Helen Mirren has won international recognition for her work on stage, screen and television. For her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 of The Queen, she received an Academy Award®, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award®, and BAFTA Award for Best Actress. She was also named Best Actress by virtually every critic’s organization from Los Angeles to London.
In 2013, she again met critical acclaim for reprising her role of Queen Elizabeth II, this time in Peter Morgan’s play The Audience. For her performance, she was awarded the prestigious Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress, the highest honor in British theatre.
Mirren’s upcoming projects include Summit’s action sequel Red 2 and Disney’s animated sequel Monsters University.
Mirren’s recent projects include HBO’s biopic Phil Spector; István Szabó’s drama The Door; the Golden Globe nominated RED, based on the DC comic of the same name; The Debt, where she plays a Mossad agent in the John Madden-directed thriller; and Arthur and Brighton Rock.
In 2012, Mirren starred in Sacha Gervasi’s Hitchcock, which is based on the novel Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello. She starred with Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock’s wife, Alma Reville, a role for which she received Best Actress nominations from the Golden Globes, SAG, and BAFTA.
Her film career began with Michael Powell’s Age of Consent, but her breakthrough film role came in 1980 in John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday. Over the next 10 years, she starred in a wide range of acclaimed films, including John Boorman’s Excalibur; Neil Jordan’s Irish thriller Cal, for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival and an Evening Standard Film Award; Peter Weir’s The Mosquito Coast; Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover; and Charles Sturridge’s Where Angels Fear to Tread.
Mirren earned her first Oscar® nomination for her portrayal of Queen Charlotte in Nicholas Hytner’s The Madness of King George for which she also won Best Actress honors at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival. Her second Oscar® nomination came for her work in Robert Altman’s 2001 film Gosford Park. Her performance as the housekeeper also brought her Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations, several critics groups’ awards, and dual SAG Awards®, one for Best Supporting Actress and a second as part of the winning ensemble cast. Mirren also earned both Oscar® and Golden Globe nominations for her performance in The Last Station, playing Sofya Tolstoy.
Among her other film credits are Terry George’s Some Mother’s Son, on which she also served as associate producer; Calendar Girls; The Clearing; Shadowboxer; and State of Play. She starred in a screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, as Prospera in a gender twist on the classic character.
Mirren began her career in the role of Cleopatra at the National Youth Theatre. She then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she starred in such productions as Troilus and Cressida and Macbeth. In 1972, she joined renowned director Peter Brook’s theatre company and toured the world.
Mirren has worked extensively in the theatre in many varied and challenging roles of the years. More recently she has received two Tony Award nominations, for her work in A Month in the Country, and for her role opposite Sir Ian McKellen in Dance of Death. She also received an Olivier Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in Mourning Becomes Electra at London’s National Theatre. In 2009, Mirren returned to the National Theatre in the title role in Phèdre, directed by Sir Nicholas Hytner.
On television, Mirren starred in the award-winning series Prime Suspect as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison. She had earned an Emmy Award and three BAFTA Awards, as well as numerous award nominations, for her role in early installments of the Prime Suspect series. She won another Emmy Award and earned a Golden Globe nomination when she reprised the role of Detective Jane Tennison in 2006’s Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act, the last installment in the PBS series. Most recently Mirren was also honored for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in the HBO miniseries Elizabeth I, winning an Emmy Award, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award®.
Her long list of television credits also includes Losing Chase, The Passion of Ayn Rand, Door to Door, and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, earning Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Award® nominations and awards.
Helen Mirren became a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.