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Also Known As: Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov, Ilyena Vasilievna Mironov, Dame Helen Mirren Died:
Born: July 26, 1945 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Chiswick, England, GB Profession: actor, director

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

From the age of 13, when she played Caliban in a school production of "The Tempest," Helen Mirren knew she wanted to become an actress. Despite her working-class upbringing and her less-than-supportive parents, Mirren emerged to become one of the most celebrated and decorated British actress of her time. With a combination of poise, confidence, intelligence and undeniable sex appeal, Mirren became famous for her challenging performances on stage and screen that often included removing her clothes, a public exhibition that sometimes stood in the way of her work. Nonetheless, Mirren turned in exquisite performances onstage with the Royal Shakespeare Company, before making a name in film and on television. But true stardom eluded her until she landed what became her signature role, playing a police inspector battling sexism and a troubled personal life in "Prime Suspect" (PBS, 1990), a role she returned to with frequency throughout the years. Mirren then reached the top of her game in 2006 when she won a slew of awards - including an Oscar - for her complex portrayal of Elizabeth II in "The Queen" (2006). Not only did Mirren affirm her status as a high-caliber actress, but she proudly relished the...

From the age of 13, when she played Caliban in a school production of "The Tempest," Helen Mirren knew she wanted to become an actress. Despite her working-class upbringing and her less-than-supportive parents, Mirren emerged to become one of the most celebrated and decorated British actress of her time. With a combination of poise, confidence, intelligence and undeniable sex appeal, Mirren became famous for her challenging performances on stage and screen that often included removing her clothes, a public exhibition that sometimes stood in the way of her work. Nonetheless, Mirren turned in exquisite performances onstage with the Royal Shakespeare Company, before making a name in film and on television. But true stardom eluded her until she landed what became her signature role, playing a police inspector battling sexism and a troubled personal life in "Prime Suspect" (PBS, 1990), a role she returned to with frequency throughout the years. Mirren then reached the top of her game in 2006 when she won a slew of awards - including an Oscar - for her complex portrayal of Elizabeth II in "The Queen" (2006). Not only did Mirren affirm her status as a high-caliber actress, but she proudly relished the renewed attention to her allure, which aroused a new generation of fans accustomed to actresses less than half her age.

Born Helen Lydia Mironoff on July 26, 1946 in Chiswick, England, Mirren was raised in Ilford and Southend-on-Sea by her Russian émigré father, Peter, who played the viola with the London Philharmonic prior to World War II and later became a civil servant with the Ministry of Transport, and her mother, Kathleen, a housewife and butcher's daughter. Three generations before Mirren, the Mironoff family were well-heeled Russian aristocrats with strong ties to industry and the military. In fact, her paternal grandfather, Pytor, was a nobleman, diplomat and arms dealer, while his mother was a countess whose family was mentioned in Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace. Mirren, on the other hand, grew up relatively poor with parents who were Communists before the war and despised the British class system for their entire lives. She also had little exposure to the outside world because the family had no television and made no trips to the movies. When she was nine, her father changed the family name, while Mirren and her younger sister, Katherine attended St. Bernard's Convent, a strict environment that was run by nuns who prohibited short skirts, sex education and contact with boys.

Though her freedom was limited, Mirren received a strong education and developed a deep-rooted independence that carried her well throughout life. After graduating, Mirren harbored ambitions to become an actress, but her mother scoffed at the idea. Instead, Mirren joined her sister on scholarship at a teacher's training school in London. But on the sly, she auditioned for and earned a spot with the National Youth Theatre. When she was 18, Mirren was cast as the famed Egyptian queen in William Shakespeare's "Antony and Cleopatra" at London's Old Vic Theatre. By the time she was 20, she was a company member at the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she excelled in her numerous appearances in the Bard's cannon. Though petite and blonde, Mirren exuded confidence and a sultry appeal, leading one journalist to label her as "The Sex Queen of Stratford" for her charged portrayals and her penchant for doffing her clothes, as she did as Cressida in "Troilus and Cressida" (1968) and in her first major film role, "Age of Consent" (1969).

Despite her propensity for baring all on stage and screen, Mirren did carry a degree of embarrassment, which may have been the impetus for seeking physical liberation. In 1972, Mirren took leave from the RSC to do an international tour with Peter Brook's experimental theatre company, with whom she traveled the world and even spent three months performing in African villages. Following a turn as a beautiful bohemian in "O Lucky Man!" (1973), starring Malcolm McDowell, she delivered a searing performance as Lady Macbeth in a 1974 Royal Shakespeare Company production of the Bard's masterwork. She had a breakout performance as the drunken Maggie Frisby in David Hare's musical play, "Teeth 'n' Smiles" (1975), which was staged at London's famed Royal Court Theatre. Also that year, she gave a much ballyhooed performance as Nina in a revival of Anton Chekov's "The Seagull," a role that allowed her to combine her intelligence with her sensuality, which eventually came to be her hallmark. She soon followed with two more acclaimed Shakespeare performances, playing Queen Margaret in "Henry VI" (1977) and Isabella in "Measure for Measure" (1979).

After several years absent, Mirren returned to the big screen for what became perhaps her most notorious film, "Caligula" (1979), a lavish, but abysmal combination of horror and porn disguised as an historical epic that was most famous for the high-profile financing from Penthouse founder Bob Guccione. Despite the graphic violence and sexual content, Mirren managed to bring a measure of grace to her part as Caesonia, the most promiscuous woman in Rome. Meanwhile, Mirren came into her own as a film actress, beginning with her strong turn as the lover of a gangster (Bob Hoskins) in "The Long Good Friday" (1979). She lent an appropriately seductive air to the evil Morgana in "Excalibur" (1981), John Boorman's revisionist take on the Arthurian legend, then returned to her stage roots for a series of appearances in televised Shakespeare plays. Back on the stage, she gave a bravura performance as Moll Cutpurse in "The Roaring Girl" (1983), which was staged at both the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Barbican Theatre in London.

Mirren hit new heights with the politically-themed thriller, "Cal" (1984), turning in a memorable performance as the widow of a British soldier who unwittingly falls in love with the Irishman (John Lynch) responsible for his death. Although she earned the Cannes Film Festival prize as the year's best actress, she failed to garner the same attention when the film was later released in the United States. She had the opportunity to draw upon her heritage as a Russian astronaut in "2010" (1984), then as Mikhail Baryshnikov's lover in "White Nights" (1985) - the latter of which introduced Mirren to director Taylor Hackford, who became her off-screen companion and soon after, her husband. Mirren was formidable as the wife who follows her husband to Central America in Peter Weir's "The Mosquito Coast" (1986), but few saw the film during its theatrical release, despite a headlining Harrison Ford. Continuing to impress on the big screen, she was excellent as a painter who catches the attention of an unscrupulous spy (Ben Kingsley) in "Pascali's Island" (1988), then rounded out the decade with a fine turn as the long-suffering spouse of an abusive criminal (Michael Gambon) in "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" (1989).

In 1990, Mirren discovered her signature role when she was cast as Detective Inspector Jane Tennison in the superb television movie, "Prime Suspect." Tennison was an inspired creation: a middle-aged detective trying and mostly succeeding to make it in a man's world while balancing her sometimes turbulent personal life. The first series proved so popular that Tennison was revived for several more installments over the years. Mirren earned three consecutive BAFTA Awards (1991-93) and several Emmy nominations for the role, including a win in 1996 for Outstanding Lead Actress. During the run of "Prime Suspect," Mirren found herself in high demand, leading to a role as the loyal queen to the increasingly irascible monarch (Nigel Hawthorne) in the film "The Madness of King George" (1994). Her stellar performance netted her a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination in 1994, followed by a win for Best Actress at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. She remained regal for "Royal Deceit/Prince of Jutland" (1994), a drama which purported to tell the story about the true events that inspired Shakespeare's greatest work, "Hamlet."

Moving into the production side, Mirren served as an associate producer on "Some Mother's Sons" (1996), in which she starred as the parent of a man arrested and imprisoned for alleged ties to the IRA. She did the same double duty as associate producer and star on the television drama "Painted Lady" (PBS, 1997), playing a faded rock singer who becomes an amateur sleuth. Rounding out the century, Mirren earned a second Emmy playing the titular philosopher "The Passion of Ayn Rand" (Showtime, 1999) and brought humanity to the titular harridan educator in "Teaching Mrs. Tingle" (1999). Meanwhile, on the big screen, she played a dotty horticulturist in the genial comedy "Greenfingers" (2000), before making her directing debut with "Happy Birthday" (2001), a segment of the Showtime "Directed By" series, "On the Edge." Mirren had two of her best screen roles in 2001, playing the officious housekeeper of an English estate in Robert Altman's excellent upstairs-downstairs drama, "Gosford Park," then as the widow who refuses to accompany her deceased husband's friends as they go to spread his ashes in "Last Orders." The former brought the actress her second Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress.

Mirren next starred in "Georgetown" (CBS, 2002), a well-regarded pilot in which she played a shrewd Washington hostess and newspaper mogul, described as a cross between publisher Katharine Graham and party hostess Pamela Harriman. Unfortunately, the series failed to make the cut for the fall season. Meanwhile, she enjoyed two standout turns in a pair of particularly high-quality television productions, "Door to Door" (2002), playing the mother of the mentally challenged salesman (William H. Macy), and "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone" (2003), playing the failing star whose life is upended by the death of her husband while vacationing in Italy in the telepic inspired by Tennessee Williams' novella. The projects earned her a pair of 2003 Emmy nominations - for Outstanding Supporting Actress and Outstanding Lead Actress, respectively - as well as back-to-back Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Globe nominations as Best Actress in 2003 and 2004. Also in 2003, Mirren had the distinction of being named a Dame of the British Empire in the Queen's Birthday Honours in June of that year.

Back on the big screen, Mirren led the ensemble cast of the sprightly British comedy "Calendar Girls" (2003), inspired by the true story of the Rylstone Women's Institute in North Yorkshire, a group of everyday women who decided to pose nude for their annual calendar to raise funds for Leukemia research, inspiring sales that outdid even the sexiest of celebrity calendars. Even though she was well into her fifties, Mirren managed to drop many jaws when she once again doffed her clothes, proving that sexiness was not exclusive to young women. "[F]or a long time it was very hard for people to see past my physical outward appearance. I was a blond girl with big tits. I hated that image," she once said to The New Yorker. Meanwhile, her strong and sassy performance earned Mirren a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. Mirren next appeared in a small, but scene-stealing role as Dominique, queenly head of a Manhattan modeling agency where Kate Hudson works in "Raising Helen" (2004).

All throughout the 1990s, Mirren continued to divide her time between the stage and screen, making her Broadway debut in "A Month in the Country" (1995), then returning to the London theater in "Collected Stories" (1999) and "Orpheus Descending" (2000). She returned to Broadway opposite Ian McKellen in "Dance of Death" (2001) and received a nomination for a Tony award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play for her role the following year. She was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 2001 for Best Actress for "Orpheus Descending" at the Donmar Warehouse, while her London performance in 2003-04 as the murderous Christine Mannon in "Mourning Becomes Electra" earned a nomination for another Olivier. She returned to the big screen in "The Clearing" (2004), playing the victimized wife of a wealthy executive (Robert Redford) kidnapped by a disgruntled employee (Willem Dafoe), then voiced the supercomputer Deep Thought in the long-awaited, but deeply unsatisfying adaptation of Douglas Adams' comic sci-fi adventure, "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (2005).

After a misstep as an assassin in the dismal noir thriller "Shadowboxer" (2005), Mirren once again displayed her extraordinary poise and talent in "The Queen" (2006), movingly portraying Queen Elizabeth II in a quiet, guarded performance the earned the actress serious Oscar buzz after its release. Set during the crisis that gripped England after the untimely death of Princess Diana, "The Queen" pits Elizabeth against the newly elected Prime Minister Tony Blair (Michael Sheen), who rightly believes that the Queen's isolation and refusal to publicly mourn the People's Princess might threaten to shake up the monarchy, despite it being technically proper for the Royal Family to mourn in private. Ultimately torn between responsibility and emotion; custom and action, the Queen battles Blair both publicly and privately, along the way realizing that she has lost touch with her subjects. Mirren earned critical adulation and recognition across the board for her performance in "The Queen," winning awards from several film and critic associations and a Golden Globe for Best Actress. But her greatest triumph was undoubtedly her first Academy Award, which she earned in 2007 at the age of 60.

In an ironic turn, Mirren next won a Golden Globe for her performance in "Elizabeth I" (HBO, 2006), a widely honored miniseries that depicted the public and personal life of the Virgin Queen during the second half of her rule, focusing on how she coped in a male-dominated world. Meanwhile, Mirren earned a third Golden Globe nomination and won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for "Prime Suspect: The Final Act" (PBS, 2006). The seventh installment of the long-running series found a tired Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison on the verge of retirement and having to contend with the grisly murder of a pregnant 14-year-old girl. After a co-starring role as the mother of treasure hunter Ben Franklin Gates (Nicolas Cage) in "National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets" (2007), Mirren released a memoir, In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures, then co-starred in the children's fantasy, "Inkheart" (2009). Mirren next essayed a tough newspaper editor opposite Russell Crowe in the political thriller "State of Play" (2009) and continued to tackle challenging roles with her portrayal of Sofya Tolstoy, wife of author Leo Tolstoy, in the German-produced biopic, "The Last Station" (2009), for which she would also be nominated for a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild award, an Independent Spirit Award and an Oscar for Best Actress.

The same year found Mirren essaying a feminized Prospera in Julie Taymor's screen production of "The Tempest" (2009), which the tireless actress followed by taking first billing in "The Debt" (2010), a thriller about Israeli agents tracking down a notorious Nazi war criminal. Sticking within the espionage genre, Mirren turned action hero alongside Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich for "RED" (2010), which featured the four stars as a group of former government assassins fighting back against the CIA after they are targeted for elimination. After hosting a 2011 episode of "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ), Mirren had a bit of a misstep when she played the nanny of overgrown man-child Arthur Bach (Russell Brand) in the critically derided remake of "Arthur" (2011). Following a starring role in the Hungarian-made drama "The Door" (2011), Mirren portrayed Alma Reville to Anthony Hopkins' Alfred Hitchcock in the behind-the-scenes showbiz biopic, "Hitchcock" (2012), which delved into the couple's complex relationship during the Master's tumultuous attempt to make "Psycho" (1960). She received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress for her work in the film.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  On the Edge (2001) Director ("Happy Birthday")

CAST: (feature film)

2.
3.
4.
 Red 2 (2013)
5.
 Phil Spector (2013)
6.
 Hitchcock (2012)
7.
 Brighton Rock (2011)
8.
 Arthur (2011)
9.
 Arabia 3D (2010)
10.
 Tempest, The (2010)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Ilford and Southend-on-Sea, England
1965:
Played Cleopatra at the Old Vic with the National Youth Theater at age 18
1967:
Joined Royal Shakespeare Company
1967:
TV debut in BBC production of "Herostradus"
1968:
Played Hermia in a British TV adaptation of "A Midsummer's Night Dream"; directed by Peter Hall (released theatrically in the USA)
1969:
Offered memorable turn as the unclothed muse for James Mason in "Age of Consent"
1971:
Had supporting role in the BBC production of "Cousin Bette"; aired on PBS' "Masterpiece Theater" in 1972
1972:
Toured Africa and America with Peter Brook's theater company
1972:
Co-starred in Ken Russell's "Savage Messiah" and had title role in film "Miss Julie"
1973:
Appeared in Lindsay Anderson's "O Lucky Man!"
1974:
Starred opposite Michael Jayston in the thriller "Kiss Kiss, Kill Kill" (ABC); film aired in Great Britain as "Coffin for the Bride"
:
Won raves for playing Lady Macbeth in "Macbeth"
1975:
Garnered acclaim for her stage performance in "The Sea Gull"
1975:
Starred opposite Laurence Olivier, Alan Bates and Malcolm McDowell in British TV adaptation of Harold Pinter's play "The Collection"
1978:
Had lead role of Rosalind in the BBC/PBS production of Shakespeare's "As You Like It"; part of a series in which all the Bard's plays were performed
1979:
Co-starred in the notorious and controversial feature "Caligula"
1979:
Played the love interest to Bob Hoskins' gangster in the acclaimed "The Long Good Friday"
1981:
Was featured as Morgana (aka Morgan Le Fey) in John Boorman's "Excalibur"
1981:
Cast as the fairy queen Titania in the BBC/PBS adaptation of "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
1983:
Played Imogen in the BBC/PBS version of Shakespeare's "Cymbeline"
1983:
Had second go as the Egyptian queen in "Antony and Cleopatra" opposite Michael Gambon
1984:
Offered a beautifully nuanced turn as the widow of a British soldier who falls in love with the young Irishman responsible for his death in "Cal"; earned the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival
1984:
Cast as a Russian astronaut in "2010"
1985:
Met future husband Taylor Hackford when he directed her in "White Nights"
1986:
Starred opposite Harrison Ford in "The Mosquito Coast"
1988:
Acted opposite Ben Kingsley in "Pascali's Island"
1989:
Had title role of the cheating spouse of a gangster in Peter Greenaway's "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover" opposite Michael Gambon
1990:
Created signature role of Detective Inspector Jane Tennison in the Granada Television drama "Prime Suspect" (aired in USA on PBS in 1991); reprised the role in several series between 1992 and 2006
1990:
Co-starred with Rupert Everett in the thriller "The Comfort of Strangers"
1994:
Played the queen in "Prince of Jutland/Royal Deceit," a drama that purported to tell the "real" story of Hamlet
1994:
Received a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination playing the loyal queen in "The Madness of King George"; co-starring Nigel Hawthorne and Rupert Everett
1995:
Made Broadway debut in "A Month in the Country"; received a Tony nomination
1996:
First screen credit as associate producer on "Some Mother's Son"; also starred as an Irishwoman whose son is imprisoned for alleged IRA activities
1997:
Associate produced and starred as a faded rock singer turned sleuth in the British TV mystery "Painted Lady"; aired on PBS in the USA
1998:
Starred opposite Alan Rickman in the London stage production of "Antony and Cleopatra"
1998:
Voiced the Queen in the animated feature "The Prince of Egypt"
1999:
Gave a brilliant star turn in the title role of the Showtime film "The Passion of Ayn Rand"; received second Emmy Award
1999:
Cast as the titular educator in the black comedy "Teaching Mrs. Tingle"
1999:
Returned to the London stage in "Collected Stories"
2000:
Co-starred opposite Stuart Townsend in the Donmar staging of "Orpheus Descending"
2000:
Had leading comic role as a gardening expert in the British comedy "Greenfingers"; screened at Cannes; first screen teaming with Clive Owen (released theatrically in the USA in 2001)
2001:
Directed the short, "Happy Birthday" (filmed 2000); aired on Showtime as part of <i>Directed By</i> series in the edition entitled "On the Edge"
2001:
Returned to Broadway opposite Ian McKellen in "The Dance of Death"
2001:
Played the efficient housekeeper Mrs. Wilson in Robert Altman's "Gosford Park"; reteamed on screen with Clive Owen and Michael Gambon; earned second Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination
2002:
Cast as a ruthless TV news producer in Hal Hartley's "No Such Thing"
2002:
Co-starred in the Television movie "Door To Door"; earned Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Movie; received an Emmy nomination for Supporting Actress
2003:
Starred in the television feature "The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone"; received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Movie
2003:
Starred in "Calender Girls"as one of the women of the Rylstone Women's Institute in North Yorkshire that posed nude in 1999, to raise money for Leukemia; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress
2003:
Returned as Inspector Jane Tennison to the PBS Masterpiece Theatre miniseries "Prime Suspect 6: The Last Witness''; received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Miniseries or Movie (2004)
2004:
Appeared in the Comedy "Raising Helen" directed by Garry Marshall
2004:
Co-starred with Robert Redford and Willem Dafoe in the thriller "The Clearing"
2006:
Starred opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. in Lee Daniels' indie film "Shadowboxer"
2006:
Reprised role of Inspector Jane Tennison in the PBS Masterpiece Theatre miniseries "Prime Suspect: The Final Act"; received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Movie
2006:
Offered an award winning performance as the Queen of England in the Channel 4/HBO joint production of "Elizabeth I"
2006:
Portrayed Queen Elizabeth II following the tragic death of Diana, Princess Of Wales in "The Queen"
2008:
Published her memoir, <i>In the Frame</i>
2009:
Cast as the ruthless editor of the <i>Washington Globe</i> in the political thriller, "State of Play"
2009:
Portrayed Sofya Tolstoy, opposite Christopher Plummer as Leo Tolstoy, in the German biographical film, "The Last Station"; earned Independent Spirit, Golden Globe, SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Actress
2010:
Starred in "Love Ranch," based on the true story of a married couple who opened the first legal brothel in Nevada; her husband Taylor Hackford directed the film
2010:
Co-starred with Bruce Willis in "Red," an adaption of the comic book mini-series of the same name
2010:
Starred as Prospera in the Julie Taymor directed adaptation of Shakespeare's "The Tempest"
2011:
Played Hobson, the title character's nanny in the remake of "Arthur," opposite Russell Brand
2011:
Played a former Mossad agent in "The Debt"
2012:
Portrayed the filmmaker's wife and longtime creative partner Alma Reville in "Hitchcock"
2013:
Received star on Hollywood Walk of Fame
2013:
Featured in Pixar's "Monsters University"
2013:
Starred in the action sequel "Red 2"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

St Bernard's Convent: -
Royal Shakespeare Company: -
National Youth Theatre: London , England - 1963 - 1964
International Centre for Theatre Research: - 1972 - 1973

Notes

Mirren has a small tatoo on her right hand just above her thumb. "I got it on an Indian reservation after I'd had a few drinks. I'd never have it removed, but I do have to cover it up sometimes." --From New York Newsday, December 28, 1994.

"Once my ambition was to be a great classical actress. Now I see acting as entertainment." --Mirren quoted in "Comfortable as a Queen or a Cop" by Blake Green in New York Newsday, December 28, 1994.

"I'm lucky with the culture I come from. There isn't the definition there is in America [where] you're either a film actress or a TV actress or a stage actress. ... I've literally done film, television, theater--and on a pretty substantial level. I don't think that's possible for American actors to do that." --Mirren quoted by Stephen Schaefer in USA Today, January 4, 1995.

"When I was about 25, I was really depressed and uptight and fucked up. I went to a hand reader, this Indian guy in this funky neighborhood. He said, 'The height of your success won't happen till you're in your late forties.' From that moment on, I felt much better, because I realized I didn't want to know what was going to happen. I just wanted to get on with it." --Helen Mirred quoted in Time Out New York, February 6-13, 1997.

"Acting isn't about wearing clothes, It's not about taking them off, either. That's not the creation of your career or the destruction." --Mirren on her penchant for appearing nude quoted in USA Today, August 18, 1999.

"The biggest break of my career was playing Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect. It allowed me finally to step forward to the next generation, to catch up with who I really was. It was a huge relief not to have to play even one year younger.

" ... there are some great film roles and a smaller number of women who are hanging on in there, like me. In fact, when they need someone who looks older, there are even fewer of us who haven't had plastic surgery. There's a difficult period between 44 and 58 when you're no longer a mature, good-looking woman and not yet an old bird, but after that it's fine." --Mirren quoted in London's The Sunday Times, November 7, 1999.

Asked if she regretted not having children, Mirren told The Guardian (November 15, 1999): "... God no. No, never. Absolutely never ever ever. I needed the freedom to do all the things I needed. So no absolutely never."

"I'm not a movie star. I'm not even famous. ... Career -- I hate that word. It smacks of ambition. There's something embarrassing and slightly distateful about it to me. Maybe that's a British thing. You're supposed to be humble and dedicated and above all truthful. But you're not supposed to be ambitious." --Helen Mirren quoted in the Daily News, July 22, 2001.

"Greenfingers" and "Gosford Park" co-star Clive Owen on Mirren: "There is a sort of honesty to Helen's work. She's much too straightforward to succumb to any kind of 'like me' acting." --From Daily News, July 22, 2001.

"I associate her very strongly with some of the movies that inspired me to become a filmmaker. I felt like I was working with a legend." --Hal Hartley who directed Mirren in "No Such Thing" (2002), quoted in the Daily News, July 22, 2001.

"Mirren always has a private moment with the camera, a moment in which we see beneath the harassed, brisk manner, exactly what she's thinking and feeling. She sets the emotional and moral values. And we accept what we learn from her because she's always a three-dimensional person, hurt and hurting, strong yet easily angered. Maturity has never looked so ripe, so sexual--and so intellectually focused at the same time." --Critic David Denby in "Guilty Pleasure"

On working with Ian McKellen in "The Dance of Death", Mirren told Time Out New York (September 13-20, 2001): "We do have two different rhythms, and I think we can learn from each other. He likes to dissect, analyze, pull it apart, and I just want to get out and do it. My fault in life is that I hurtle at things too fast."

"I learnt my gardening from an old boyfriend. In fact, everything that has made me into a good person, I have learnt from men." --Helen Mirren quoted in The Independent, September 20, 2001.

Companions close complete companion listing

companion:
Liam Neeson. Actor. Together c. 1981-83; met during filming of "Excalibur".
husband:
Taylor Hackford. Director, producer. Together since 1984; married on December 31, 1997 in Inverness, Scotland; had been married and divorced twice with a son from each marriage.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Basil Mirren. Taxi driver. Russian; original surname Mironoff; adapted Mirren as surname in 1955.
brother:
Peter Mirren. Teacher. Older.
sister:
Katherine Mirren. Teacher. Younger.
step-son:
Rio Hackford. Jewelry designer. Born on June 28, 1970; mother, Georie Lowres Hackford.
step-son:
Alexander Hackford. Born on May 15, 1979; mother, Lynn Littman.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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