Helen's autobiography “In the Frame”
was published by Orion Books in the
(ISBN 978-0-7538-2434-4) and Simon & Schuster in the US
Helen Mirren is one of the best known and most respected actresses with an international career that spans stage, screen and television and has won many awards for her powerful and versatile performances, including the Academy Award in 2007 for her performance in The Queen.
Helen began her career playing Cleopatra with the National Youth Theatre. She then appeared in rep in Manchester and from there she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company. After four notable years at the RSC Helen took a complete change of direction, when she went to work with renowned director Peter Brook’s theatre company Centre de Recherche Théâtral and toured Africa and America. Since then her theatre work has spanned numerous productions in the West End, the Fringe, the RSC, the National Theatre and Broadway in the US including A Month in the Country, for which she received a Tony nomination and The Dance of Death on Broadway opposite Ian McKellan. Subsequent productions include Orpheus Descending at the Donmar Warehouse and Mourning Becomes Electra at the National Theatre for which she was nominated for an Olivier Best Actress Award. She returned to the National Theatre in 2009 in the title role of Racine's Phèdre directed by Nicholas Hytner. This made history when it became the first theatre production to be filmed for NTLive and seen in cinemas throughout the world. In her most recent performance in 2013 in London's West End, she reprised her role of Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience by Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Daldry. She won an Olivier Award and a What’s On Stage award for Best Actress. In February 2015 The Audience transferred to the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, New York with Helen Mirren still in the title role.
Helen’s film career began with Michael Powell’s Age of Consent and other early work included Caligula, but her breakthrough role came in John Mackenzie's The Long Good Friday. Helen continued to make films throughout the 80s including Excaliber, Cal (Best Actress award at Cannes Film Festival), White Nights (directed by Taylor Hackford her husband), Mosquito Coast and in 1989 Peter Greenaway’s The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover. She earned her first Academy Award nomination for her performance as Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George and her second for her role as the housekeeper in Robert Altman’s Gosford Park. Helen’s most celebrated role was as Elizabeth II in Stephen Frear’s The Queen for which she won the Academy Award for Best Actress and numerous other awards throughout the world. In recent years, she has starred in Calendar Girls, The Clearing, Shadowboxer, State of Play, The Last Station (for which she received another Best Actress Academy Award nomination together with a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Countess Sofya Tolstoy), Love Ranch (directed by Taylor Hackford), The Tempest, Red, Arthur, Brighton Rock and The Debt. 2013 saw the release of Hitchcock where Helen played Hitchcock's wife Alma Reville to Anthony Hopkins Hitchcock - her performance was nominated for a Golden Globe and a BAFTA. She reprised her role as the retired British spy Victoria in RED2 with Bruce Willis and John Malkovich and voiced the character Dean Hardscrabble for Disney.Pixar's Monster's University. In 2014 Helen starred in The Hundred-Foot Journey, directed by Lasse Hallstrom where she played a French restauranteur.
Helen’s most recent film projects can be found under Current Projects on this site.
Helen’s first leading role in television was as Cousin Bette for the BBC in the 70’s; other BBC work at that time included The Changeling, The Philanthropist and the outstanding 1979 production of Denis Potter’s Blue Remembered Hills. However it was in the award-winning series Prime Suspect as DCI Jane Tennison that Helen became a household name in television. Written by Linda La Plante as a single TV drama it spawned another 4 series in the 90s. Helen reprised the role in 2003 and the final Prime Suspect was released in 2006, bringing this iconic role to its conclusion and for which she won an Emmy for Best Actress. During the ‘intermission’ from Prime Suspect Helen starred in a number of award winning US TV productions including Losing Chase, Ayn Rand and The Roman Spring of Mrs Stone. Her performance in her television role in Elizabeth I, won her an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Best Actress. Her most recent television role was in David Mamet's Phil Spector for HBO Films where she starred alongside Al Pacino as Spector's lawyer Linda Kenney Baden - for this role she won a SAG award for Best Actress and was nominated for a Golden Globe.
Helen Mirren was appointed a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.