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Helen Mirren's Biography

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Helen Mirren was born Ilyena Lydia Mironoff on 26 July 1945 in London.

Her father, Basil, formerly Vasiliy Mironov, fled Russia after the 1917 revolution and fought Oswald Mosley's fascists in the streets of London. He became a violinist with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, but according to the BBC's profile of Dame Helen Mirren, "had to revert to driving a taxi to make ends meet".

Helen Mirren has gained critical acclaim as an actress in theatre, film and television.

Helen Mirren was a member of the National Youth Theatre and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in 1967 and has consistently appeared on the stage since. In 2003 Mirren acted in the well-received, Mourning Becomes Electra.

Helen Mirren made her film debut in Herostratus in 1967 which was followed in 1969 with roles in Sir Peter Hall's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Michael Powell's Age of Consent.

Mirren's other films include The Long Good Friday (1979), Cal (1984), The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover (1989), The Madness of King George (1994) and Gosford Park (2001). For her roles in these last two films, Helen Mirren received Oscar nominations. She also received an Emmy for the title role in The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999).

Helen Mirren is well known for her television role as Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison in the occasional TV police drama Prime Suspect, which won BAFTA television awards in 1991 and 1993 for best drama serial.

In 2005 Helen Mirren was cast as Elizabeth I in Channel 4's drama and in 2006 she won an Emmy for best actress in a mini-series/TV movie for the role.

Mirren had already played a different aged Elizabeth in the eponymous 1998 film.

David Starkey wrote in The Radio Times that he thought this role would 'mark her out as a truly great actress'.

In 2006, Dame Helen Mirren continued to play Elizabeth, but this time it was Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frear's low-budget film The Queen.

Helen Mirren's performance as The Queen went down well with critics and she was nominated for the Golden Globes and the Baftas. Dame Helen Mirren also won the best actress award for The Queen at the 12th annual US Critics' Choice Awards.

In a curious coincidence, Helen Mirren won the best actress in a mini-series or film made for TV at the 2007 Golden Globe for her role as Elizabeth I and for best actress for her role as Elizabeth II in The Queen, for which she also won an Oscar and won a BAFTA.

After Dame Helen Mirren was named best actress at the Academy Awards 2007 for her performance in The Queen, it was revealed that the Queen (the real one) had invited her, Stephen Frears and Peter Morgan to Buckingham Palace.

In 2007, Helen Mirren also won the Royal Television Society Award for best female actor, this time for her role in Prime Suspect. Later in 2007, Dame Helen Mirren took the Emmy for best drama actress in a mini-series for the same role.

In 1997 Helen Mirren married Taylor Hackford, whom she met working on White Knights, but has declared:

"I'm very proud of being childless. It's my contribution to world ecology."

Helen Mirren's previous relationships included those with actors Nicol Williamson and Liam Neeson.

Helen Mirren was made a Dame in 2003.

Helen Mirren has a South American Indian sign tattooed on her hand after getting drunk on an Indian reservation in Minnesota.

In 2009, Helen Mirren starred as Globe editor Cameron Lynne in State of Play.

In February 2010, Helen Mirren was nominated for an Oscar for best actress in a leading role for The Last Station.

In June 2012, it was announced that Helen Mirren had been awarded a star on Hollywood's Walk of Fame.

In April 2013, Dame Helen Mirren won the best actress award at the 2013 Laurence Olivier Awards for playing the Queen - this time in The Audience.

In 2015, Dame Helen Mirren appeared in Trumbo, and shortly after she appeared in the film Eye in the Sky.

In 2019, she played the title role in Sky Atlantic's Catherine The Great.

in the same year, she starred in The Good Liar.

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