Helen Mirren life and biography

Helen Mirren picture, image, poster

Helen Mirren biography

Date of birth : 1945-07-26
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Chiswick, West London, England
Nationality : English
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-08-29
Credited as : Actress, The Queen, BAFTA Wards, Academy awards

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Helen Mirren is an English actress. She has won an Academy Award for Best Actress, four SAG Awards, four BAFTAs, three Golden Globes, four Emmy Awards, and two Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Awards.

Mirren was born Helen Lydia Mironoff in Queen Charlotte's Hospital, Chiswick, West London.

Helen Mirren is one of the best known and most respected actresses with an international career that spans stage, screen and television and has won many awards for her powerful and versatile performances, including the Academy Award in 2007 for her performance in The Queen.

Helen began her career playing Cleopatra with the National Youth Theatre. She then appeared in rep in Manchester and from there she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. After four notable years at the RSC Helen took a complete change of direction, when she went to work with renowned director Peter Brook's theatre company Centre de Recherche Théâtral and toured Africa and America. Since then her theatre work has spanned numerous productions in the West End, the Fringe, the RSC, the National Theatre and Broadway in the US including A Month in the Country, for which she received a Tony nomination and The Dance of Death on Broadway opposite Ian McKellan. Her recent productions include Orpheus Descending at the Donmar Warehouse and Mourning Becomes Electra at the National Theatre for which she was nominated for an Olivier Best Actress Award. Her most recent performance was in 2009 at the National Theatre in the title role of Racine's Phèdre directed by Nicholas Hytner. This made history when it became the first theatre production to be seen 'live' in cinemas throughout the world.


Helen's film career began with Michael Powell's Age of Consent and other early work included Caligula, but her breakthrough role came in John Mackenzie's The Long Good Friday. Helen continued to make films throughout the 80s including Excaliber, Cal (Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival), White Nights (directed by Taylor Hackford her husband), Mosquito Coast and in 1989 Peter Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. She earned her first Academy Award nomination for her performance as Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George and her second for her role as the housekeeper in Robert Altman's Gosford Park. Helen's most celebrated role was as Elizabeth 11 in Stephen Frear's The Queen for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress and numerous other awards throughout the world. In recent years, she has starred in Calendar Girls, The Clearing, Shadowboxer and State of Play. Helen's latest release is The Last Station for which she received another Best Actress Academy Award nomination, together with a Golden Globe, SAG and Independent Spirit nominations for her role as Countess Sofya Tolstoy.

Helen's first leading role in television was as Cousin Bette for the BBC in the 70's; other BBC work at that time included The Changeling, The Philanthropist and the outstanding 1979 production of Denis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills. However it was in the award-winning series Prime Suspect as DCI Jane Tennison that Helen became a household name in television. Written by Linda La Plante as a single TV drama it spawned another 4 series in the 90s. Helen reprised the role in 2003 and the final Prime Suspect was released in 2006, bringing this iconic role to its conclusion and for which she won an Emmy for Best Actress. During the intermission' from Prime Suspect Helen starred in a number of award winning US TV productions including Losing Chase, Ayn Rand and The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone. Her most recent television role was in Elizabeth I, in which her performance won her an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Actress

Helen Mirren was appointed a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.

Academy Award Nominations:

Best Actress
2006 : The Queen
2009 : The Last Station

Best Supporting Actress
1994 : The Madness of King George
2001 : Gosford Park


2010 : Love Ranch
2010 : The Debt
2010 : The Tempest
2010 : Brighton Rock
2010 : RED
2010 : Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole
2011 : Arthur

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