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Dame Helen Mirren turns 65

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Jul 26, 2010 | 5:00am EDT

Oscar winner, stage veteran, tough TV cop, Britain's beloved monarch - Dame Helen Mirren has proved she fits perfectly into any role, and she's still sexy at 65.

Born in London in 1945, Mirren joined the National Youth Theatre at 18 and went on to grace the stage at the renowned Royal Shakespeare Company.

Famous for playing a buxom beauty who wasn't afraid to bare all on camera, she went from arthouse to the mainstream after landing the role of detective Jane Tennison in British TV hit series Prime Suspect.

She has won an Oscar for her role as Queen Elizabeth II, four BAFTAS, three Golden Globes and four Emmys, as well as a legion of fans around the world - becoming one of the most sought after stars as she entered her sixth decade.

And to celebrate such a legend, we have dug deep into her colourful past to uncover 10 fascinating facts about Britain's sauciest Dame. All Hail Helen!

- Dame Helen was chosen as one of People Magazine's annual 100 Most Beautiful People in the World in 2007.

- She is only one of three actresses to win two Golden Globes for acting in the same year. Joan Plowright and Sigourney Weaver are the other two.

- Dame Helen has portrayed an English Queen three times; Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George, Elizabeth I in Elizabeth I, and Elizabeth II in The Queen. She has also played monarchs in The Prince of Egypt, The Snow Queen and Caligula.

- She was voted the world's sexiest older woman in 2007.

- She can speak fluent French.

- Her real name is Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov. Her father changed the family name to help them fit in with London life.

- She has a fansite dedicated to her, called The Helen Mirren Appreciation Society.

- Dame Helen documented her life in a picture book, released in 2008.

- She plays an unfaithful brothel owner in her latest movie Love Ranch, which was directed by her real-life husband Taylor Hackford. It's only the second time Hackford has directed Mirren - he was the man behind the lens for 1985 film White Nights.

- Her first acting credit on imdb.com is listed as Herostratus in 1967.

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