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SPOIL SPORT Dan Stevens Leaving ‘Downton Abbey’ John Lamparski /Getty Images

Dan Stevens Leaving ‘Downton Abbey’

The halls of Downton will soon be short one dapper gentleman. Dan Stevens, the actor who plays swoonworthy heir Matthew Crawley, will not be returning to the British period drama Downton Abbey for a fourth season, Deadline confirms. The series, set to begin airing its third season in the U.S. in January on PBS, just aired its Christmas special in the U.K., which (SPOILER ALERT) explains Crawley’s exit. Season four of Downton Abbey begins shooting in the U.K. this winter. It is nominated for three Golden Globe awards, including Best Drama, at next month’s ceremony.

December 26, 2012 9:41 AM