Dame Helen Mirren - Details


Helen Mirren was born in Ilford, which was at that time part of Essex, the second of three children of a father of Russian origin and an English mother. Mirren's paternal grandfather, a Russian nobleman, tsarist colonel and diplomat, was negotiating an arms deal in England and was stranded there, along with his family, during the Russian Revolution. Her father, Vasily Petrovich Mironov, called himself Basil and changed the family name to Mirren in the 1950s. He played the viola with the London Philharmonic before World War II and, after it, drove a cab and was a driving-test examiner. Mirren's mother, Kathleen Rogers, was the thirteenth of fourteen children born to a butcher whose father had been the butcher to Queen Victoria.

Helen Mirren attended a convent school, St. Bernard's High School, in Southend-on-Sea, and then a teaching college in London. At age 18 she auditioned for the National Youth Theatre and was accepted. By age 20 she was a star at the Old Vic.

Mirren married American film director Taylor Hackford, her domestic partner since 1986, on his 53rd birthday on 31 December 1997, in the Scottish Highlands. It was her first (and only) marriage and his third. He had two children by his previous marriages. She has none.


  • 26th July 1945 - Birth