20/50 creative people challenge 
Helen Mirren has been one of my favorite actors since I saw her in a televised Shakespeare play: As You Like It where she played Rosalind. She is one of my heroes. 
from IMdB
Date of Birth
26 July 1945, Chiswick, London, England, UK

Birth Name
Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov

Nickname
Popper

Height
5' 4" (1.63 m)

Spouse
Taylor Hackford (31 December 1997 - present)

Trivia

Her grandfather Piotr Vasilievich Mironoff was a Tsarist (White Russian) aristocrat who was in London negotiating an arms deal for the World War I when the 1917 Russian Revolution stranded him there. His wife and son (Helen's father) joined him in London.

Before marrying director Taylor Hackford in 1997, she had lived with him in Los Angeles since 1986.

Used to work in Southend on Sea; Essex; UK at an amusement park "The Kursaal" as a "blagger" to attract customers on to rides.

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.

John Boorman said he cast her opposite Nicol Williamson in Excalibur (1981), against both of their protests, because he felt their dislike of each other made them perfect as rivals Morgana and Merlin.

She allegedly refused the C.B.E. (Commander of Order of the British Empire) in 1996.

Nominated for Best Actress, Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for her performance of "Orpheus Descending" at the Donmar Warehouse. [2001]

Nominated for Best Actress, Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for her performance in "Mourning Becomes Electra" at the Royal National Theatre: Lyttelton Stage. [2004]

Became an Associate Member of RADA.

Nominated for Best Actress, Tony Award for "Dance of Death" by August Strindberg. [2002]

Despite her Russian birth name and ancestry, she does not speak Russian.

Her great-great-great-great-grandfather was field-marshal Kamensky, one of the Russian heroes of the Napoleonic wars.

She is the only actress to play both Queen Elizabeth I (in "Elizabeth I" (2005)) and Queen Elizabeth II (The Queen (2006)).

At the premiere of The Queen (2006) at the Venice Film Festival, her performance received a 5 minute standing ovation.

Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 2004.

Played a Queen a total of six times: The Queen (2006), "Elizabeth I" (2005), The Prince of Egypt (1998), The Snow Queen (1995), The Madness of King George (1994), and Caligula (1979).

Became the third person, after Sigourney Weaver and Joan Plowright, to win two Golden Globes for acting in the same year. The characters she played were both Queens of England, Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II.

She dedicated her BAFTA win for The Queen (2006) (for Best Actress in a Leading Role) to Ian Richardson for playing a huge part in her success story. She said (in her acceptance speech) that Richardson was very supportive towards her when she started out acting, and without him she may not have been so successful. She dedicated this award two days after Richardson died. [2007]
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