The Real-Life ‘Downton’ Millionairesses Who Changed Britain Lady Grantham of ‘Downton Abbey’ is not even close to an anomaly. British aristocrats married United states heiresses in droves within the very early 1900s. But had been it actually since easy as ‘cash for class’? Tim Teeman Senior Editor and Writer PBS/Photofest Its the many animated this Downton Abbey fan has ever seen Lady Grantham. Elizabeth McGovern, whom plays the duration detergent opera’s slack-jawed, sleepy-eyed matriarch Cora—who constantly appears listlessly zonked, whatever tragedy has simply befallen her spouse or unlucky-in-love daughters—gallops with gusto through the stories of the real-life American heiresses who Lanjut..