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Newsmaker: Helen Mirren

Actress Helen Mirren stars in the movie, "Calendar Girls," a role for which she has already earned a Golden Globe nomination. Early years: Mirren was born Ilynea Lydia Mironoff July 26, 1945, in Ilford, England. She fell in love with acting at ag...

Actress Helen Mirren stars in the movie, "Calendar Girls," a role for which she has already earned a Golden Globe nomination.

Early years: Mirren was born Ilynea Lydia Mironoff July 26, 1945, in Ilford, England. She fell in love with acting at age 6, desiring to be an "old-fashioned" actress with a penchant for Shakespeare.

Career: Her parents convinced her to enroll in teaching college, but Mirren quickly dropped out to join the National Youth Theatre in 1965. This led to a spot with the coveted Royal Shakespeare Company, where she made her stage debut as Cleopatra. In 1968 she made her screen debut in "Herostratus" and the film version of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." She acted steadily for three decades, becoming known for her bold sexuality and unabashed intelligence. Mirren appeared in films like "The Long Goodbye" (1973), "Excalibur" (1981), "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover," (1989) and "Where Angels Fear to Tread" (1991). She earned Oscar nominations for her roles in 1994's "The Madness of King George," and 2001's "Gosford Park."

She began the five-year role of detective Jane Tennison on the British television series "Prime Suspect" in 1991. In 1995 she returned to the stage and made her Broadway debut, earning a Tony nomination for her role in "A Month in the Country." In 1996 she won an Emmy for her role on the show, which was broadcast in America on PBS. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in June 2003.

Family: Mirren married director Taylor Hackford in 1997. They have lived together in Los Angeles since 1986.

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In her words: "All you have to do is to look like crap on film and everyone thinks you're a brilliant actress. Actually, all you've done is look like crap."

Web link: www.biography.com

Sources: Tiscali.co.uk, Movies.yahoo, Imdb.com

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