helen mirren biog.




British Actress
(b. 1945)




mirren




Date of Birth
26 July 1945, Chiswick, London, England, UK



Biography:

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    I would consider Helen Mirren (b. Illiana Lydia Petrovna Mironovato) to be a good and competent actress rather than a great one. For sure, the mega international fame of late that culminated in the Oscar win for Best Actress for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), is an eye opener. But just how hard is it to play the Queen? It is hardly the most demanding of roles and yet Mirren was lavished with nearly 30 major acting awards!

    I would hazard a guess that the Oscar was reward (ample, in my opinion) for a career that up to then had been solid but hardly spectacular. But I could name many actresses who have moved me more than Mirren.

    Another thing that irritates me is why do the rich and famous really need yet more from society in terms of titles? Isn't the money and the mansions enough? When Mirren accepted the DBE (Dame of the British Empire) in 2003 she was joining a group of thespians that is really overpopulated. It goes without saying that there are millions of people more deserving of these titles (the selfless nurse who nursed your mother; the soldier who would exchange his life for his country): putting a bit of make-up on and saying a few lines shouldn't mean automatic inclusion to the land of titles no matter what charitable work is involved. I mean Sir Donald Sinden, really! Good actor but come on, a knighthood?

    Why did Mirren accept it? I would have thought that an actress needs to keep her identity anonymous so that she can absorb herself completely into a role. A title gets in the way of that because it is a Dame playing the part of, I don't know, the ageing stripper or the working class mother.

    There is no denying that Mirren has made the most out of what she's got. The question is: does what's she got deserve so much?

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    She was born Ilyena Lydia Mironoff on 26 July 1945 in Chiswick, London. Her father 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".

    mirren

    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 she acted in the well-received, Mourning Becomes Electra.

    Her film debut was 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. 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, she received Oscar nominations. She also received an Emmy for the title role in The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999).

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

    In 2006, Mirren played Queen Elizabeth II in Stephen Frear The Queen. Her performance as The Queen went down well with critics and she was nominated for the Golden Globes and the Baftas. The Dame also won the best actress award for The Queen at the 12th annual US Critics' Choice Awards.

    She also 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 she was named Best Actress at the Academy Awards 2007 for her performance in The Queen, it was revealed that The Queen had invited her, Stephen Frears and Peter Morgan to Buckingham Palace.

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


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    mirren


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    Trivia:

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    Height 5' 4"

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

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    Grandfather Piotr Vasilievich Mironoff was a Tsarist aristocrat who was in London negotiating an arms deal for the World War I when the 1917 Russian Revolution stranded him there. His wife and son (Helen's father) joined him in London.

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    Knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours, June 2003. Compared to his generation of actors with similar global fame his was well overdue

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    Made a Dame in 2003

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    In 1997 Helen Mirren married Taylor Hackford, but has declared: "I'm very proud of being childless. It's my contribution to world ecology."

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    Not fluent in Russian

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    Gallery:

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