PBS

His is not just a gentle voice; for many people, it's a very familiar one, too. For 25 years, Francois Clemmons played a role on the beloved children's program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Clemmons joined the cast of the show in 1968, becoming the first African-American to have a recurring role on a kids TV series.

And, as it happens, it was Clemmons' voice that Fred Rogers noticed, too, when he heard Clemmons singing in church.

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Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF JOHN LUNN SONG, "DID I MAKE THE MOST OF LOVING YOU")

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Forget all that stiff-upper-lip stuff. If you're looking for evidence that the British have a big, beating heart underneath their reputation for reserve and restraint, look no further than Sunday's finale of their popular TV export, Downton Abbey.

“Downton Abbey” historical adviser Alastair Bruce tells Here & Now’s Robin Young about why getting the details of manners and etiquette was important on Masterpiece Theater’s Edwardian soap opera. The last episode of the show airs on PBS on Sunday.

Actor Jim Carter had a long and fruitful career before being picked to play the starched-shirted butler Mr. Carson, the leader of the staff downstairs on the British TV drama “Downton Abbey.”

Carter talked with Here & Now’s Meghna Chakrabarti about his now signature role and his relationship with Lady Mary Crawley in the popular PBS series, which is coming to an end in the U.S. a week from Sunday.

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