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Helen Mirren at the Orange British Academy Film Awards
Helen Mirren

Dame Helen Lydia Mirren DBE (born Helen Lydia Mironoff; 26 July 1945) is an English actor active in theatre, movie and television.

Early life

Mirren was born in Chiswick, Middlesex, England, to a Russian father and an English mother, she was raised in Essex.


She began her acting career in 1963 with the National Youth Theatre, later joining the Royal Shakespeare Company. She has since then appeared with several theatre companies in a wide variety of roles. She is widely regarded as one of the greatest British actresses of all time.

She began appearing in movies while still very young but did not really attract attention until the late 1970s. Her movies include: Caligula (1979), The Long Good Friday (1980), Excalibur (1981), Cal (1981), White Nights (1985), Pascali's Island (1988), The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989), The Madness of King George (1994), Gosford Park (2001), and The Queen in 2007, for which she won the Academy Award for best actress, and several other awards (Golden Globe, BAFTA, etc.).

Mirren has also appeared in several series on television, notably as Inspector Jane Tennison in the Prime Suspect series, she was also acclaimed as Queen Elizabeth I in the series Elizabeth I (2006).

Personal life

Mirren is an atheist. She has no children. She began a relationship with Taylor Hackford in 1986. The couple married in 1997.

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