Happy 66th Birthday, Helen Mirren! What's Her Finest Onscreen Moment?
On July 26, 1945, Helen Lydia Mironoff was born in a London hospital to parents Vasiliy and Kathleen Mironoff (or Mironov depending on the spelling). During the 1950s, Vasily changed the family last name to "Mirren," and for his young daughter, the rest is history. From her breakout role in Michael Powell's Age of Consent to her Oscar-winning turn as Queen Elizabeth in The Queen, Mirren has been one of Hollywood's greatest -- and seemingly ageless -- actresses for five decades. As Liz Lemon once said in reaction to one of Mirren's famous bikini pics, "Is she a wizard?"
She's not -- and she wasn't even in Harry Potter -- but you can understand the confusion. Throughout her 44 year career, Mirren has given dozens of amazing performances, so choosing just one seems like a fool's errand. That said, you can't really go wrong with Consent, Prime Suspect, The Queen, Gosford Park or The Madness of King George. Or, if you're feeling frisky and/or trashy, Caligula. And, hey, she was even halfway decent -- or at least having fun -- in National Treasure: Book of Secrets. Perhaps she is otherworldly...
Watch a clip from The Queen below, and leave your favorite Mirren screen moment -- or just a birthday salutation -- in the comments section.
[Photo: Getty Images]