Born Ilyena Lydia Mironoff on
July 26, 1945
in Chiswick, London, United Kingdom
The daughter of Russian emigre Vasily Petrov Mironoff, who left Russia with his own father before the revolution, and Englishwoman Kathleen Rogers, a butcher’s daughter, Helen Mirren began her acting career on the stage, performing with the National Youth Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company and the experimental Centre de Recherche Theatral.
Mirren first appeared on the silver screen in "Age of Consent" in 1969; her subsequent film roles include "Caligula," "The Long Good Friday," "Excalibur," "Cal" and "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover."
Known from the beginning of her career for daring, sexually provocative roles, Mirren also found success playing the dogged Det. Chief Inspector Jane Tennison in the enduring British TV series "Prime Suspect," for which she won two Emmys between 1991 and 2007.
Mirren has since become known for her portrayals of royalty, including Queen Charlotte in the 1994 film "The Madness of King George," for which she earned an Academy Award nomination; Elizabeth I in the HBO series "Elizabeth I," for which she won an Emmy; and Elizabeth II in the 2006 film "The Queen," for which she won an Academy Award.
Mirren has also been nominated for Academy Awards for her roles in "Gosford Park" (2001) and "The Last Station" (2009). Most recently she played Alma Reville, the wife of British auteur Alfred Hitchcock, in the 2012 film "Hitchcock," for which she earned Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations.
In 1997 Mirren married her longtime partner, the director Taylor Hackford, whom she met on the set of "White Nights" in 1984. She was appointed a dame of the British Empire in 2003.