In June 2015, Dame Helen Lydia Mirren won the Tony award for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play. Here is her acceptance speech.
I had forgotten that she had been nominated for Tonys twice before. In her win for The Audience, she portrayed Queen Elizabeth II. Playing the same personage, she won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 2006 in The Queen. Like much of her stage work, the role was developed in the West End, London’s equivalent to New York City’s Broadway.
She had won the first of her four Emmy Awards in 1996, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special, for Prime Suspect: The Scent of Darkness, making her a Grammy shy of an EGOT. I’ve watched her in much of her seven seasons of Prime Suspect.
She’s done a great deal of voice work. On TV, she was Becky’s Inner Voice on Glee and a caller on Frasier; in the movies, the dean in Monsters University (2013), and the queen, per usual, in The Prince of Egypt (1998).
I think of her primarily as a film actress, but I’ve not seen as many movies as I would have thought. On screen, I’ve seen her in:
2014 The Hundred-Foot Journey
2006 The Queen
2003 Calendar Girls
2001 Gosford Park
1999 Teaching Mrs. Tingle
1994 The Madness of King George (playing Queen Charlotte)
1985 White Nights
1973 O Lucky Man! – here’s the O Lucky Man! trailer
From the Wikipedia:
Mirren was born Helen Lydia Mironoff in … London. Her father, Vasily Petrovich Mironoff (1913–1980), was Russian…and her mother, Kitty (née Kathleen Alexandrina Eva Matilda Rogers; 1909–1996), was English.
Mirren’s paternal grandfather, Colonel Pyotr Vasilievich Mironov, was in the Imperial Russian Army and fought in the 1904 Russo-Japanese War. He later became a diplomat, and was negotiating an arms deal in Britain when he and his family were stranded during the Russian Revolution. The former diplomat became a London cab driver to support his family and eventually settled down in England.
Helen’s father… anglicised the family name in the 1950s and changed his name to Basil Mirren. He played the viola with the London Philharmonic before World War II, and later drove a taxi cab… before becoming a civil servant with the Ministry of Transport.
Mirren’s mother was a working-class Londoner… and was the 13th of 14 children born to a butcher whose own father had been the butcher to Queen Victoria… Mirren was the second of three children; she was born three years after her older sister Katherine (“Kate”; born 1942), and has a younger brother…named Peter Basil…
Mirren married American director Taylor Hackford (her partner since 1986) on 31 December 1997, his 53rd birthday…. The couple had met on the set of White Nights. It is her first marriage, and his third (he has two children from his previous marriages). Mirren has no children and says she has “no maternal instinct whatsoever.”
On 11 May 2010, Mirren attended the unveiling of her waxwork at Madame Tussauds London.