Helen Mirren is one of the most versatile actresses in Hollywood. Having begun her acting career on the stage almost five decades ago, she has gone on to win an Academy Award for Best Actress, a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play, as well as three Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie. She also received the rare distinction of being appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Because she’s so talented and so interesting, we have 10 things you didn’t know about the award-winning star:
10. Humble Beginnings
She was born Ilyena Lydia Mironoff to Kathleen “Kitty” Alexandrina Eva Matilda and Vasily Petrovich Mironoff in London, England on July 26, 1945. Her mother was English and her father was of Russian descent. He Anglicized the family name to “Mirren” during the 1950s. Her paternal grandfather, Colonel Pyotr Vasilievich Mironov, was a diplomat who was in the Imperial Russian Army and fought in the 1904 Russo-Japanese War. When he immigrated to England, he worked as a cab driver to support his family.