Dame Helen Mirren
Born in 1945 and raised in post-World War II England, Helen Mirren gravitated towards acting at a young age, appearing in school productions throughout her youth. By the age of 20, she was a full-time theatre actress, soon joining the Royal Shakespeare Company and remaining there, off and on, for the bulk of the '60s and '70s. Her early film work included roles in "Herostratus" (1967) and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (1968). Mirren made her TV debut in the film "Caesar and Claretta" (1975). She remained actively involved with theater, though by the late '70s, she started to transition more to film, with a variety of roles in films such as "Caligula" (1979), "Hamlet" (1976), and "Excalibur" (1981). Her critical breakthrough started to take shape with her role in Cannes darling "Cal" (1984). A decade later Mirren earned her first Academy Award nomination for her role as Queen Charlotte in "The Madness of King George" (1994). A year later, she made her Broadway debut, earning the first of two Tony nominations for her work in "A Month in the Country." Mirren's most notable TV role started up during the '90s as the first series of "Prime Suspect" (ITV 1991-2006) debuted in 1991, followed up by six more series over the course of the next 15 years. By the turn of the century, Mirren started to assert her position as a celebrated Hollywood actress, working with Robert Altman in his celebrated drama "Gosford Park" (2001), which led to Mirren's second Oscar nomination. It kicked off a busy decade for Mirren, leading into roles in "Calendar Girls" (2003), "Raising Helen" (2004), and even a voiceover role in "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (2005). In 2006, she finally won an Academy Award, earning Best Actress for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in "The Queen" (2006). She balanced her notable acting performances with more flighty roles such as an appearance in the Nicholas Cage-starring "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" (2007) and a legitimate action movie role with the Bruce Willis-starring "RED" (2010). Despite primarily being involved in screen work, she still took time to return to the stage in the 21st century, which led to her last major performance in "The Audience" where she played Queen Elizabeth II and drew much acclaim, including a Tony Award for Best Actress. The 2010s were still filled with interesting roles for Mirren even as she closed in on her 70s, kicking off the decade with a role opposite Russell Brand in the remake of "Arthur" (2011) and going on to earn more acclaim for her performance in the Jay Roach-directed drama "Trumbo" (2015). In 2017, she joined the Fast and the Furious series in an uncredited role in "The Fate of the Furious" (2017) before reprising the role in "Hobbs & Shaw" (2019) with plans to appear in "Fast & Furious 9" (2020). She also starred as the title character "Catherine the Great" (HBO 2019), which reunited her with the work of Nigel Williams, who wrote the play "The Queen" was based on.