Dame Helen Lydia Mirren, DBE (born 26 July 1945 in Hammersmith, London), is an English actor.
Mirren has won an Academy Award for Best Actress, four BAFTAs, three Golden Globes, four Emmy Awards, and two Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Awards. In 2003, she received a damehood in the Order of the British Empire for services to the performing arts. Mirren began her acting career with the Royal Shakespeare Company in the latter half of the 1960s.
From her very first film appearances (e.g., playing the young muse to a middle-aged artist in 1969's Age of Consent), Mirren displayed the overtly sensual screen persona that would become her trademark. Other early movies included O Lucky Man! (1973), The Long Good Friday (1980) and Excalibur (1981).
During her career, she has portrayed three British queens in different films and television series: Elizabeth I in the television series Elizabeth I (2005), for which she received Emmy and Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress, Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), which won her the Academy and BAFTA Award for Best Actress, and Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in The Madness of King George (1994), for which she earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress. She is the only actress to date to have portrayed both Queens Elizabeth on the screen.
Mirren played the no-nonsense police detective Jane Tennison on the praised ITV series Prime Suspect for a total of seven seasons from 1991 to 2006, and won numerous awards for the role, including BAFTA and Emmy awards. Making her West End stage debut in the 1970s, Mirren returned to the London stage most recently in 2013, playing Queen Elizabeth II for the second time in a play titled The Audience. Mirren was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in January 2013.
In April 2013, she was awarded best actress at the Laurence Olivier Awards for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience. In January 2014, BAFTA announced that Mirren would be the recipient of the Academy Fellowship.
Mirren lived with actor Liam Neeson during the early 1980s. They had met whilst working on Excalibur (1981). Interviewed by James Lipton for Inside the Actors Studio, Neeson said she was instrumental in his getting an agent. Mirren married American director Taylor Hackford (her partner since 1986) on 31 December 1997, his 53rd birthday.
The ceremony took place at the Ardersier Parish Church near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. The couple had met on the set of White Nights. It is her first marriage, and his third (he has two children from his previous marriages). Mirren has no children and says she has "no maternal instinct whatsoever." Mirren's autobiography, In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures, was published in the UK by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in September 2007.
Reviewing for The Stage, John Thaxter wrote: "Sumptuously illustrated, at first sight it looks like another of those photo albums of the stars. But between the pictures there are almost 200 pages of densely printed text, an unusually frank story of her private and professional life, mainly in the theatre, the words clearly Mirren's own, delivered with forthright candour." In 1990, Mirren stated in an interview that she is an atheist.
In the August 2011 issue of Esquire magazine, Mirren said, "I am quite spiritual. I believed in fairies when I was a child. I still do sort of believe in the fairies. And the leprechauns. But I don't believe in God." In a GQ interview in 2008, Mirren stated she had been date raped as a student and had often taken cocaine at parties in her 20s, and until the 1980s. She stopped using the drug after reading the tabloid tale that Klaus Barbie made a living from cocaine dealing.
On 11 May 2010, Mirren attended the unveiling of her waxwork at Madame Tussauds London. The figure reportedly cost £150,000 to make and took four months to complete. Mirren was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in March 2013. In August 2013, Mirren was announced as one of several new models for Marks & Spencer's 'Womanism' campaign.
Source, modified: http://wikipedia.org
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