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Helen Mirren

Real name: Ilynea Lydia Mironoff
Birthdate: July 26, 1945
Status: Married
Partner: Taylor Hackford

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Dame Helen Mirren, DBE, (born on July 26, 1945) is an English stage, television and film actress. She has won an Academy Award, four SAG Awards and assorted BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Emmy Awards during her career.

Her great-great-great-great-grandfather was the Russian field-marshal Mikhail Kamensky, one of the heroes of the Napoleonic wars.

Mirren's mother was from West Ham, London and was the thirteenth of fourteen children born to a butcher whose father had been the butcher to Queen Victoria. Mirren considers her upbringing to have been "very anti-monarchist" , a somewhat ironic statement when considering her choice of acting roles.

A stage career breakthrough came in 1994, in an Yvonne Arnaud Theatre production bound for the West End, when Bill Bryden cast her as Natalya Petrovna in Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country. Her co-stars were John Hurt as her aimless lover Rakitin and Ralph Fiennes in only his second professional stage appearance as the cocksure young tutor Belyaev. "Instead of a bored Natalya fretting the summmer away in dull frocks, Mirren, dazzlingly gowned, is a woman almost wilfully allowing her heart's desire for her son's young tutor to rule her head and wreak domestic havoc....Creamy shoulders bared, she feels free to launch into a gloriously enchanted, dreamily comic self-confession of love." (John Thaxter, Richmond & Twickenham Times, 4 March 1994).

“This production was one of the best experiences of my professional life, The play was four and a half hours long, and I have never known that kind of response from an audience...It was the serendipity of a beautifully cast play, with great design and direction, It will be hard to be in anything better.” (In the Frame, September 2007).

Mirren has made numerous appearances in an array of films. Some of her earlier film appearances include Excalibur, 2010: The Year We Make Contact where she speaks Russian, The Long Good Friday, White Nights and The Mosquito Coast. After those appearances she received roles in Belfast-born director Terry George's film Some Mother's Son, which was about the 1981 Hunger Strikes in Northern Ireland, opposite Irish actress Fionnuala Flanagan, Painted Lady, The Prince of Egypt and The Madness of King George. One of Mirren's other film roles was in Peter Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, as the eponymous thief's wife, opposite Michael Gambon.

At the end of a triumphant year of awards for her acclaimed movie performance as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen, Dame Helen also collected a 2007 Emmy Television award as Best Actress in a Mini-Series for her performance as Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect: The Final Act. She now has four Emmy awards. This seventh and apparently concluding instalment of the Prime Suspect saga portrayed Tennison as an alcoholic destined for retirement, and was screened in the US on the public service network PBS.


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