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50 interesting facts about Helen Mirren: She has portrayed a queen six times in movies

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Helen Mirren is a revered, award-winning actress who’s film and TV work includes Prime Suspect, Caligula, Shadowboxer, Elizabeth I and The Queen.

  1. Helen Mirren was born on July 26, 1945 in Chiswick, London, England.
  2. Her name at birth was Illiana Lydia Petrovna Mironova.
  3. 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.
  4. Mirren attended St Bernard's High School for Girls in Southend-on-Sea, where she acted in school productions, and subsequently a teaching college, the New College of Speech and Drama in London.
  5. Mirren was attracted to theater at an early age, finding her inspiration at the age of 13 at an amateur production of Hamlet. "I was blown away by all this over-the-top drama," she said in an interview with The Times UK. "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."
  6. She joined the National Youth Theatre at the age of eighteen.
  7. By age 20, however, Mirren was starring as Cleopatra in the 1965 production of Antony and Cleopatra. Her performance as the Egyptian leader landed her an agent, as well as a place with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  8. She used to work in Southend on Sea; Essex; UK at an amusement park "The Kursaal" as a "blagger" to attract customers on to rides.
  9. Helen Mirren appeared in Caligula (1980), which also starred Malcolm MacDowell and Peter O'Toole. The film, controversial for its strong violence and explicit sex scenes, had a self-imposed X rating.
  10.  Mirren stated she had been date raped as a student and had often taken cocaine at parties in her 20s, and until the 1980s.
  11. Mirren is a strong believer in karma - what goes around will come around so be weary of how you are to others.
  12. Mirren dated actor Liam Neeson in 1980 whom she met on the set of Excalibur (1981). During an interviewed with James Lipton for Inside the Actors Studio, Neeson said she was instrumental in his getting an agent.
  13. In 1992, Mirren landed her breakthrough TV role as Detective Inspector Jane Tennison in the public television mystery series, Prime Suspect.
  14. By the time the show came to an end in 2006, Mirren had received five BAFTA Awards and several Emmy award nominations for her performance on the show, including a win in 1996 for Outstanding Lead Actress.
  15. Made her directorial debut by helming the "Happy Birthday" segment of the 2001 TV-movie On the Edge.
  16. Mirren continue to pursue her page for theater and received a Tony award nomination her role in 1995's A Month in the Country, and again in 2002 for Dance of Death, co-starring Sir Ian McKellen.
  17. She allegedly refused the C.B.E. (Commander of Order of the British Empire) in 1996.
  18. Mirren had publicly vowed never to marry. She finally succumbed and wed Taylor Hackford, the director, in 1997.
  19. Though it was not her most critically-acclaimed movie, her favorite role was in 'Teaching Mrs. Tingle", the 1999 film in which she played the evil history teacher.
  20. In the 2002 TV-movie Door to Door, she played William H. Macy's mother even though he's only five years her junior.
  21. 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.
  22. She became an Associate Member of RADA.
  23. She exercises at least 4 times a week and her favorite workout is walking or light jogging.
  24. Despite her Russian birth name and ancestry, she is not fluent in Russian.
  25. After appearing in the buff in the film 'The Calendar Girls', she is quoted to have said that people are not interested in seeing pictures of churches. They are interested in seeing naked bodies."
  26. She is the only actress to ever play both Queen Elizabeth I, in the 2005 film 'Elizabeth I' and Queen Elizabeth II, in the 2006 film 'The Queen'.
  27. Her performance in the 2006 film 'The Queen' landed Mirren her first Oscar, and also earned her a Golden Globe for Best Actress.
  28. She then earned a Golden Globe and Emmy award for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in the HBO movie Elizabeth I.
  29. Her favorite color is yellow.
  30. Mirren was voted the sexiest older woman in the world, in 2007.
  31. Mirren is known to have a rebellious streak. When on a visit to a Native American reservation located in Minnesota, on a whim she got a star tattoo made on her left hand.
  32. Helen Mirren and her husband Tayloer Hackford live in both London and Los Angeles.
  33. She named Anna Magnani as her acting idol.
  34. Mirren has said she is an atheist. In the August 2011 issue of Esquire magazine, Mirren said, "I am quite spiritual. I believed in fairies when I was a child. I still do sort of believe in the fairies. And the leprechauns. But I don't believe in God."
  35. On 11 May 2010, Mirren attended the unveiling of her waxwork at Madame Tussauds London. The figure reportedly cost £150,000 to make and took four months to complete.
  36. In August 2013, Mirren was announced as one of several new models for Marks & Spencer's 'Womanism' campaign.
  37. Her net worth is $50 million.
  38. Mirren is 5 ft 4 in (1.63 m) tall.
  39. She and her husband Taylor Hackford are both Oscar-winners.
  40. Helen Mirren is fluent in French.
  41. 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.
  42. She is the stepmother of Rio Hackford and Alexander Hackford.
  43. Mirren is the sister of Peter Basil Mironoff and Katherine Mironoff.
  44. Helen Mirren is the daughter of Vasily Mironoff and Kathleen Rogers.
  45. Mirren played a Queen a total of six times: The Queen (2006), Elizabeth I (2005) (TV), The Prince of Egypt (1998), The Snow Queen (1995), The Madness of King George (1994), and Caligola (1979).
  46. Her measurements: 36C-25-36 (starlet days) and 38C-26-37 (on "Prime Suspect"-1996).
  47. Helen Mirren became an Associate Member of RADA.
  48. She played a brothel madam in Love Ranch, a film directed by husband Taylor Hackford.
  49. Helen Mirren has served as an ambassador for the human rights organization Oxfam.
  50. She called her Prime Suspect role "the biggest break of my career."

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