Margaret Mary Fairchild (4 January 1911 – 28 April 1989) also known as Mary Teresa Sheppard/Miss Shepherd was a former concert pianist, nun and homeless woman who is the title character in the 2015 film The Lady in the Van by Alan Bennett in which she was played by Maggie Smith.
This movie tells the story of Alan Bennett's (Alex Jennings') strained friendship with Miss Mary Shepherd (Dame Maggie Smith), an eccentric homeless woman who Bennett befriended in the 1970s before allowing her temporarily to park her Bedford van in the driveway of his Camden house. She stayed there for fifteen years.
Maggie Smith stars in this BBC radio adaptation of Alan Bennett's highly acclaimed autobiographical stage play An eccentric old lady moves into a quiet street in Camden Town. There she remains, installed in her van in glorious self-sufficiency, until the council instructs her to move on.
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