Credit: Danny Martindale/Getty Images

Lavinia Swire’s back from the dead! Okay, so the actress who portrayed Matthew Crawley’s very first fiancée on Downton Abbey remained healthy throughout her character’s slow demise from the Spanish flu, but out of sight, out of mind, right? In Downton Abbey terms, Lavinia (Zoe Boyle) is so two seasons ago.

She got mentioned a little during Season 3, of course, when Matthew (Dan Stevens) learned he’d be inheriting her father’s fortune. It was a sudden stroke of luck the failing Abbey desperately needed but with which the ever upright Matthew wrestled with for, in our books, far too long. He was probably just guilty he was so happy with his new wife, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery), happiness only allowed thanks to Lavinia’s well-timed death.

Dan, of course, has also since died off on Downton, departing the show at the end of Season 3. While he’s gone on to star in movies and do a whole lot of voice work, whatever happened to Ms. Swire? Was the afterlife as good to her? It sure seems to be since she just landed a lead role in a new series!

Deadline reports Zoe will be the female lead in ABC’s brand new drama Astronaut Wives Club. Based on the real lives of the women and their Space Race husbands, the show will premiere this summer. Look for Zoe as Jo Schirra, wife of astronaut Wally Schirra. Jo was the wife who knew all the “proper codes of behavior,” a perfect segue from Zoe’s days at Downton!

Sources: Deadline, The Astronaut Wives Club

Elisabeth Kramer is an Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident Downton Abbey expert. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!