Celebs » Helen Mirren » Biography

Helen Mirren

Birthday
26 Jul 1945 (Age 69)
Biography

Birth Name : Illiana Lydia Petrovna Mironova

Nickname : Popper

Her grandfather Piotr Vasilievich Mironoff was a Tsarist (White Russian) 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.

Before marrying director Taylor Hackford in 1997, she had lived with him in Los Angeles since 1986.

Used to work in Southend on Sea; Essex; UK at an amusement park "The Kursaal" as a "blagger" to attract customers on to rides.

Made a DBE (Dame of the British Empire) in the Queen's Birthday Honours, June 2003.

John Boorman said he cast her opposite Nicol Williamson in Excalibur (1981), against both of their protests, because he felt their dislike of each other made them perfect as rivals Morgana and Merlin.

Measurements: 36C-25-36 (starlet days), 38C-26-37 (on "Prime Suspect"-1996), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)

She allegedly refused the C.B.E. (Commander of order of the British Empire) in 1996.

Nominated for Best Actress, Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for her performance of "Orpheus Descending" at the Donmar Warehouse. [2001]

Nominated for Best Actress, Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for her performance in "Mourning Becomes Electra" at the Royal National Theatre: Lyttelton Stage. [2004]

Became an Associate Member of RADA.

Nominated for Best Actress, Tony Award for "Dance of Death" by August Strindberg. [2002]

Despite her Russian birth name and ancestry, she is not fluent in Russian.

Her great-great-great-great-grandfather was field-marshal Kamensky, one of the Russian heroes of the Napoleonic wars.

She is the only actress to play both Queen Elizabeth I (in "Elizabeth I" (2005)) and Queen Elizabeth II (The Queen (2006)).

At the premiere of The Queen (2006) at the Venice Film Festival, her performance received a 5 minute standing ovation.

Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 2004.

Played a Queen a total of six times: The Queen (2006), "Elizabeth I" (2005), The Prince of Egypt (1998), The Snow Queen (1995), The Madness of King George (1994), and Caligola (1979).

Became the third person, after Sigourney Weaver and Joan Plowright, to win two Golden Globes for acting in the same year. The characters she played were both Queens of England, Elizabeth I and Elizabeth II.

She dedicated her BAFTA win for The Queen (2006) (for Best Actress in a Leading Role) to Ian Richardson for playing a huge part in her success story. She said (in her acceptance speech) that Richardson was very supportive towards her when she started out acting, and without him she may not have been so successful. She dedicated this award two days after Richardson died. [2007]

Nominated for Best Actress, Tony Award for "A Month in the Country" by Ivan Turgenev. [1995]

She and her husband Taylor Hackford are both Oscar-winners.

Is fluent in French.

She currently owns a house in Los Angeles, London and the South of France.

According to the April 2007 issue of Architectural Digest, She and her husband have sold their estate in New Orleans, which still remains her favorite American city.

She won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), making her the most recent of eleven actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2007). The other ten actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Jason Robards for playing Benjamin Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000) and Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001/I).

Was voted 2nd in Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year in December 2006.

Won Film Achievement, Greatest Britons.

Won 29 major awards for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), including all the awards that are considered the biggest (except Cannes). She was also nominated for 3 more awards for the same film.

Stepmother of Rio Hackford and Alexander Hackford.

Sister of Peter Basil Mironoff and Katherine Mironoff.

Daughter of Vasily Mironoff and Kathleen Rogers.

Is one of five actresses to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award. The others in chronological order are Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich (2000), Renée Zellweger for Cold Mountain (2003), Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line (2005) and Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006).

Has a tattoo of a star on her left hand, acquired at a Native American reservation in Minnesota.