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]


  • Capote99 says:

    Showing her naughty bits in "The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover."

  • Dimo says:

    Totally. And my favorite line: "Start with the cock, it's a delicacy."

  • Robert says:

    Seducing her half-brother King Arthur in "Excalibur"

  • Gabirel says:

    Happy Birthday, Dame Mirren.
    I am a long time fan and admire your range and overall skill as an actor.
    May the light of you heart always guide your path.
    Gabriel Landry

  • Chasmosaur says:

    I don't know if it's a favorite, but I always envied her immensely for being front and center on stage with Baryshnikov in "White Nights" (The Vytosky/"Horses" number in the empty theater.) Lucky woman.

  • wildeyed says:

    Mosquito Coast. Hot.

  • JulyBaby says:

    The first time I saw you was in Excalibur. You were great and you've been great in everything I've seen you in since. You are extremely talented, my fellow birthday girl. We were both born in July 1945 (you in London on the 26th) and me in Will Rodgers Memorial Hospital ( on the 4th of July). Congratulations Miss Mirren, a most talented actress.

  • sfscreenwriter says:

    I always liked her stint as the Russian Officer in 2010. I actually thought, "Wow, how much did they pay this woman from Moscow to be in this American Space movie?"

  • linda mather says:

    the Dame has appeared 2 have dropped her account sometime 2day here on FB, whats up with that??

  • Bill Mannion says:

    Fell in love with you in Prime Suspect and am ordering up via Netflix some of your early films to relish, e.g., "Cousin Bette".
    Let me know if you ever come to Cupertino CA (home of Apple) and I will treat you to a great supper at Pappilon.

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