton executive producer Gareth Neame said in a statement. “We hope audiences will be as excited about them as we are."
Returning to the series in the Christmas episode will be Golden Globe winner Shirley MacLaine, who will reprise her role as Martha Levinson, Cora's (Elizabeth McGovern) mother.
Downton Abbey is produced by NBC Universal's Carnival Films. The critical favorite has won nine Emmys, two Golden Globes and a Screen Actors Guild Award for ensemble cast.