PROFILE: Dame Helen Mirren
| By London Theatre Direct
A short profile of Dame Helen Mirren, currently starring in The Audience at London's Gielgud Theatre.
Helen Mirren has won international recognition for her work on stage, screen and television. For her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 in The Queen, she received an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actress.
Mirren began her career in the role of Cleopatra at the National Youth Theatre. She then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, starring in such productions as Troilus and Cressida and Macbeth. In 1972, she joined Peter Brook’s theatre company and toured the world. Other theatre includes A Month in the Country (Tony nomination), Dance of Death (Tony nomination), Mourning Becomes Electra (Olivier nomination for Best Actress) and Phèdre (both for the National Theatre). She is currently playing Elizabeth II in The Audience by Peter Morgan and her performance won the Olivier Award for Best Actress.
Mirren began her film career with Michael Powell’s Age of Consent but her breakthrough film role came in 1980 in John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday. Other films include Nicholas Hytner’s The Madness of King George (Oscar nomination and Best Actress honours at Cannes Film Festival), Gosford Park (Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, several critics groups’ awards and dual SAG Awards), Calendar Girls (Golden Globe nomination) and The Last Station (Oscar and Golden Globe nominations).
On television, Mirren earned an Emmy Award and three BAFTA Awards for her starring role in the award-winning series Prime Suspect. Other television includes her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in Elizabeth I, (Emmy Award, a Golden Globe and a SAG Award®), Losing Chase, (Golden Globe Award), The Passion of Ayn Rand, (Emmy Award and a Golden Globe nomination), Door to Door, (Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Award® nominations) and The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG Award® nominations).
Helen Mirren became a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.