Nick Briggs/PBS

The actress's rep says earlier comments about the show's end were lighthearted and that Smith plans to stay for its full run

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March 04, 2015 09:25 AM

The Dowager Countess of Grantham may not be leaving us after all.

While actress Maggie Smith, in a recent interview, made cryptic comments about the sixth season of Downton Abbey and appeared to hint at the show’s end, her publicist is pushing back on that statement in what is certainly welcome news for devoted fans of the Masterpiece Theatre hit.

“[Smith] has always been on the record as saying she’ll be with the show for as long as the show runs,” her rep said in a statement, according to The Wrap, adding that the actress’s earlier comments were off-the-cuff.

“[Smith] has always been on the record as saying she’ll be with the show for as long as the show runs,” the rep said.

Invoking her character’s sharp and wry humor, Smith, 80, told the U.K.’s The Sunday Times that her aging countess couldn’t last forever, fueling speculation that perhaps it was indeed over as news came that creator Julian Fellowes had signed on for a possible new NBC show he’s been hoping to develop, The Gilded Age.

“They say this is the last one, and I can’t see how it could go on,” Smith shared as the season 5 finale aired with a romantic proposal.

“I mean, I certainly can’t keep going. To my knowledge, I must be 110 by now!” the two-time Academy Award winner quipped.

As season 6 continues filming, producers have yet to announce if the show will return for a seventh. But fans of Smith’s Lady Violet no doubt are hoping to hear more of her trademark wit, which imbues her own personal remarks during interviews.

“It’s not going to go on forever,” Smith told the Wall Street Journal in 2013 of the show, according to USA Today. “It won’t be Perry Mason.”

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