siobhan-finneran

O'Brien is leaving 'Downton Abbey'

March 1, 2013 at 3:37 PM ET

Carnival Film & Television Limited 2012 for MASTERPIECE /
Siobhan Finneran, who plays O'Brien, won't be back for season four of "Downton Abbey."

As if "Downton Abbey" didn't lose enough beloved characters in season three -- RIP, Sybil and Matthew -- the distinguished house is saying goodbye to a major downstairs character.

Masterpiece's publicists have confirmed to The Clicker that Siobhan Finneran, who plays the delightfully nasty Sarah O'Brien, will not be returning next season. "O'Brien is leaving to do something else, but the door is open for her character," one publicist said.

Finneran confirmed the news to the British tabloid The Daily Mirror. "I'm not doing any more," she said. "O'Brien is a thoroughly despicable human being -- that was great to play."

This past season, the lady's maid plotted a vicious scheme against former friend and fellow downstairs staff Thomas, Lord Grantham's valet. Her actions nearly led to the not-so-nice guy's dismissal and arrest. 

There's no word yet on how or why her character will leave. (Could "Her Ladyship's soap" have anything to do with it?) According to TVLine, O'Brien will exit sometime during the six-month period that passes between the end of season three, and the start of season four. 

What will you miss most -- if anything -- about O'Brien? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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