10 Things To Know About Helen Mirren

  • Happy Birthday, Helen Mirren! Happy 66th birthday, Helen Mirren! The British beauty, known for her stage performances and TV and film roles, is one of the most critically acclaimed actresses of our time. She’s won (are you ready?) an Oscar for Best Actress in ‘The Queen’, four SAG Awards, four BAFTAs, four Emmys, three Golden Globes and two Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Awards.

    Aside from her talent and busy schedule (in 2010 alone, she starred in six films), the leading lady is also noted for her good looks—in 2007, Mirren was voted the world's sexiest older woman.

    As she celebrates another year, here are 10 interesting tidbits about Mirren:
  • Cleopatra During her early years, Mirren was a renowned stage actress. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, she starred in numerous plays as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
  • Dame Helen In 1996, Mirren refused the C.B.E. (Commander of Order of the British Empire). But in 2003, she was named Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on the Queen's Birthday Honors List in recognition of her contributions to the drama world.
  • Mrs. Tingle While it may not be her most critically acclaimed film, Mirren says that her favorite role thus far was portraying the evil history teacher Mrs. Eve Tingle in the 1999 film ‘Teaching Mrs. Tingle’.
  • Yes, She Has A Tattoo Mirren has a secret rebellious streak. When visiting a Native American reservation in Minnesota, she got a tattoo of a star done on her left hand.
  • Baring All Helen appeared nude in the film ‘The Calendar Girls’. She was once quoted saying, “Flesh sells. People don't want to see pictures of churches. They want to see naked bodies.”
  • All Hail The Queen! She’s the only actress ever to play both Queen Elizabeth I (in ‘Elizabeth I’ in 2005) and Queen Elizabeth II (in ‘The Queen’ in 2006).
  • She's Bilingual Yes, Mirren is British, but she also speaks fluent French.
  • A Night At Mustang Ranch To help prepare for her role as the owner of Nevada’s first legalized brothel in the film ‘Love Ranch’ (2010), Mirren spent a night in an actual brothel. She didn't want to go, but the movie’s director and her husband, Taylor Hackford, insisted that she do it.
  • Anything He Can Do, Mirren Can Do Better In two of her most recent films, Mirren portrayed characters that were originally written for men. In ‘The Tempest’ (2010) she played Prospera (originally Prospero) and in ‘Arthur’ (2011) she played Hobson.
  • Personal Life After vowing never to marry, Mirren wed director Taylor Hackford in 1997. They have no children together, since Mirren claims to have “no maternal instinct whatsoever.” She lives in London, but also spends time at her homes in Los Angeles and southern France.