‘Downton Abbey’ Season 3 Death: Who Is It?

Shirley MacLaine joins the cast as Cora's mom, while "somebody pretty key" dies

(Spoiler alert: Don't read this if you don't want to hear generally about the upcoming third season of "Downton Abbey.")

"Downton Abbey" executive producer Rebecca Eaton says that in the third season of the hit British drama, "somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast." He also promises Matthew and Mary will wed.

Eaton also revealed why Cora (Elizabeth McGovern), and her mother-in-law, Violet (Oscar winner Maggie Smith), are so anxiously awaiting the arrival of new cast member Shirley MacLaine as Cora's mother, Martha Levinson. The reason? The Crawley family needs cash.

"There are some wonderful scenes between Maggie and Shirley MacLaine — Shirley MacLaine being as ditsy as ever," Eaton told The Orlando Sentinel. "And Maggie barely restraining her sneer in having to deal with this American. Maggie Smith is a handful, it’s true. She’s very difficult. She knows her worth, and she’s tricky on the set, but she delivers when the time comes."

Also read: 'Downton Abbey': What the Fuss Is All About — and What You Need to Know

As for that big death in the new season, Eaton offered no additional hints. Our guess: Perhaps that "very difficult" cast member won't survive the season?

The third season of "Downton Abbey" premieres in England in September, and on PBS in January 2013.