Helena Bonham Carter
Real name: Helena Bonham Carter
Birthdate: May 26, 1966
Partner: Tim Burton
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Helena Bonham Carter (born May 26, 1966) is an Academy Award-nominated English actress, known for her roles in the films A Room with a View, Howards End, and Fight Club.
Helena Bonham Carter's maternal ancestors were all originally Jewish and converted to Catholicism at different times. Her maternal grandfather, Eduardo Propper de Callejón, was Spanish and served as a diplomat and former Minister-Counsellor at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Bonham Carter's maternal grandmother, Hélène Fould-Springer (who converted to Catholicism at marriage), was the daughter of Baron Eugene Fould, a French-born banker, and Mitzi Springer, whose father was the industrialist Baron Gustav Springer. Her sister was the French philanthropist Liliane de Rothschild (1916–2003), the wife of Baron Elie de Rothschild.
Bonham Carter has two brothers, Edward and Thomas. Her father, who became ill when she was 10, suffered a stroke during an operation to remove a benign brain tumour, and was subsequently confined to a wheelchair. Bonham Carter was educated at the South Hampstead High School, a girls' independent school in Hampstead, London and later at Westminster School, a co-educational independent school near Parliament (Palace of Westminster).
Bonham Carter's launch into the world of acting came in 1979, when she won a national writing contest and used the money won to pay for her entry into the actor's directory, "Spotlight". She made her professional acting début at the age of 16, in a television commercial. She also had a part in a minor TV film A Pattern of Roses (1983). Her first starring film role was in Lady Jane (1984, released 1986) which had mixed reviews. Her breakthrough performance was in the role of Lucy Honeychurch in A Room with a View (1985, released 1986) which was filmed after Lady Jane, but released first. Bonham Carter also appeared in episodes of "Miami Vice" as Don Johnson's love interest during the 1986-87 season.
These early films led to her being typecast as a "corset queen", and "English rose", playing pre- and early 20th century characters, particularly in Merchant-Ivory films. She eventually expanded her range, and now has a high profile for more recent films such as Fight Club, Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride and Big Fish, and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. She also speaks French fluently, starring in a 1996 French film Portraits chinois. In August 2001, she was featured in Maxim magazine. Bonham Carter was a member of the jury at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. Controversially, they unanimously selected The Wind That Shakes the Barley as the best film.
Bonham Carter was in a relationship with actor Kenneth Branagh (with whom she appeared in several films) from 1994 to the summer of 1999. She then briefly dated actors Rufus Sewell and Steve Martin. In October 2001, she began her current relationship with director Tim Burton, whom she met while filming Planet of the Apes, and she has appeared in all of his subsequent films. They live in adjoining houses with a hallway that connects the two homes, they have a son, Billy-Ray Burton, born on October 4, 2003, and they are expecting their second child in December 2007.