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Helen Mirren (Rachel Singer) is one of the world’s best-known and most respected actors, with an international career spanning stage, screen, and television.
Her most celebrated role was as Elizabeth II in The Queen, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress, as well as the Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award, among other honors around the world.
Ms. Mirren launched her career in London at the National Youth Theatre, playing Cleopatra. She joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and went on to star in a number of esteemed productions, including Troilus and Cressida and Macbeth. After leaving the RSC in 1972, her career took on a new direction when she joined renowned director Peter Brook’s theatre company and toured the world.
Her film career began with Age of Consent, but her breakthrough role arrived just over a decade later with the iconic gangster thriller The Long Good Friday. Subsequent films included Excalibur; the Irish romantic thriller Cal, for which she received the Best Actress award at the Cannes International Film Festival; The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover; Some Mother’s Son, which she co-produced; Calendar Girls; and, for her husband Taylor Hackford, his films White Nights and Love Ranch.
She earned her first Academy Award nomination for her performance as Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George, which also earned her another Best Actress award at the Cannes International Film Festival. A second Oscar nomination came for her role as the housekeeper Mrs. Wilson in Gosford Park; she shared with her fellow actors with the Screen Actors Guild Awards’ top prize, for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, and won the Guild's Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role. For her starring role as Sofya Tolstoy in The Last Station, she was nominated for the Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe, Spirit, and Academy Awards.
Ms. Mirren has recently been seen on-screen in the hit RED, based on the WildStorm/DC comic book, as a lethal lady of the CIA; in The Tempest, as Prospera in a gender twist on the classic character; in Brighton Rock, based on the novel by Graham Greene, as a café owner turned amateur detective; and in Arthur, opposite Russell Brand, where she plays the near-indomitable nanny to Mr. Brand’s naughty playboy character.
On television, she starred in the iconic role of Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison, playing the character in seven acclaimed Prime Suspect miniseries that spanned 15 years. The portrayal brought Ms. Mirren two Emmy Awards and three BAFTA Awards, among other accolades. Her most recent starring role was in the miniseries Elizabeth I, for which she won Emmy, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Her other telefilm credits include The Passion of Ayn Rand, for which she won an Emmy Award; Losing Chase, for which she won a Golden Globe Award; Door to Door; and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.
Her recent stage credits include Phedre, at the National Theatre in London and the New Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC; and, also at the National Theatre, Mourning Becomes Electra, which brought Ms. Mirren an Olivier Award nomination. On Broadway, she starred in A Month in the Country, for which she received a Tony Award nomination; and in The Dance of Death, opposite Sir Ian McKellen.
In 2003, Helen Mirren was appointed a Dame of the British Empire.