Gladys Denker is the lady's maid to Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham.
Denker is hired by Violet Crawley to be her lady's maid as her previous one, Collins, had left. Her arrival arouses problems with Violet's butler, Septimus Spratt, as Collins pandered to Spratt. Denker refused to follow Collins' example, and thus Spratt and Denker became bitter rivals. Denker is shown to have high expectations when she questioned Violet visiting Igor Kuragin's small house in a York alleyway.
Upon leaving for the wedding of Rose MacClare and Atticus Aldridge in London, Spratt takes out Violet's luggage, but hides one of her suitcases as an opportunity to show Denker in a bad light. Violet finds out about this, and to avoid punishment, Spratt runs off in a huff to get the hidden suitcase. An extra footman named Andrew Parker was hired to help with the wedding. In order to receive free drinks at a basement club, The Velvet Violin, she used Andrew and falsely presented him as a new member. When Thomas Barrow helped Andrew sabotage Denker by lying an employee that he and Andrew were regulars, and that Denker entered with them and claimed that they were new arrivals. After that, she was presented with a bill for three nights' worth of heavy drinking, totaling up to four pounds and ten shillings.
Violet, in front of Spratt and Denker, said that every good lady's maid used to be able to make a good chicken broth but also added that those days were quite over. Using this as an opportunity to show Denker in a bad light to Violet, Spratt puts pressure on Denker to prove to Violet that she could make a good chicken broth. As she was ignorant of cooking broth, she enlisted the help of Daisy Mason to make the broth for her. Upon discovering this, Spratt found the broth that Daisy made and dumped it down the drain, forcing Denker to make the broth herself. When the broth was done, although everyone knew that it tasted horrible, Violet lied to both Denker and Spratt by saying that the broth was "delicious." Violet did this due to her amusement at Denker and Spratt having their spats. Denker is present at the Christmas party at Downton Abbey.
Denker starts a rumor that Violet and Robert are going to cut the staff. Denker, as a lady's maid, thinks that her job is safe and secure as Violet cannot go without a lady's maid. Due to this rumor, both Thomas and Spratt think that their job is in danger., as underbutlers and butlers were becoming special positions, not regular ones. When Violet finds out that Denker has been spreading this rumor, she turns the tables on Denker by making her think that Denker was going to be cut as well.
Denker observes Spratt examining a British Empire Exhibition Stamp. She then gets suspicious when Spratt is talking to his nephew, who was escaped jail, and denies it. She then tracks Spratt as he is going out for a "walk," and she finds out that he is sheltering his nephew. When Sergeant Willis comes and asks Spratt and Denker if they have seen Spratt's nephew, Spratt and Denkr both deny it. Immediately after Sergeant Willis leaves, Denker reveals her knowledge to Spratt about him sheltering his nephew.
Denker is furious to find out that Dr Clarkson, in her words, has "abandoned" Violet in the fight for the hospital. When Denker encounters Clarkson in the village, Denker, in Clarkson's words, was "being impertinent." Clarkson later sends a letter to Violet detailing her about Denker being impertinent to Clarkson. Violet fires Denker, but Denker uses her knowledge of Wally Stern to her advantage, and Spratt is forced to and successfully saves Denker's job.
Denker is ecstatic that she and Violet are going on a cruise on the Mediterranean, and mocks Spratt about him having to stay behind to manage the Dower House.
Denker eavesdrops on Edith Crawley's conversation with Spratt. She finds out that Spratt is working for Edith, and she eventually tells Violet about it in hopes that Spratt would be fired. Violet, however, is amused about Spratt's advice column for women, and says that if she ever needs advice for outfits, she would go to Spratt, much to Denker's displeasure. Spratt eventually tells Denker that Violet never likes to be predictable.
Violet mentions that Denker was rather "short" with her during the general strike but that she is "a communist" inside.
|Appearances and Mentions|
|Series 5||Episode 1||Episode 2||Episode 3||Episode 4||Episode 5||Episode 6|
|Series 6||Episode 1|
|Episode 2||Episode 3|
|Episode 6||Episode 7|
|Episode 8||Christmas Special|
|The film||The film|
- Denker initially appeared in the script for the film, but was dropped.