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Helen Mirren Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (46) | Personal Quotes (45)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 26 July 1945Chiswick, London, England, UK
Birth NameIlyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironoff
Nickname Popper
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Dame Helen Mirren was born in Queen Charlote Hospital, in North London to Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda Rogers and Vasiliy Petrovich Mironov. Mirren attended St. Bernards High School for girls, where she would act in school productions. After high school, she began her acting career in theatre working in many titles, all the way up to Broadway.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Aidanmacv

Spouse (1)

Taylor Hackford (31 December 1997 - present)

Trivia (46)

Her grandfather, Piotr Vasilievich Mironoff, was a Tsarist (White Russian) aristocrat who was in London negotiating an arms deal during World War I when the 1917 Russian Revolution stranded him there. His wife and son (Helen's father) joined him in London. On her mother's side, she is of English descent.
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.
She was awarded the Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to drama.
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.
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.
Nominated for Best Actress, Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for her performance in "Mourning Becomes Electra" at the Royal National Theatre: Lyttelton Stage.
Became an Associate Member of RADA.
Nominated for Best Actress, Tony Award for "Dance of Death" by August Strindberg.
Despite her Russian birth name and ancestry, she does not speak Russian, but is fluent in French.
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 Caligula (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, Queen Elizabeth I and Queen 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.
Nominated for Best Actress, Tony Award for "A Month in the Country" by Ivan Turgenev.
She and her husband Taylor Hackford are both Oscar-winners.
She owns houses 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 12 actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2007).
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 Alex Hackford.
Sister of Peter Basil Mironoff and Katherine Mironoff.
Daughter of Vasily Mironoff and Kathleen Rogers.
Is one of 9 actresses to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Critics' Choice 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), Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006), Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008), Mo'Nique for Precious (2009), Natalie Portman for Black Swan (2010) and Octavia Spencer for The Help (2011).
Has a tattoo of a star on her left hand, acquired at a Native American reservation in Minnesota.
Met husband-to-be Taylor Hackford when he directed her in White Nights (1985). When the couple married in the Scottish Highlands, Hackford was dressed in a traditional Scottish tartan kilt.
According to an article in People Weekly (November 3, 1980) her tattoo is an American Indian symbol meaning "equal but opposite".
Nominated for the 2002 Tony Award (New York City) for Actress in a Drama for "Dance of Death".
Was in consideration for the part of Sarah/Anna in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) but Meryl Streep, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead.
Plays Prospero (now Prospera) in The Tempest (2010), and Hobson in Arthur (2011). Both roles were originally written for a man, and had in fact previously been played by John Gielgud. Both films also cast her opposite Russell Brand.
Placed her hand and footprint in cement in front of Graumann Chinese theatre on March 28, 2011.
Dated Liam Neeson in 1980 whom she met on the set of Excalibur (1981).
Was presented the 2,488th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame accompanied by her husband Taylor Hackford, two stepsons and Phil Spector (2013) director David Mamet (January 3, 2013).
The longest she has gone without an Oscar nomination is 7 years, between The Madness of King George (1994) and Gosford Park (2001).
Won Olivier's Award as Best Actress, for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in "The Audition" (2013).
She named Anna Magnani as her acting idol.
She was awarded the Plays and Players London Theatre Critics Award as Best Actress for her roles in 'Teeth 'n' Smiles' and 'The Seagull' (1975).
She was awarded the Outer Critics Circle for Outstanding Debut of an Actress for her role in 'A Month in the Country' (1995).
Winner of the Volpi Cup as Best Actress for her role in the forthcoming The Queen (2006) at the 63rd Venice Film Festival. [September 2006]
Release of her book, "In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures". [March 2008]

Personal Quotes (45)

[About herself] Being famous for being cool about not being gorgeous.
The trick in life is learning how to deal with it.
[About the Academy Awards] It's the creme-de-la-creme of bulls**t.
Actors are rogues and vagabonds. Or they ought to be. I can't stand it when they behave like solicitors from Penge. I'm a would-be rebel. The good girl who'd like to be a bad one.
All you have to do is to look like crap on film and everyone thinks you're a brilliant actress. Actually, all you've done is look like crap.
Flesh sells. People don't want to see pictures of churches. They want to see naked bodies.
[on becoming Dame Helen Mirren in 2003] In England, it's a big deal. I do feel it's a great honor. But I had to think about it quite seriously for a couple of weeks. It does sort of squash you into the establishment thing. In the end, my baser feelings got the better of me. I succumbed to pride.
[In 2006] Being me right now is sort of amazing.
[Part of her BAFTA acceptance speech, BAFTA Film Awards, 2007] This is great. What an honor, especially to be nominated - just to be nominated - amongst those incredible powerhouse performances this year from women. - I applaud them. I think they were absolutely fantastic. Write more roles for us like that please.
[on Ian Richardson, BAFTA Film Awards, 2007] Many years ago, when I started off as an actress, I had the immense good fortune to work with an actor that was so generous at sharing his craft - He became a mentor to me, he helped me believe in myself. Ian Richardson, I'm not too sure I would be here today if it wasn't for you.
[on her role in National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)] I get half-drowned, jump across an abyss and fly. I loved every minute of it. Getting attached to wires and flying was the most glorious feeling. It's a lot easier than acting!
[on not having children] No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I am so happy that I didn't have children. Well, you know, because I've had freedom.
[on the participation of celebrities in social movements] I've been involved with Oxfam on the proliferation of the illegal sale of small arms throughout the world, which is causing such, such devastation. The only way you can sometimes garner attention is by sending someone like me as a front person.
There's nothing sexy about doing a nude scene. It's rather uncomfortable. I like dressing up rather than dressing down.
[on filming Love Ranch (2010) with husband Taylor Hackford] Funnily enough, the older prostitutes are the most popular, because the guys think they're user-friendly. They're comfortable with them, so they don't feel intimidated. And guys who go to brothels are not the most successful guys in the world sexually, so that's what they need. It's all about not being intimidated.
[About working with husband Taylor Hackford] Working with him, I have to say, wasn't easy. My husband in work mode is not the easiest of people, although a lot of people adore working with him. But because I have the emotional connection with him, I would get upset if he was shouting - not at me, but at someone else, demanding something. I would be seeing it from their point of view. I would find myself rushing around trying to mop up after him. But I love the fact that he got the film together and he created a wonderful role for me. But husbands and wives don't need to work together. We are professional people in our own worlds. There's nothing I love more than going to my husband's set and being his wife. But this, it mixes the roles up. It either gets too cozy, which is not a good thing, because it's not very creative. Or it gets the opposite . . . He didn't make me cry, but he made me very cross.
I was never going to be anyone's mum or grandmother. But I can dig that beautiful earth-mother thing, feeding the masses. I'm thinking of Nigella Lawson. Does she have children? She does. Do you know what I mean? She's sort of gorgeously fertile. That's sexy.
I actually won my first Golden Globe for something called Losing Chase (1996). Kyra Sedgwick and me fell in love with each other, and it was a lovely piece about women loving women. In my heart of hearts I love women more than I love men. I mean sexuality aside - I'm heterosexual. I guess I'm heterosexual. I loved my friend I had at college because there was a sense of camaraderie and physical closeness that doesn't have to be sexual.
[on asking to be interviewed by male rather than female journalists]: ...I prefer male journalists because there's a streak of female journalism - the bitches - who are mean-spirited and nasty because you are another woman and want to make you feel crap. It's very upsetting. I'm more careful when I'm being interviewed by a woman because, from experience as well as reading articles about other women, I know there is a little stiletto knife hidden behind the back.
No, I am not confrontational at all. I met a great guy, then another great guy, and had a series of fantastic relationships with nice men. [And that healed me.] Until that point I was thinking men were horrible; they were boring, boorish, vulgar, selfish and arrogant. Then I met a guy who was funny and lovely to me and I loved him. That was Ken, my first boyfriend. I learnt from wonderful men, wonderful relationships. They gave me support, made me feel good and made me laugh. Now I think men are absolutely great.
As you get older, naked stuff gets easier. It's more to do with the role than what men in the audience think. There's a liberation about it.
[on playing Sofya Tolstoy in The Last Station (2009)] The most telling line that Sofya has is when she says, "Why should it be easy? You are the work of my life and I am the work of yours. That's what love is". I think that's a brilliant description. Because it is work. And you go through all different mountains and valleys in a marriage.
My poshed-over voice was learnt and assimilated. I was an Essex girl.
You can't ask people: "Did you cast me in this because I won an Oscar?" They'd always deny it: "No! No! We would've had you anyway!" Liars!
I didn't cry when I got my Oscar [for The Queen (2006)], but I cried then [when applauded by baggage handlers at Heathrow Airport]. I had my Oscar in my bag, so I got it out. I was shameless, but they loved it.
[on going to the Oscars] Oh, it's such a palaver! It's like a day's work. You have to decide what you're going to wear. You put on your costume. You do your performance. It's exhausting. And if you win, everyone wants a piece of you. Of course, it's the mother ship of all ceremonies. And it's a fantastic, wonderful, carnival that you just can't resist. You jump aboard the roundabout, get whizzed round until you're vaguely nauseous and stagger off happily at the end, back to reality.
I don't mind being sexy, but on my terms. To this day, I love sexuality. I love the art of sexuality. I love Lady Gaga and the performance of sexuality. The mysterious, the artistic and the slightly perverse. I'm interested in all that.
[on a 1970s interview with Michael Parkinson] Your jaw is on the floor watching it. He has always denied that it was sexist, but it was.
[on her sexy image in the '70s] In my mind I was a serious actress. But the men in that era got away with such sexist crap. It was constant. They were pushing me into being Barbara Windsor, that sort of "Carry On" type. And it wasn't because of my beauty. I was never beautiful. It was because of these [breasts]! I remember doing a photo shoot for the play "Teeth and Smiles" [1975]. And this arsehole photographer was saying, "Cross your legs and lean down, dear! Because he wanted these [pointing to her breasts.]
I was with my husband for years before we got married. It's nice to be married. I love it. And that took me by surprise. But there's really no essential difference to not being married.
This is no bullshit: the reason I'm still with Taylor Hackford after all these years [they married in 1997, but have lived together since 1986] is because he supports me in my work, he's proud of my successes and he's sympathetic if things aren't successful. If they aren't, he'll say, 'F*** 'em darling! You were great.' And I do likewise.
[on filming Red (2010)] I should be going to the gym now but I just don't want to do it. I don't do anything like that regularly at all. But because I'm filming, I should.
I'm not by nature a supporter of the Conservatives [Party], but then the Conservatives are not what the Conservatives used to be. Except they are a bit, aren't they? They're all just bloody public schoolboys!
[on seeing an amateur production of "Hamlet" at age 13] I was blown away by all this over-the-top drama. We grew up without TV and never went to the cinema, so after "Hamlet" all I wanted to do was get back into that world where all those fabulous things were possible.
It's nice to look back and remember, and to think, "Wow! I've had a fantastic life, it's been brilliant!" Or else you think, "Oh, thank God that's all over!"
I try not to think of my own mortality, but that as I gets older it gets darker, there is no question about that. You just say: 'It's going to happen and it's going to happen to everybody'.
[on 'Lady GaGa'] I love the way she's elevated pop to performance art, or dragged performance art down to pop, or maybe made a wonderful amalgam of the two.
[on performing in television versus onstage] Theatre is more tiring, demanding, more frightening, everything. Film, you have to get up early in the morning, and I hate that. Both are powerful mediums. But the great thing about theatre is you do material you don't normally do on film. And you're the editor of your performance onstage.
We're all idiots when we're young. We don't think we are, but we are. So we should be.
If you wanted to teach someone who knew absolutely nothing about the British people, it would be very good to guide them to Shakespeare. You could see the foolishness, the humour, the brutality - it's all in almost every play.
[on her perceived surge in popularity] Well, that's how it looks from the outside. My success grew slowly but constantly. I've been working every year since I started acting and I got many awards before I won the Oscar for "The Queen." Maybe it's because I've never been interested in big Hollywood flicks and I've only been in a few recently. I've always sensed a misogynist and sexist attitude, even in the '60s and '70s. Can I say that ['70s movie] "Five Easy Pieces" sucks? ...You need to be a feminist. It's about equality and rights.
I can't say no to an interesting role. I always tell my husband, 'That's it, I quit, I've done all I wanted', and he's just like, 'Yeah, yeah. Sure'.
People get together for reasons other than sex and, although it's important for most couples, it's not what makes marriages last. I think the power of partnership in marriage is under-recognized in our society. That's what makes marriages work, not sex.
There's no fake testosterone about Harrison [Harrison Ford]. It's just pure, natural maleness and it's very, very attractive.
I'm not going to be the first female Doctor Who (2005). Absolutely not. I absolutely wouldn't contemplate that. But I do think it's well overtime to have a female Doctor Who. I think a gay, black, female Doctor Who would be the best of all.

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