Helen Mirren: Young Shakespearean Vixen And Screen Queen, Then And Now

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Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra being performed by the National Youth Theatre and the Old Vic in London, 6th September 1965. Starring actress Helen Mirren, 19, as Cleopatra (Photo by Barham/Mirrorpix/Mirrorpix via Getty Images)

Helen Mirren, famous for playing Queens of England, has been a bold presence in entertainment since her early career as a stage actress. Mirren was one of many serious British actors who continued to do highbrow work -- as a star of the Royal Shakespeare Company -- from the late '60s through the early '80s, while making provocative choices in her film work, including Age Of Consent (1969), O Lucky Man! (1973), Caligula (1979), The Long Good Friday (1980), Hussy (1980) and Excalibur (1981). She's still burning her candle at both ends in the 21st century. In 2005-06, she played Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (a movie) and Queen Elizabeth I in Elizabeth I (a TV miniseries) and won an Oscar, an Emmy, and two Golden Globes for her efforts; other recent work includes the nude-calendar comedy Calendar Girls (2004), National Treasure: Book Of Secrets (2007), Monsters University (2013) and Hobbs & Shaw (2019). It's fair to say you really don't know what she'll do next -- but you know she'll do it well, as she's unquestionably among the elite actresses of her generation. And here in her mid-'70s, she revels in her free-spiritedness and seems to be having the time of her life.