- NAME: Helen Mirren
- OCCUPATION: Actress
- BIRTH DATE: July 26, 1945 (Age: 68)
- EDUCATION: St. Bernard's High School, National Youth Theatre, New College of Speech and Drama
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Chiswick, London, England, United Kingdom
- Full Name: Dame Helen Lydia Mirren, DBE
- AKA: Dame Helen Mirren
- AKA: Helen Lydia Mirren
- Originally: Illiana Lydia Petrovna Mironova
- AKA: Illiana Mironova
- AKA: Illiana Lydia Petrovna Mironoff
- AKA: Illiana Mironoff
- Nickname: "The Sex Queen of Stratford"
- AKA: Helen Mirren
- ZODIAC SIGN: Leo
Best Known For
Helen Mirren is a revered, award-winning actress who’s film and TV work includes Prime Suspect, Caligula, Shadowboxer, Elizabeth I and The Queen.
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Discover the origins of the English Reformation.
After Princess Diana's death, Queen Elizabeth II broadcast a message to the people of England.
Queen Elizabeth II first began public duties during World War II, where she became a symbol of reassurance for the British people. In her 60-year reign, she's preserved the image of the crown throughout a period of great change.
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The film, controversial for its strong violence and explicit sex scenes, had a self-imposed X rating. As a result, Caligula performed poorly at box offices and received pans from critics, who dismissed the movie as thinly veiled pornography. It was eventually re-cut and rated R for its re-release a year later.
Mirren fared better in the gangster film The Long Good Friday (1979),
which received strong praise. She followed this performance with a role in the fantasy film Excalibur (1981), which was based on the legend of King Arthur. But it was her role in the film Cal (1984) that landed Mirren her first major film awards: The Cannes Film Festival prize for best actress, and a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award. In 1985, Mirren was cast in White Nights; she worked on the film with director Taylor Hackford, and soon began seeing him off the set. The following year, Mirren appeared in the critically acclaimed Mosquito Coast, followed by another critics' favorite, The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989).
In 1992, Mirren landed her breakthrough TV role as Detective Inspector Jane Tennison in the public television mystery series, Prime Suspect. By the time the show concluded in 2006, Mirren had taken home five BAFTA Awards and several Emmy award nominations for her performance on the show, including a win in 1996 for Outstanding Lead Actress. Mirren continued to shine on stage as well, receiving a Tony award nomination her role in 1995's A Month in the Country, and again in 2002 for Dance of Death, co-starring Sir Ian McKellen.
Mirren's film career was also heating up, and in 1996 she earned her first Academy Award nomination for The Madness of King George, a film that investigates King George III's gradual descent into insanity. Madness also earned Mirren her second Best Actress win at Cannes, and yet another BAFTA award. Mirren continued to star in critically acclaimed film fare, including the British mystery Gosford Park (2001), which led to Mirren's second Academy Award nomination, as well as another Golden Globe nod. Her string of award-winning works also gained notice of Queen Elizabeth and, in 2003, Mirren was invested as a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
In 2007, Mirren finally gained a reputation as an A-List actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen. Her performance landed Mirren her first Oscar, and also earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress. She then nabbed a Golden Globe and Emmy award for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in the HBO movie Elizabeth I.
In 2010, Mirren was nominated for her fourth Academy Award for her turn in the Leo Tolstoy biopic, The Last Station. For the performance, she also earned her first Screen Actors Guild and Independent Spirit awards. Mirren soon tackled a very different type of film —a fast-paced action thriller. In Red (2010), she co-starred with Morgan Freeman and Bruce Willis as a former spy who gets pulled back into the game to help a friend.
Included In These Groups
Best Actress Oscar Winners 68 people in this group
Truth is often more fascinating than fiction. Since the beginning of movies, actors have been portraying figures from history and bringing them to life on screen. Mastering the well-known mannerisms and characteristics of real world figures can be more challenging than portraying a fictional character. Enormous amounts of research and drastic physical transformations are not uncommon for actors wanting to properly inhabit their role on film. Whether playing a scheming Queen, a country singer, a temperamental boxer, or a pioneering writer, those performers who can accurately play the part often find Oscar gold as their reward. Here are the Academy Award-winning actors, and the larger-than-life people they portrayed.
Oscar-Winning Portrayals 70 people in this group
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Real Life Leading Ladies 25 people in this group
presented by Real Life Leading Ladies