|Height:||163 cm (5' 5'')|
|Birth Day:||July 26, 1945|
|Birth Place:||London, England|
|#1||Taylor Hackford||Spouse||$30 Million||N/A||76||Director|
|#2||Liam Neeson||$145 Million||N/A||68||Actor|
|#3||Taylor Hackford||$30 Million||N/A||76||Director|
|Height||Weight||Hair Colour||Eye Colour||Blood Type||Tattoo(s)|
|163 cm (5' 5'')||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
She joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of eighteen.
Mirren was born Helen Lydia Mironoff in 1945 at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital in Hammersmith, London, the daughter of Kathleen "Kitty" Alexandrina Eva Matilda (née Rogers; 1909–1996) and Vasily Petrovich Mironoff (1913–1980). Kathleen was a working-class Englishwoman from West Ham, East London, the 13th of 14 children born to a butcher whose own father had been the butcher to Queen Victoria. Vasily was Russian, taken to Britain at the age of two by his father, Pyotr Vasilievich Mironov. Pyotr, who owned a family estate near Gzhatsk (now Gagarin, Smolensk Oblast), was a member of the Russian aristocracy and a descendant of Mikhail Fedotovich Kamensky, a prominent Russian general in the Napoleonic Wars. He served as a colonel in the Imperial Russian Army and fought in the 1904 Russo-Japanese War. Pyotr later became a diplomat and was negotiating an arms deal in Britain when he and his family were stranded by the Russian Revolution in 1917. The former diplomat settled down in England, and became a London cab driver to support his family.
Vasily also worked as a cab driver and then played the viola with the London Philharmonic Orchestra before the Second World War. During the war, he worked as an ambulance driver and served in the East End of London during the Blitz. He and Kathleen were married in July 1945, and at some point before 1951 he anglicised his name to Basil. After the birth of Helen, Basil left the orchestra and returned to cab driving in order to support the family. He later worked as a driving-test examiner, before becoming a civil servant with the Ministry of Transport. In 1951, Basil changed the family name to Mirren by deed poll.
In 1970, the director/producer John Goldschmidt made a documentary film, Doing Her Own Thing, about Mirren during her time with the Royal Shakespeare Company. The film was made for ATV and shown on the ITV Network in the UK. In 1972 and 1973, Mirren worked with Peter Brook's International Centre for Theatre Research, and joined the group's tour in North Africa and the US, during which they created The Conference of the Birds. She then rejoined the RSC, playing Lady Macbeth at Stratford in 1974 and at the Aldwych Theatre in 1975.
At the West End's Royal Court Theatre in September 1975, she played the role of a rock star named Maggie in Teeth 'n' Smiles, a musical play by David Hare; she reprised the role the following year in a revival of the play at Wyndham's Theatre in May 1976.
Beginning in November 1975, Mirren played in West End repertory with the Lyric Theatre Company as Nina in The Seagull and Ella in Ben Travers's new farce The Bed Before Yesterday ("Mirren is stirringly voluptuous as the Harlowesque good-time girl": Michael Billington, The Guardian). At the RSC in Stratford in 1977, and at the Aldwych the following year, she played a steely Queen Margaret in Terry Hands' production of the three parts of Henry VI, while 1979 saw her 'bursting with grace', and winning acclaim for her performance as Isabella in Peter Gill's production of Measure for Measure at Riverside Studios.
Mirren's other television performances include Cousin Bette (1971); As You Like It (1979); Blue Remembered Hills (1979); The Twilight Zone episode "Dead Woman's Shoes" (1985); The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999), where her performance won her an Emmy; Door to Door (2002); and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (2003). In 1976, she appeared with Laurence Olivier, Alan Bates and Malcolm McDowell in a production of Harold Pinter's The Collection as part of the Laurence Olivier Presents series. She also played Queen Elizabeth I in 2005, in the television serial Elizabeth I, for Channel 4 and HBO, for which she received an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. Mirren won another Emmy Award on 16 September 2007 for her role in Prime Suspect: The Final Act on PBS in the same category as in 2006. Mirren hosted Saturday Night Live on 9 April 2011.
In 1981, she returned to the Royal Court for the London premiere of Brian Friel's Faith Healer. That same year she also won acclaim for her performance in the title role of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi, a production of Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre which was later transferred to The Roundhouse in Chalk Farm, London. Reviewing her portrayal for The Sunday Telegraph, Francis King wrote: "Miss Mirren never leaves it in doubt that even in her absences, this ardent, beautiful woman is the most important character of the story." In her performance as Moll Cutpurse in The Roaring Girl—at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in January 1983, and at the Barbican Theatre in April 1983—she was described as having "swaggered through the action with radiant singularity of purpose, filling in areas of light and shade that even Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker omitted." – Michael Coveney, Financial Times, April 1983.
Sally Beauman reported, in her 1982 history of the RSC, that Mirren—while appearing in Nunn's Macbeth (1974), and in a letter to The Guardian newspaper—had sharply criticised both the National Theatre and the RSC for their lavish production expenditure, declaring it "unnecessary and destructive to the art of the Theatre," and adding, "The realms of truth, emotion and imagination reached for in acting a great play have become more and more remote, often totally unreachable across an abyss of costume and technicalities..." This started a big debate, and led to a question in parliament. There were no discernible repercussions for this rebuke of the RSC.
In 1990, Mirren stated in an interview that she is an atheist. In the August 2011 issue of Esquire magazine, Mirren said, "I am quite spiritual. I believed in fairies when I was a child. I still do sort of believe in the fairies. And the leprechauns. But I don't believe in God."
A further stage breakthrough came in 1994, in an Yvonne Arnaud Theatre production bound for the West End, when Bill Bryden cast her as Natalya Petrovna in Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country. Her co-stars were John Hurt as her aimless lover Rakitin and Joseph Fiennes in only his second professional stage appearance as the cocksure young tutor Belyaev.
Mirren was twice nominated for Broadway's Tony Award as Best Actress (Play): in 1995 for her Broadway debut in A Month in the Country, now directed by Scott Ellis, then again in 2002 for August Strindberg's Dance of Death, co-starring with Sir Ian McKellen, their fraught rehearsal period coinciding with the terrorist attacks on New York on 11 September 2001.
Mirren married the American director Taylor Hackford (her partner since 1986) on 31 December 1997. The ceremony took place at the Ardersier Parish Church near Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. The couple had met on the set of White Nights (1985). It is her first marriage and his third (he has two children from his previous marriages). Mirren has no children and says she has "no maternal instinct whatsoever".
In 1998, Mirren played Cleopatra to Alan Rickman's Antony in Antony and Cleopatra at the National Theatre. The production received poor reviews; The Guardian called it "plodding spectacle rarely informed by powerful passion", while The Daily Telegraph said "the crucial sexual chemistry on which any great production ultimately depends is fatally absent". In 2000 Nicholas Hytner, who had worked with Mirren on the film version of The Madness of King George, cast her as Lady Torrance in his revival of Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending at the Donmar Warehouse in London. Michael Billington, reviewing for The Guardian, described her performance as "an exemplary study of an immigrant woman who has acquired a patina of resilient toughness but who slowly acknowledges her sensuality."
Her biggest critical and commercial success, released in 2001, became Robert Altman's all-star ensemble mystery film Gosford Park. A homage to writer Agatha Christie's whodunit style, the story follows a party of wealthy Britons and an American, and their servants, who gather for a shooting weekend at an English country house, resulting in an unexpected murder. It received multiple awards and nominations, including a second Academy Award nomination and first Screen Actors Guild Award win for Mirren's portrayal of the sternly devoted head servant Mrs. Wilson. Mirren's last film that year was Fred Schepisi's dramedy film Last Orders opposite Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins.
At the National Theatre in November 2003 she again won praise playing Christine Mannon ("defiantly cool, camp and skittish", Evening Standard; "glows with mature sexual allure", Daily Telegraph) in a revival of Eugene O'Neill's Mourning Becomes Electra directed by Howard Davies. "This production was one of the best experiences of my professional life, The play was four and a half hours long, and I have never known that kind of response from an audience ... It was the serendipity of a beautifully cast play, with great design and direction, It will be hard to be in anything better." She played the title role in Jean Racine's Phèdre at the National in 2009, in a production directed by Nicholas Hytner. The production was also staged at the Epidaurus amphitheatre on 11 and 12 July 2009.
In 2003, Mirren starred in Nigel Cole's comedy Calendar Girls, inspired by the true story of a group of Yorkshire women who produced a nude calendar to raise money for Leukaemia Research under the auspices of the Women's Institutes. Mirren initially was reluctant to join the project, dismissing it as another middling British picture, but rethought her decision upon learning of the casting of co-star Julie Walters. The film was generally well received by critics, and grossed $96 million worldwide. In addition, the picture earned Satellite, Golden Globe, and European Film Award nominations for Mirren. Her other film that year was the Showtime television film The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone opposite Olivier Martinez, and Anne Bancroft, based on the 1950 novel of the same title by Tennessee Williams.
She told the Radio Times, "I'm a naturist at heart. I love being on beaches where everyone is naked. Ugly people, beautiful people, old people, whatever. It's so unisexual and so liberating." In 2004, she was named "Naturist of the Year" by British Naturism. She said: "Many thanks to British Naturism for this great honour. I do believe in naturism and am my happiest on a nude beach with people of all ages and races!"
Mirren is known for her role as detective Jane Tennison in the widely viewed Prime Suspect, a multiple award-winning television drama series that was noted for its high quality and popularity. Her portrayal of Tennison won her three consecutive British Academy Television Awards for Best Actress between 1992 and 1994 (making her one of four actors to have received three consecutive BAFTA TV Awards for a role, alongside Robbie Coltrane, Julie Walters and Michael Gambon). Primarily due to Prime Suspect, in 2006 Mirren came 29th on ITV’s poll of TV's 50 Greatest Stars voted by the British public.
In 2007, she claimed director Michael Winner had treated her "like a piece of meat" at a casting call in 1964. Asked about the incident, Winner told The Guardian: "I don't remember asking her to turn around but if I did I wasn't being serious. I was only doing what the [casting] agent asked me – and for this I get reviled! Helen's a lovely person, she's a great actress and I'm a huge fan, but her memory of that moment is a little flawed."
Mirren's autobiography, In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures, was published in the UK by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in September 2007. Reviewing for The Stage, John Thaxter wrote: "Sumptuously illustrated, at first sight it looks like another of those photo albums of the stars. But between the pictures there are almost 200 pages of densely printed text, an unusually frank story of her private and professional life, mainly in the theatre, the words clearly Mirren's own, delivered with forthright candour."
In a GQ interview in 2008, Mirren stated she had been date raped as a student, and had often taken cocaine at parties in her twenties and until the 1980s. She stopped using the drug after reading the (since debunked) tabloid tale that Klaus Barbie made a living from cocaine dealing.
Mirren's next film was the comedy film Arthur, a remake of the 1981 film of the same name, starring Russell Brand in the lead role. Arthur received generally negative reviews from critics, who declared it an "irritating, unnecessary remake." In preparation for her role as a retired Israeli Mossad agent in the film The Debt, Mirren reportedly immersed herself in studies of Hebrew language, Jewish history, and Holocaust writing, including the life of Simon Wiesenthal, while in Israel in 2009 for the filming of some of the movie's scenes. The film is a remake of a 2007 Israeli film of the same name.
In the Queen's 2003 Birthday Honours, Mirren was appointed a Dame (DBE) for services to drama, with investiture taking place at Buckingham Palace in December. In January 2009, Mirren was named on The Times' list of the top 10 British Actresses of all time. The list included Julie Andrews, Helena Bonham Carter, Judi Dench and Audrey Hepburn.
In 2010, Mirren appeared in five films. In Love Ranch, directed by her husband Taylor Hackford, she portrayed Sally Conforte, one half of a married couple who opened the first legal brothel in the US, the Mustang Ranch in Storey County, Nevada. Mirren starred in the principal role of Prospera, the duchess of Milan, in Julie Taymor's The Tempest. This was based on the play of the same name by Shakespeare; Taymor changed the original character's gender to cast Mirren as her lead. While the actor garnered strong reviews for her portrayal, the film itself was largely panned by critics.
On 11 May 2010, Mirren attended the unveiling of her waxwork at Madame Tussauds London. In 2012, Mirren was among the British cultural icons selected by the artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork – the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life that he most admires. In 2010 she was named Sexiest Woman Alive by Esquire magazine, and in a 2011 photo shoot for the magazine she stripped down and then covered up with the Union Jack.
In 2012, Mirren played Alfred Hitchcock's wife Alma Reville in the 2012 biopic Hitchcock, directed by Sacha Gervasi and based on Stephen Rebello's non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. The film centres on the pair's relationship during the making of Psycho, a controversial horror film that became one of the most acclaimed and influential works in the filmmaker's career. It became a moderate arthouse success and garnered a lukewarm critical response from critics, who felt that it suffered from "tonal inconsistency and a lack of truly insightful retrospection." Mirren was universally praised for her play however, with Roger Ebert noting that the film depended most on her portrayal, which he found to be "warm and effective." Her other film that year was The Door, a claustrophobic drama film directed by István Szabó, based on the Hungarian novel of the same name. Set at the height of communist rule in 1960s Hungary, the story of the adaptation centres on the abrasive influence that a mysterious housekeeper wields over her employer and successful novelist, played Martina Gedeck. Mirren found the role "difficult to play" and cited doing it as "one of the hardest things [she has] ever done."
On 15 February 2013, at the West End's Gielgud Theatre she began a turn as Elizabeth II in the World Premiere of Peter Morgan's The Audience. The show was directed by Stephen Daldry. In April she was named best actress at the Olivier Awards for her role.
The following year, Mirren replaced Bette Midler in David Mamet's biographical television film Phil Spector about the American musician. The HBO film focuses on the relationship between Spector and his defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden, played by Mirren, during the first of his two murder trials for the 2003 death of Lana Clarkson in his California mansion. Spector received largely mixed to positive reviews from critics, particularly for Mirren and co-star Al Pacino's performances, and was nominated for eleven Primetime Emmy Awards, also winning Mirren a Screen Actors Guild Award at the 20th awards ceremony. The film drew criticism both from Clarkson's family and friends, who charged that the suicide defense was given more merit than it deserved, and from Spector's wife, who argued that Spector was portrayed as a "foul-mouthed megalomaniac" and a "minotaur". Also in 2013, Mirren voiced the character of Dean Abigail Hardscrabble in Pixar's computer-animated comedy film Monsters University, which grossed $743 million against its estimated budget of $200 million, and reprised her role in the sequel film Red 2. The action comedy received a mixed reviews from film critics, who called it a "lackadaisical sequel", but became another commercial success, making over $140 million worldwide.
In 2013, Mirren was announced as one of several new models for Marks & Spencer's "Womanism" campaign. Subtitled "Britain's leading ladies", the campaign saw Mirren appear alongside British women from various fields, including pop singer Ellie Goulding, double Olympic gold medal-winning boxer Nicola Adams, and writer Monica Ali. In March 2013, The Guardian listed Mirren as one of the 50 best-dressed over 50.
In 2015, Mirren reunited with her former assistant Simon Curtis on Woman in Gold, co-starring Ryan Reynolds. The film was based on the true story of Jewish refugee Maria Altmann, who, together with her young lawyer Randy Schoenberg, fought the Austrian government to be reunited with Gustav Klimt's painting of her aunt, the famous Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. The film received mixed reviews from critics, although Mirren and Reynold's performances were widely praised. A commercial success, Woman in Gold became one of the highest-grossing specialty films of the year. The same year, Mirren appeared in Gavin Hood's thriller Eye in the Sky (2015), in which she played as a military intelligence officer who leads a secret drone mission to capture a terrorist group living in Nairobi, Kenya. Mirren last film that year was Jay Roach's biographical drama Trumbo, co-starring Bryan Cranston and Diane Lane. The actor played Hedda Hopper, the famous actor and gossip columnist, in the film, which received generally positive reviews from critics and garnered her a 14th Golden Globe nomination.
Mirren's only film of 2016 was Collateral Beauty, directed by David Frankel. Co-Starring Will Smith, Keira Knightley, and Kate Winslet, the ensemble drama follows a man who copes with his daughter's death by writing letters to time, death, and love. The film earned largely negative reviews from critics, who called it "well-meaning but fundamentally flawed." In 2017, Mirren narrated Cries from Syria, a documentary film about the Syrian Civil War, directed by Evgeny Afineevsky. Also that year, she made an uncredited cameo appearance in F. Gary Gray's The Fate of the Furious, the eighth instalment in The Fast and the Furious franchise, playing Magdalene, the mother of Owen and Deckard Shaw. Mirren had a larger role in director Paolo Virzì's English-language debut The Leisure Seeker, based on the 2009 novel of the same name. On set, she was reunited with Donald Sutherland with whom she had not worked again since Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1990), portraying a terminally ill couple who escape from their retirement home and take one last cross-country adventure in a vintage van. At the 75th awards ceremony, Mirren received her 15th Golden Globe nomination.
Mirren became a U.S. citizen in 2017 and voted in her first U.S. election in 2020.
In 2018, Mirren portrayed heiress Sarah Winchester in the supernatural horror film Winchester: The House That Ghosts Built, directed by The Spierig Brothers. In the same year, she starred as Mother Ginger in Disney's adaptation of The Nutcracker, titled The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, directed by Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston. In 2019, she appeared in the ensemble film Berlin, I Love You, the French crime thriller film Anna, directed and written by Luc Besson, and co-starred in the Fast and the Furious spin-off Hobbs & Shaw.
Currently, Helen Mirren is 77 years, 6 months and 4 days old. Helen Mirren will celebrate 78th birthday on a Wednesday 26th of July 2023.
Find out about Helen Mirren birthday activities in timeline view here.