Laura Carmichael

While the hugely successful "Downton Abbey" (ITV/PBS, 2010-16) became the breakout project for many of its cast members, the series marked the first full-fledged screen project for actress Laura Carmichael, who played the perpetually put-upon but resilient Lady Edith Crawley. Prior to her debut on the show, Carmichael had appeared in regional theater in her native London and had bit roles in television productions. "Downton" launched her career in earnest while also granting her the opportunity to fulfill many an actor's dream by co-starring with such legendary performers as Maggie Smith, Shirley Maclaine, Penelope Wilton and others. The show's popularity led to feature film work and larger stage roles for Carmichael, as well as a genuine shot at stardom.