'Downton Abbey's' Siobhan Finnerman Not Returning for Season 4

Siobhan Finneran TCA - P 2013
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Siobhan Finneran TCA - P 2013

The actress, who played scheming maid O'Brien, says the character was a "despicable human being."

Downton Abbey is losing another member of the family.

Fans of the smash-hit costume drama barely have recovered from the untimely demises of Lady Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) and Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens) in season three, and now comes word that Siobhan Finneran -- who has played the scheming maid O'Brien since the show's beginning -- has had enough of the character.

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“I’m not doing any more," the 47-year-old actress tells The Mirror. "O’Brien is a thoroughly despicable human being -- that was great to play."

A rep for the series confirms to The Hollywood Reporter, "O'Brien is leaving to do something else, but the door for her character is open."

Series creator Julian Fellowes recently told The New York Times: “When an actor playing a servant wants to leave, there isn’t really a problem -- [he or she just] gets another job. … With members of the family, once they're not prepared to come back for any episodes at all, then it means death."

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Chances are slim, therefore, that O'Brien is likely to meet any sort of violent and permanent end -- as much as some of her fellow characters might have at times wished for it.