Helen Mirren

Actor, Director
From the age of 13, when she played Caliban in a school production of "The Tempest," Helen Mirren knew she wanted to become an actress. Despite her working-class upbringing and her less-than-supportive parents, Mirren ... Read more »
Born: 07/25/1945 in Chiswick, England, GB

Filmography

Actor (125)

Eye in the Sky 2015 (Movie)

Colonel Michelle Madden (Actor)

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver 2015 (Tv Show)

Special Appearance

Late Night with Seth Meyers 2015 (Tv Show)

Guest

Trumbo 2015 (Movie)

Hedda Hopper (Actor)

The Gift (Jam Pictures) 2014 (Movie)

Helen (Actor)

The Hundred-Foot Journey 2014 (Movie)

Madame Mallory (Actor)

Monsters University 2013 (Movie)

Dean Hardscrabble. (Voice)

Phil Spector 2012 - 2013 (TV Show)

Actor

Red 2 2013 (Movie)

Victoria (Actor)

The Graham Norton Show 2010 - 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Hitchcock 2012 (Movie)

Alma Reville (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live: After the Academy Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Actor

The 69th Annual Golden Globes Awards 2011 - 2012 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Door 2012 (Movie)

Emerence (Actor)

Arthur 2011 (Movie)

Hobson (Actor)

Brighton Rock 2011 (Movie)

Ida (Actor)

Saturday Night Live 2011 (Tv Show)

Host

The 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Presenter

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards 2010 - 2011 (TV Show)

Presenter

The Debt 2011 (Movie)

Rachel Singer (Actor)

Arabia 3D 2010 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Love Ranch 2010 (Movie)

Grace Botempo (Actor)

Red 2010 (Movie)

Victoria (Actor)

The 16th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The 64th Annual Tony Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards 2009 - 2010 (TV Show)

Actor

The Late Show With David Letterman 2008, 2010 (Tv Show)

Guest

The Tempest 2010 (Movie)

Prospera (Actor)

Inkheart 2009 (Movie)

Elinor Loredan (Actor)

NT Live: Phèdre 2009 (Movie)

Phèdre (Actor)

State of Play 2009 (Movie)

Cameron Lynne (Actor)

The Last Station 2009 (Movie)

Sofya Andreyevna (Actor)

Countdown To The Emmys 2007 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

The 59th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

The 80th Annual Academy Awards 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Top Gear 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Barbara Walters Oscar Special 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

National Treasure: Book of Secrets 2007 (Movie)

Emily Appleton (Actor)

Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Actor

Yes Madam, Sir 2007 (Movie)

(Narrator)

Elizabeth I 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Shadowboxer 2006 (Movie)

Rose (Actor)

The 58th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

The Queen 2006 (Movie)

The Queen (Actor)

The Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy 2005 (Movie)

Voice of Deep Thought (Actor)

Third Watch 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

Frasier 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Pride 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Voice

Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Raising Helen 2004 (Movie)

Dominique (Actor)

The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The 58th Annual Tony Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The Clearing 2004 (Movie)

Eileen Hayes (Actor)

Calendar Girls 2003 (Movie)

Chris (Actor)

Martha Stewart's Home For the Holidays 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

No Such Thing 2002 (Movie)

The Boss (Actor)

Gosford Park 2001 (Movie)

Mrs Wilson (Actor)

Greenfingers 2001 (Movie)

Georgina Woodhouse (Actor)

Last Orders 2001 (Movie)

Amy (Actor)

The Pledge 2001 (Movie)

Doctor (Actor)

Teaching Mrs. Tingle 1999 (Movie)

Mrs Tingle (Actor)

Tracey Takes On... 1995 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

The 19th Annual CableACE Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

The Prince of Egypt 1998 (Movie)

of the Queen (Voice)

Critical Care 1997 (Movie)

Stella (Actor)

Prime Suspect 5: Errors of Judgement 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Star Trek: 30 Years and Beyond 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Prime Suspect: Inner Circles 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Prime Suspect: The Lost Child 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Prime Suspect: The Scent of Darkness 1995 - 1996 (TV Show)

Actor

Some Mother's Son 1996 (Movie)

Kathleen Quigley (Actor)

Inside the Academy Awards 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

Prime Suspect 3 1993 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

Royal Deceit 1994 (Movie)

Queen Geruth (Actor)

The Hidden Room 1991 - 1994 (TV Show)

Actor

The Madness of King George 1994 (Movie)

Queen Charlotte (Actor)

Dr. Bethune 1993 (Movie)

Frances Penny Bethune (Actor)

Prime Suspect 2 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Hawk 1993 (Movie)

Annie Marsh (Actor)

Prime Suspect 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

Where Angels Fear to Tread 1992 (Movie)

Lilia Herriton (Actor)

People of the Forest: The Chimps of Gombe 1991 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The Comfort of Strangers 1991 (Movie)

Caroline (Actor)

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover 1990 (Movie)

Georgina Spica--Albert Spica's Wife (Actor)

The Siskel & Ebert Special 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Cause Celebre 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

When the Whales Came 1989 (Movie)

Clemmie Jenkins (Actor)

Pascali's Island 1988 (Movie)

Lydia Neuman (Actor)

The Little Mermaid 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Heavenly Pursuits 1986 (Movie)

Ruth Chancellor (Actor)

Invocation Maya Deren 1986 (Movie)

Narration (Narrator)

The Mosquito Coast 1986 (Movie)

Mother (Actor)

White Nights 1985 (Movie)

Galina Ivanova (Actor)

2010 1984 (Movie)

Tanya Kirbuk (Actor)

Cal 1984 (Movie)

Marcella Morton (Actor)

Excalibur 1981 (Movie)

Morgana (Actor)

Hussy 1980 (Movie)

Beaty Simons (Actor)

S.O.S. Titanic 1979 - 1980 (TV Show)

Actor

The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu 1980 (Movie)

Alice Rage (Actor)

As You Like It 1978 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

The Long Good Friday 1979 (Movie)

Victoria (Actor)

Caligula 1978 (Movie)

Caesonia (Actor)

Hamlet 1975 (Movie)

Gertrude (Actor)

Cousin Bette 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

O Lucky Man! 1973 (Movie)

Patricia (Actor)

Savage Messiah 1972 (Movie)

Gosh Smith-Boyle (Actor)

Age of Consent 1970 (Movie)

Cora (Actor)

A Midsummer Night's Dream 1969 (Movie)

Hermia (Actor)

Cary Grant: A Class Apart (TV Show)

Narrator

Door to Door (TV Show)

Actor

Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill (TV Show)

Actor

Losing Chase (TV Show)

Actor

Painted Lady (TV Show)

Actor

Red King, White Knight (TV Show)

Actor

The Jazz Baroness (TV Show)

Voice

The Passion of Ayn Rand (TV Show)

Actor
Director (1)

On the Edge (TV Show)

Director

Biography

From the age of 13, when she played Caliban in a school production of "The Tempest," Helen Mirren knew she wanted to become an actress. Despite her working-class upbringing and her less-than-supportive parents, Mirren emerged to become one of the most celebrated and decorated British actress of her time. With a combination of poise, confidence, intelligence and undeniable sex appeal, Mirren became famous for her challenging performances on stage and screen that often included removing her clothes, a public exhibition that sometimes stood in the way of her work. Nonetheless, Mirren turned in exquisite performances onstage with the Royal Shakespeare Company, before making a name in film and on television. But true stardom eluded her until she landed what became her signature role, playing a police inspector battling sexism and a troubled personal life in "Prime Suspect" (PBS, 1990), a role she returned to with frequency throughout the years. Mirren then reached the top of her game in 2006 when she won a slew of awards - including an Oscar - for her complex portrayal of Elizabeth II in "The Queen" (2006). Not only did Mirren affirm her status as a high-caliber actress, but she proudly relished the renewed attention to her allure, which aroused a new generation of fans accustomed to actresses less than half her age.

Relationships

Taylor Hackford Director

Husband
Met when Hackford cast Mirren in "White Nights" (1985) Married Dec. 31, 1997 in Inverness, Scotland

Alexander Hackford

Step-Son
Born May 15, 1979 to Taylor Hackford and Lynn Littman

Rio Hackford

Step-Son
Born June 28, 1970; to Taylor Hackford and Georie Lowres Hackford

Pyotr Mironov

Grandfather
Russian Paternal grandfather

Basil Mirren

Father
Russian; original surname Mironoff; adapted Mirren as a surname in 1955; played the viola with the London Philharmonic before World War II

Kathleen Mirren

Mother
English

Peter Mirren

Brother
Older

Katherine Mirren

Sister
Younger

Liam Neeson Actor

Companion
Met while making "Excalibur" (1981) Lived together from 1981-85

EDUCATION

International Centre for Theatre Research

Paris 1972 - 1973
Worked with Peter Brook

National Youth Theatre

London , England 1963 - 1964

Royal Shakespeare Company

St Bernard's Convent

Essex

Milestones

2013

Featured in Pixar's "Monsters University"

2013

Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

2013

Starred in the action sequel "Red 2"

2012

Portrayed the filmmaker's wife and longtime creative partner Alma Reville in "Hitchcock"

2011

Played a former Mossad agent in "The Debt"

2011

Played Hobson, the title character's nanny in the remake of "Arthur," opposite Russell Brand

2010

Co-starred with Bruce Willis in "Red," an adaption of the comic book mini-series of the same name

2010

Starred as Prospera in the Julie Taymor directed adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest"

2010

Starred in "Love Ranch," based on the true story of a married couple who opened the first legal brothel in Nevada; her husband Taylor Hackford directed the film

2009

Cast as the ruthless editor of the Washington Globe in the political thriller, "State of Play"

2009

Portrayed Sofya Tolstoy, opposite Christopher Plummer as Leo Tolstoy, in the German biographical film, "The Last Station"; earned Independent Spirit, Golden Globe, SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Actress

2008

Published her memoir, In the Frame

2006

Starred opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. in Lee Daniels' indie film "Shadowboxer"

2006

Offered an award winning performance as the Queen of England in the Channel 4/HBO joint production of "Elizabeth I"

2006

Portrayed Queen Elizabeth II following the tragic death of Diana, Princess Of Wales in "The Queen"

2006

Reprised role of Inspector Jane Tennison in the PBS Masterpiece Theatre miniseries "Prime Suspect: The Final Act"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Movie

2004

Co-starred with Robert Redford and Willem Dafoe in the thriller "The Clearing"

2004

Appeared in the Comedy "Raising Helen" directed by Garry Marshall

2003

Starred in the television feature "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone"; received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie

2003

Starred in "Calender Girls"as one of the women of the Rylstone Women's Institute in North Yorkshire that posed nude in 1999, to raise money for Leukemia; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress

2003

Returned as Inspector Jane Tennison to the PBS Masterpiece Theatre miniseries "Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness''; received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (2004)

2002

Co-starred in the Television movie "Door To Door"; earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie; received an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actress

2002

Cast as a ruthless TV news producer in Hal Hartley's "No Such Thing"

2001

Directed the short, "Happy Birthday" (filmed 2000); aired on Showtime as part of Directed By series in the edition entitled "On the Edge"

2001

Played the efficient housekeeper Mrs. Wilson in Robert Altman's "Gosford Park"; reteamed on screen with Clive Owen and Michael Gambon; earned second Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination

2001

Returned to Broadway opposite Ian McKellen in "The Dance of Death"

2000

Had leading comic role as a gardening expert in the British comedy "Greenfingers"; screened at Cannes; first screen teaming with Clive Owen (released theatrically in the USA in 2001)

2000

Co-starred opposite Stuart Townsend in the Donmar staging of "Orpheus Descending"

1999

Returned to the London stage in "Collected Stories"

1999

Cast as the titular educator in the black comedy "Teaching Mrs. Tingle"

1999

Gave a brilliant star turn in the title role of the Showtime film "The Passion of Ayn Rand"; received second Emmy Award

1998

Starred opposite Alan Rickman in the London stage production of "Antony and Cleopatra"

1998

Voiced the Queen in the animated feature "The Prince of Egypt"

1997

Associate produced and starred as a faded rock singer turned sleuth in the British TV mystery "Painted Lady"; aired on PBS in the USA

1996

First screen credit as associate producer on "Some Mother's Son"; also starred as an Irishwoman whose son is imprisoned for alleged IRA activities

1995

Made Broadway debut in "A Month in the Country"; received a Tony nomination

1994

Played the queen in "Prince of Jutland/Royal Deceit," a drama that purported to tell the "real" story of Hamlet

1994

Received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination playing the loyal queen in "The Madness of King George"; co-starring Nigel Hawthorne and Rupert Everett

1990

Created signature role of Detective Inspector Jane Tennison in the Granada Television drama "Prime Suspect" (aired in USA on PBS in 1991); reprised the role in several series between 1992 and 2006

1990

Co-starred with Rupert Everett in the thriller "The Comfort of Strangers"

1989

Had title role of the cheating spouse of a gangster in Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" opposite Michael Gambon

1988

Acted opposite Ben Kingsley in "Pascali's Island"

1986

Starred opposite Harrison Ford in "The Mosquito Coast"

1985

Met future husband Taylor Hackford when he directed her in "White Nights"

1984

Offered a beautifully nuanced turn as the widow of a British soldier who falls in love with the young Irishman responsible for his death in "Cal"; earned the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival

1984

Cast as a Russian astronaut in "2010"

1983

Played Imogen in the BBC/PBS version of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline"

1983

Had second go as the Egyptian queen in "Antony and Cleopatra" opposite Michael Gambon

1981

Cast as the fairy queen Titania in the BBC/PBS adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

1981

Was featured as Morgana (aka Morgan Le Fey) in John Boorman's "Excalibur"

1979

Played the love interest to Bob Hoskins' gangster in the acclaimed "The Long Good Friday"

1979

Co-starred in the notorious and controversial feature "Caligula"

1978

Had lead role of Rosalind in the BBC/PBS production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It"; part of a series in which all the Bard's plays were performed

1975

Garnered acclaim for her stage performance in "The Sea Gull"

1975

Starred opposite Laurence Olivier, Alan Bates and Malcolm McDowell in British TV adaptation of Harold Pinter's play "The Collection"

1974

Starred opposite Michael Jayston in the thriller "Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill" (ABC); film aired in Great Britain as "Coffin for the Bride"

1973

Appeared in Lindsay Anderson's "O Lucky Man!"

1972

Toured Africa and America with Peter Brook's theater company

1972

Co-starred in Ken Russell's "Savage Messiah" and had title role in film "Miss Julie"

1970

Had supporting role in the BBC production of "Cousin Bette"; aired on PBS' "Masterpiece Theater" in 1972

1968

Offered memorable turn as the unclothed muse for James Mason in "Age of Consent"

1968

Played Hermia in a British TV adaptation of "A Midsummer's Night Dream"; directed by Peter Hall (released theatrically in the USA)

1967

Joined Royal Shakespeare Company

1967

TV debut in BBC production of "Herostradus"

1965

Played Cleopatra at the Old Vic with the National Youth Theater at age 18

Won raves for playing Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth"

Raised in Ilford and Southend-on-Sea, England

Bonus Trivia

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Mirren has a small tatoo on her right hand just above her thumb. "I got it on an Indian reservation after I'd had a few drinks. I'd never have it removed, but I do have to cover it up sometimes." – from New York Newsday, Dec. 28, 1994

.

"Once my ambition was to be a great classical actress. Now I see acting as entertainment." – Mirren quoted in "Comfortable as a Queen or a Cop" by Blake Green in New York Newsday, Dec. 28, 1994

.

"I'm lucky with the culture I come from. There isn't the definition there is in America [where] you're either a film actress or a TV actress or a stage actress. I've literally done film, television, theater – and on a pretty substantial level. I don't think that's possible for American actors to do that." – Mirren quoted by Stephen Schaefer in USAToday, Jan. 4, 1995

.

"When I was about 25, I was really depressed and uptight and f*cked up. I went to a hand reader, this Indian guy in this funky neighborhood. He said, 'The height of your success won't happen till you're in your late forties.' From that moment on, I felt much better, because I realized I didn't want to know what was going to happen. I just wanted to get on with it." – Mirren quoted in Time Out New York, Feb. 6-13, 1997

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"Acting isn't about wearing clothes, It's not about taking them off, either. That's not the creation of your career or the destruction." – Mirren on her penchant for appearing nude quoted in USA Today, Aug. 18, 1999

.

"There are some great film roles and a smaller number of women who are hanging on in there, like me. In fact, when they need someone who looks older, there are even fewer of us who haven't had plastic surgery. There's a difficult period between 44 and 58 when you're no longer a mature, good-looking woman and not yet an old bird, but after that it's fine." – Mirren quoted in London's The Sunday Times, Nov. 7, 1999

.

Asked if she regretted not having children, Mirren told The Guardian (Nov. 15, 1999): "God no. No, never. Absolutely never ever ever. I needed the freedom to do all the things I needed. So no absolutely never."

.

"I'm not a movie star. I'm not even famous. Career – I hate that word. It smacks of ambition. There's something embarrassing and slightly distateful about it to me. Maybe that's a British thing. You're supposed to be humble and dedicated and above all truthful. But you're not supposed to be ambitious." – Mirren quoted in the Daily News, July 22, 2001

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"Greenfingers" and "Gosford Park" co-star Clive Owen on Mirren: "There is a sort of honesty to Helen's work. She's much too straightforward to succumb to any kind of 'like me' acting." – from the Daily News, July 22, 2001

.

"I associate her very strongly with some of the movies that inspired me to become a filmmaker. I felt like I was working with a legend." – Hal Hartley who directed Mirren in "No Such Thing" (2002), quoted in the Daily News, July 22, 2001

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On working with Ian McKellen in "The Dance of Death" (2002) Mirren told Time Out New York (Sep. 13-20, 2001): "We do have two different rhythms, and I think we can learn from each other. He likes to dissect, analyze, pull it apart, and I just want to get out and do it. My fault in life is that I hurtle at things too fast."

.

"I learned my gardening from an old boyfriend. In fact, everything that has made me into a good person, I have learned from men." – Helen Mirren quoted in The Independent, Sept. 20, 2001

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"My great triumph is not falling ass over tit as I came up those stairs." – Mirren, accepting her 2006 Emmy for the HBO miniseries "Elizabeth I"

.

"What people forget is that movie stars in their hearts are unemployed actors, because once in their lives they've – we've – all been the one that nobody wants, who gets turned down for the job and lives in a one-bedroom apartment in wherever." – Mirren to Los Angeles magazine, Feb. 2007

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Mirren was quoted by GQ magazine (September 2008) as saying she used to dabble in marijuana and cocaine when she was younger.

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"I'm pretty damn sure Queen Elizabeth did see ['The Queen']. But they will never tell me. Afterward, she invited me to tea. It was immensely gracious of her." – Mirren quoted in People, Sept. 19, 2011

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