I just loved the show Upstairs, Downstairs. Richard Marson, in his book about the show, called it "one of the most famous television series ever made." It was created by Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins; Marsh also had a starring role as Rose Buck, one of the maids in the Bellamy household who was relegated to "downstairs." The Bellamys were a wealthy English family around the turn of the century.
The division between the "upstairs" elite and the "downstairs" servants was where the show derived its wonderful tension--from the notion that two classes could be divided in one household in such a regimented and traditional way. It was notable that the downstairs people, despite their frugal way of life and their lack of future possibilites, were generally happier than the upstairs people, which I suppose was meant to be an irony of the show.
Rose in particular was a wonderful character, and Jean Marsh invested her with quiet dignity. She was a role model for the younger, lowlier maids, and she had great admiration for the house butler, Mr. Hudson, who was a sort of father figure to all of the downstairs people. Mr. Hudson was strict, moral, judgmental, and entirely class conscious, as was Mrs. Bridges, the cook.
If you haven't seen Upstairs, Downstairs, I highly recommend that you check it out; there are box sets available and I'm sure it can be ordered on Netflix. Once you start, you won't want to stop.
I know that Jean Marsh has played other memorable roles, but I will always think of her as Rose, the plucky maid in the Bellamy household who won our hearts with both her vulnerability and her strength.