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Chiswick, London
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Chiswick, London

Famous English actress Helen Mirren. One of the most renowned actors in stage, film, and television, she began her acting career on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She is one of the select few actors who has won the Triple Crown of Acting. She has received Tony, Academy, and Emmy awards. She earned the “Academy Award” for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in the movie “The Queen,” numerous “Emmy Awards” for the television series “Prime Suspect” and “Elizabeth I,” and the “Tony Award” for her subsequent performance as the monarch in the play “The Audience.” Age of Consent, Caligula, Excalibur, Cal, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover, The Madness of King George, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Gosford Park, Calendar Girls, Hitchcock, “Woman in Gold,” “Red” and “Red 2,” and “Collateral Beauty” are a few of her well-known films. ‘In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures’ is an autobiographical book that she has released. She served as one of the faces of Marks & Spencer’s ‘Womanism’ campaign, which also featured prominent British women in various professions.

Early Childhood & Life

In west London’s Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, English mother Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda and Russian father Vasily Petrovich Mironoff gave birth to Helen Lydia Mironoff on July 26, 1945. She had a brother named Peter and an older sister named Katherine.

Her maternal great-grandpa provided meat to Queen Victoria, while her paternal grandfather served as a diplomat for Russia. Her father, a taxi driver who eventually worked for the Ministry of Transport, changed his name to Basil Mirren when she was nine years old, anglicizing the family surname in the process.

While a student at Hamlet Court Primary School in Westcliff-on-Sea, she played the lead role in a school production of “Hansel and Gretel,” and she continued to participate in school plays while attending St. Bernard’s High School for Girls in Southend-on-Sea. She enrolled in London’s New Institution of Speech and Drama, a teaching institution, at her mother’s urging.

Acting Career of Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren, who was 20 years old at the time, had a successful audition for the National Youth Theatre and was cast as Cleopatra in “Antony and Cleopatra” within a few years. She played a number of sexually explicit roles after joining the Royal Shakespeare Company, notably Castiza in “The Revenger’s Tragedy” (1966), Cressida in “Troilus and Cressida” (1968), and Lady Macbeth in “Macbeth” (1974).

In the West End’s Royal Court Theatre production of “Teeth ‘n Smiles” in September 1975 and at Wyndham’s Theatre in May 1976, she portrayed a rock star named Maggie. For her portrayal of the character, she was given the “London critics’ Plays & Players Best Actress” award.

She later received recognition for her performances as Nina in “The Seagull,” Ella in “The Bed before Yesterday,” Queen Margaret in “Henry VI” (1977–78), and the title role in “The Duchess of Malfi” (1980). She also played the parts of Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra (1983), Grace in Faith Healer (1981), Moll Cutpurse in The Roaring Girl (1983), and Marjorie in Extremities (1984).

In an adaptation of Ivan Turgenev’s “A Month in the Country” by the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, she made her Broadway debut as Natalya Petrovna, earning her a Tony Award nomination for “Best Actress.” In 1998, she reprised her role as Cleopatra in “Antony and Cleopatra” at the National Theatre, but the production received mixed reviews.
She received accolades from critics for her performance as Lady Torrance in the 2000 Donmar Warehouse production of Tennessee Williams’ “Orpheus Descending.” She was nominated for a second “Tony Award for Best Actress” in 2002 for her work opposite Sir Ian McKellen as Alice in August Strindberg’s “Dance of Death.”

She received praise from critics later in the decade for her portrayal of Christine Mannon in a revival of Eugene O’Neill’s “Mourning Becomes Electra” in 2002 and for her performance as Phèdre in Jean Racine’s “Phèdre” in 2009. She most recently won the “Olivier Awards” for best actress for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in Peter Morgan’s “The Audience.”

Movie Career of Helen Mirren

‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ in 1968 and ‘Hamlet’ in 1976 were two of the cinematic adaptations of Helen Mirren’s stage performances that she appeared in before breaking into the film industry. Age of Consent, a 1969 adaptation of Norman Lindsay’s semi-autobiographical book of the same name, gave her her first significant cinema role.

She then made an appearance in the 1972 biographical picture Savage Messiah about the life of French sculptor Henri Gaudier-Brzeska. Because of its intense violence and graphic scenes, her 1979 picture “Caligula” received harsh criticism from critics and performed poorly in theaters.

She received accolades for her performances as Morgana in the fantasy movie “Excalibur” (1981) and Victoria in the mobster movie “The Long Good Friday” (1979). For her performance as Marcella in the Irish drama film “Cal” (1984), she later went on to win the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989) and Mosquito Coast (1986) were two of her subsequent critically lauded roles. In the well-received biographical historical comedy-drama movie “The Madness of King George” (1994), she played Queen Charlotte.

She reconnected with her ‘Cal’ co-star John Lynch in 1996 for the true-life-based movie ‘Some Mother’s Son. At the turn of the century, she continued her lucrative cinema career with roles in movies like “Calendar Girls” and “Gosford Park,” for which she received an Oscar nomination.

She earned multiple important honors for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in the fictional drama film “The Queen” (2006), including a “BAFTA,” a “Golden Globe,” and an “Academy Award.”

She recently made appearances in the critically acclaimed ensemble action comedy “Red” (2010), the biopic “Hitchcock” (2012), and the animated movie “Monsters University” (2013).

Career in Television

The detective series “Prime Suspect” (1991–2006) featured Helen Mirren as Detective Inspector Jane Tennison in her most notable television performance. She won multiple honors for the part, including two each of the Golden Globe, Satellite, and Screen Actors Guild awards, three BAFTAs, four Emmys, and four BAFTAs.
She received two awards for her work in the 1999 telefilm “The Passion of Ayn Rand”: the Emmy and the Golden Globe. She also received “Emmys” for her performances in “Prime Suspect: The Final Act” and “Elizabeth I.”

Bigger Works of Helen Mirren

The television character Jane Tennison, played by Helen Mirren, is most remembered for her work on the hit show “Prime Suspect,” which ran for 15 seasons and won Helen Mirren multiple awards.
She won praise from critics for her performances as Queen Elizabeth II in the movie “The Queen” and Elizabeth I in the corresponding TV miniseries.

Personal Legacy & Life

Early in the 1980s, Helen Mirren had a relationship with actor Liam Neeson; however, she later started dating director Taylor Hackford after meeting him on the shooting of “White Nights.” Even though she has two stepchildren from his previous marriages, they do not have any children of their own. They later were married on December 31, 1997.

Helen Mirren’s Net Worth

English actress Dame Helen Mirren has a $100 million fortune. Together, she and her husband, director/producer Taylor Hackford, have a net worth of that amount. Helen Mirren has a long history of accomplishments in theater, film, and television. She has also received two Best Actress prizes at the Cannes Film Festival, four BAFTAs, three Golden Globes, four Emmys, one Tony, and one Academy Award for Best Actress.


Queen Charlotte, Queen Elizabeth II, and Queen Elizabeth I are the three monarchs that Helen Mirren has portrayed in film. Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II were both represented by her, making her the only actor to have done it.