Credit: Stuart Wilson/Getty Images

In every matriarch's past, there's a young lady. For Dame Maggie Smith (Dowager Countess Violet Crawley), that lady is a waif-like redhead with big doe eyes (and big hair, too!).

Since Maggie has lived, as of today, 79 years, we sometimes forget that she was once a young woman — especially since she's still gorgeous and spry as someone half her age! But we can't get over this still from the 1968 comedy Hot Millions, which starred Maggie as secretary Patty Terwilliger. Lounging on a bed in a nightgown and an oversized button-down, she presents an effortless brand of sultry that we can only dream of emulating.

While Maggie is aging more gracefully than most, she said back in February that she's not a huge fan. “I don't like [aging] at all, but then I don’t know who does,” the Dame admitted on 60 Minutes in a February 2013 interview. “[Private Lives writer] Noel Coward — and I don’t mean to name drop. But he said, ‘The awful thing about getting old is that you have breakfast every half hour.’ And that’s sort of what it is. I can’t understand why everything has to go so fast.”

For the record, she has no plans to retire. “I think that the date for that has gone by,” she reflected. “I think I’ll keep going with Violet and whatever other old biddy comes along.”

She does keep a sense of humor, though, about her age and her reputation of being a perfectionist. “Old people are scary,” she said. “And I have to face it. I am old and I am scary. And I’m very sorry about it but I don't know what you do.”

We don't know, Maggie! You make the prospect of aging a little less terrifying for us. Happy birthday! We hope those old biddies keep coming along en masse.

Sarah Anne Lloyd is an Associate Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!