Helen Mirren

Biography

Date of Birth 26 July 1945, Chiswick, London, England, UK Birth Name Ilyena Lydia Vasilievna Mironov Height 5' 4" (1.63 m) Her grandfather Piotr Vasilievich Mironoff was a Tsarist (White Russian) aristocrat who was in London negotiating an arms deal for the World War I when the 1917 Russian Revolution stranded him there. His wife and son (Helen's father) joined him in London. Before marrying director Taylor Hackford in 1997, she had lived with him in Los Angeles since 1986. Used to work in Southend on Sea; Essex; UK at an amusement park "The Kursaal" as a "blagger" to attract customers on to rides. She was awarded the Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2003 Queen's Birthday Honours List for her services to drama. John Boorman said he cast her opposite Nicol Williamson in Excalibur (1981), against both of their protests, because he felt their dislike of each other made them perfect as rivals Morgana and Merlin. Measurements: 36C-25-36 (starlet days), 38C-26-37 (on Prime Suspect (1991) (TV) - 1996), (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine). She allegedly refused the C.B.E. (Commander of Order of the British Empire) in 1996. Nominated for Best Actress, Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for her performance of "Orpheus Descending" at the Donmar Warehouse. [2001] Nominated for Best Actress, Laurence Olivier Theatre Award for her performance in "Mourning Becomes Electra" at the Royal National Theatre: Lyttelton Stage. [2004] Became an Associate Member of RADA. Nominated for Best Actress, Tony Award for "Dance of Death" by August Strindberg. [2002] Despite her Russian birth name and ancestry, she does not speak Russian. Her great-great-great-great-grandfather was field-marshal Kamensky, one of the Russian heroes of the Napoleonic wars. She is the only actress to play both Queen Elizabeth I (in "Elizabeth I" (2005)) and Queen Elizabeth II (The Queen (2006)). At the premiere of The Queen (2006) at the Venice Film Festival, her performance received a 5 minute standing ovation. Member of the jury at the Venice Film Festival in 2004. Played a Queen a total of six times: The Queen (2006), "Elizabeth I" (2005), The Prince of Egypt (1998), The Snow Queen (1995), The Madness of King George (1994), and Caligola (1979). Became the third person, after Sigourney Weaver and Joan Plowright, to win two Golden Globes for acting in the same year. The characters she played were both Queens of England, Queen Elizabeth I and Queen Elizabeth II. She dedicated her BAFTA win for The Queen (2006) (for Best Actress in a Leading Role) to Ian Richardson for playing a huge part in her success story. She said (in her acceptance speech) that Richardson was very supportive towards her when she started out acting, and without him she may not have been so successful. She dedicated this award two days after Richardson died. [2007] Nominated for Best Actress, Tony Award for "A Month in the Country" by Ivan Turgenev. [1995] She and her husband Taylor Hackford are both Oscar-winners. Is fluent in French. She owns houses in Los Angeles, London, and the south of France. According to the April 2007 issue of Architectural Digest, She and her husband have sold their estate in New Orleans, which still remains her favorite American city. She won an Oscar for playing Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), making her the most recent of eleven actors to win the Award for playing a real person who was still alive at the evening of the Award ceremony (as of 2007). The other ten actors and their respective performances are: Spencer Tracy for playing Father Edward Flanagan in Boys Town (1938), Gary Cooper for playing Alvin C. York in Sergeant York (1941), Patty Duke for playing Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker (1962), Jason Robards for playing Benjamin Bradlee in All the President's Men (1976), Robert De Niro for playing Jake La Motta in Raging Bull (1980), Sissy Spacek for playing Loretta Lynn in Coal Miner's Daughter (1980), Susan Sarandon for playing Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995), Geoffrey Rush for playing David Helfgott in Shine (1996), Julia Roberts for playing Erin Brockovich in Erin Brockovich (2000) and Jim Broadbent for playing John Bayley in Iris (2001/I). Was voted 2nd in Entertainment Weekly's Entertainers of the Year in December 2006. Won Film Achievement, Greatest Britons. [2007] Won 29 major awards for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen (2006), including all the awards that are considered the biggest (except Cannes). She was also nominated for 3 more awards for the same film. Stepmother of Rio Hackford and Alexander Hackford. Sister of Peter Basil Mironoff and Katherine Mironoff. Daughter of Vasily Mironoff and Kathleen Rogers. Is one of six actresses to have won the Academy Award, BAFTA Award, Golden Globe Award and SAG Award. The others in chronological orderG are Julia Roberts for Erin Brockovich (2000), Renée Zellweger for Cold Mountain (2003), Reese Witherspoon for Walk the Line (2005), Jennifer Hudson for Dreamgirls (2006) and Kate Winslet for The Reader (2008). Has a tattoo of a star on her left hand, acquired at a Native American reservation in Minnesota. Met husband-to-be Taylor Hackford when he directed her in White Nights (1985). When the couple married in the Scottish Highlands, Hackford was dressed in a traditional Scottish tartan kilt. According to an article in People Weekly (November 3, 1980) her tattoo is an American Indian symbol meaning "equal but opposite". Nominated for the 2002 Tony Award (New York City) for Actress in a Drama for "Dance of Death". Was in consideration for the part of Sarah/Anna in The French Lieutenant's Woman (1981) but Meryl Streep, who went on to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination for her performance, was cast instead. Personal Quotes The actress describes herself as "being famous for being cool about not being gorgeous." The trick in life is learning how to deal with it. [About the Academy Awards] "It's the creme-de-la-creme of bulls**t." Actors are rogues and vagabonds. Or they ought to be. I can't stand it when they behave like solicitors from Penge." "I'm a would-be rebel. The good girl who'd like to be a bad one. 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. Flesh sells. People don't want to see pictures of churches. They want to see naked bodies On becoming Dame Helen Mirren in 2003, "In England, it's a big deal. I do feel it's a great honor. But I had to think about it quite seriously for a couple of weeks. It does sort of squash you into the establishment thing. In the end, my baser feelings got the better of me. I succumbed to pride." "Being me right now is sort of amazing." - 2006. [Part of her BAFTA acceptance speech, BAFTA Film Awards, 2007] - "This is great. What an honour, especially to be nominated - just to be nominated - amongst those incredible powerhouse performances this year from women. - I applaud them. I think they were absolutely fantastic. Write more roles for us like that please." [On Ian Richardson, BAFTA Film Awards, 2007] - "Many years ago, when I started off as an actress, I had the immense good fortune to work with an actor that was so generous at sharing his craft - He became a mentor to me, he helped me believe in myself. Ian Richardson, I'm not too sure I would be here today if it wasn't for you." I get half-drowned, jump across an abyss and fly. I loved every minute of it. Getting attached to wires and flying was the most glorious feeling. It's a lot easier than acting! [on her role in National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007) playing Nicolas Cage's mother.] (People Magazine - 19 November 2007) On not having children: No. Absolutely not. Absolutely not. I am so happy that I didn't have children. Well, you know because I've had freedom. [On the participation of celebrities in social movements] I've been involved with Oxfam on the proliferation of the illegal sale of small arms throughout the world, which is causing such, such devastation. The only way you can sometimes garner attention is by sending someone like me as a front person. There's nothing sexy about doing a nude scene. It's rather uncomfortable. I like dressing up rather than dressing down. [On filing Love Ranch (2009) with husband Taylor Hackford]: Funnily enough, the older prostitutes are the most popular, because the guys think they're user-friendly. They're comfortable with them, so they don't feel intimidated. And guys who go to brothels are not the most successful guys in the world sexually, so that's what they need. It's all about not being intimidated. Working with him, I have to say, wasn't easy. My husband in work mode is not the easiest of people, although a lot of people adore working with him. But because I have the emotional connection with him, I would get upset if he was shouting - not at me, but at someone else, demanding something. I would be seeing it from their point of view. I would find myself rushing around trying to mop up after him. "But I love the fact that he got the film together and he created a wonderful role for me. But husbands and wives don't need to work together. We are professional people in our own worlds. There's nothing I love more than going to my husband's set and being his wife. But this, it mixes the roles up. It either gets too cosy, which is not a good thing, because it's not very creative. Or it gets the opposite... "He didn't make me cry, but he made me very cross. I was never going to be anyone's mum or grandmother. But I can dig that beautiful earth-mother thing, feeding the masses. I'm thinking of Nigella Lawson. Does she have children? She does. Do you know what I mean? She's sort of gorgeously fertile. That's sexy. I actually won my first Golden Globe for something called Losing Chase (1996) (TV). Kyra Sedgwick and me fell in love with each other, and it was a lovely piece about women loving women. In my heart of hearts I love women more than I love men. I mean sexuality aside - I'm heterosexual. I guess I'm heterosexual. I loved my friend I had at college because there was a sense of camaraderie and physical closeness that doesn't have to be sexual. [On asking to be interviewed by male rather than female journalists]: ...I prefer male journalists because there's a streak of female journalism - the bitches - who are mean-spirited and nasty because you are another woman and want to make you feel crap. It's very upsetting. I'm more careful when I'm being interviewed by a woman because, from experience as well as reading articles about other women, I know there is a little stiletto knife hidden behind the back. In a rape case the courts in defence of a man would select as many women as they could for the jury, because women go against women. Whether in a deep-seated animalistic way, going back billions of years, or from a sense of tribal jealousy or just antagonism, I don't know. But other women on a rape case would say she was asking for it. The only reason I can think of is that they're sexually jealous. No, I am not confrontational at all. I met a great guy, then another great guy, and had a series of fantastic relationships with nice men. [And that healed me.] Until that point I was thinking men were horrible; they were boring, boorish, vulgar, selfish and arrogant. Then I met a guy who was funny and lovely to me and I loved him. That was Ken, my first boyfriend. I learnt from wonderful men, wonderful relationships. They gave me support, made me feel good and made me laugh. Now I think men are absolutely great. As you get older, naked stuff gets easier. It's more to do with the role than what men in the audience think. There's a liberation about it. Where Are They Now (September 2006) Winner of the Volpi Cup as Best Actress for her role in the forthcoming The Queen (2006) at the 63rd Venice Film Festival. (March 2008) Release of her book, "In the Frame: My Life in Words and Pictures".

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Person Photo

Birth Name

Helen Lydia Mironoff

Birth Place

Hammersmith, London, England, UK

Birth Date

7/26/1945
Known For
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Excalibur

Morgana

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The Hundred-Foot Journey

Madame Mallory

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The Queen

The Queen

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RED 2

Victoria

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Monsters University

Dean Hardscrabble (voice)

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State of Play

Cameron Lynne

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The Debt

Rachel Singer

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Woman in Gold

Maria Altmann

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Hitchcock

Alma Reville

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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Queenie

Starring In
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Sniff

The Spider

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Golda

Golda Meir

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Barbie

Narrator (voice)

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Fast X

Queenie

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Shazam! Fury of the Gods

Hespera

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Helen Mirren - Eine königliche Schauspielerin

Self (archive footage)

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White Bird

Grandmère

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Fast & Furious 9

Magdalene Shaw

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Daniel Day-Lewis - L'héritier

Self (archive footage)

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The Duke

Dorothy Bunton

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Escape from Extinction

Narrator

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The One and Only Ivan

(voice)

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Sarah Cooper: Everything's Fine

Lip-sync Billy Bush

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The Good Liar

Betty McLeish

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#Anne Frank Parallel Stories

Herself

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Memory: The Origins of Alien

Self - Guest on Parkinson (archive footage) (as Dame Helen Mirren)

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Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw

Queenie

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Anna

Olga

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Berlin, I Love You

Margaret

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An Accidental Studio

Herself (archive footage)

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On Broadway

Self

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#AnneFrank. Vite Parallele

Herself

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The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Mother Ginger

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Winchester

Sarah Winchester

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The Leisure Seeker

Ella Spencer

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The Fate of the Furious

Magdalene Shaw (uncredited)

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Collateral Beauty

Brigitte

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Shakespeare Live! From the RSC

Herself - Performer

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Eye In the Sky

Colonel Katherine Powell

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Trumbo

Hedda Hopper

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Woman in Gold

Maria Altmann

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Unity

Narrator (voice)

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The Hundred-Foot Journey

Madame Mallory

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Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story

Narrator (voice)

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And the Oscar Goes To...

Herself - Actress (archive footage)

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RED 2

Victoria

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Monsters University

Dean Hardscrabble (voice)

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Phil Spector

Linda Kenney Baden

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Istintobrass

Self

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Hitchcock

Alma Reville

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The Door

Emerenc

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Arabia 3D

Narrator

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Arthur

Hobson

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MacGillivray Freeman's Arabia

Narrator

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Love Ranch

Grace Bontempo

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The Debt

Rachel Singer

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RED

Victoria

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Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

Nyra (voice)

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Brighton Rock

Ida

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The Tempest

Prospera

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Abraxas

Catherine the Great 4 episodes, 2019

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The Last Station

Sofya Tolstaya

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State of Play

Cameron Lynne

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Age of Consent: Helen Mirren - A Conversation with Cora

Self

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Inkheart

Elinor Loredan

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The Pledge

Doctor

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National Treasure 2: Book Of Secrets

Emily Appleton

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The Queen

Queen Elizabeth II

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The Queen

The Queen

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Prime Suspect 7 - The Final Act

Det. Supt. Jane Tennison

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Shadowboxer

Rose

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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Deep Thought (voice)

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Raising Helen

Dominique

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Cary Grant: A Class Apart

Narrator (voice)

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Prime Suspect 6 - The Last Witness

Det. Supt. Jane Tennison

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Pride

Macheeba (voice)

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The Clearing

Eileen Hayes

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The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone

Karen Stone

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Calendar Girls

Chris Harper

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Door to Door

Mrs. Porter

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Gosford Park

Mrs. Wilson

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The Pledge

Doctor

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Last Orders

Amy

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No Such Thing

The Boss

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Greenfingers

Georgina Woodhouse

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Teaching Mrs. Tingle

Mrs. Eve Tingle

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The Passion Of Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand

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The Prince Of Egypt

The Queen (voice)

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Prime Suspect 5

Jane Tennison

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Critical Care

Stella

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Losing Chase

Chase Phillips

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Prime Suspect 4

Supt. Jane Tennison

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Some Mother's Son

Kathleen Quigley

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Prime Suspect 4 - Scent Of Darkness

Supt. Jane Tennison

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Prime Suspect 4 - The Lost Child

Supt. Jane Tennison

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The Snow Queen

Snow Queen (voice)

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The Madness of King George

Queen Charlotte

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Children of God

Self - Narrator (voice)

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Royal Deceit

Geruth

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Prime Suspect 3

DCI Jane Tennison

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The Hawk

Annie Marsh

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Prime Suspect: A Price to Pay

DCI Jane Tennison

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Prime Suspect 2: Operation Nadine

DCI Jane Tennison

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Where Angels Fear To Tread

Lilia Herriton

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The Comfort of Strangers

Caroline

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The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover

Georgina

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When the Whales Came

Clemmie Jenkins

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Pascali's Island

Lydia Neuman

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The Mosquito Coast

Mother Fox

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The Gospel According to Vic

Ruth Chancellor

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White Nights

Galina Ivanova

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2010: The Year We Make Contact

Tanya Kirbuk

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Cal

Marcella

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An Audience with Mel Brooks

Herself - Audience member (uncredited)

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Excalibur

Morgana

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Titania

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The Fiendish Plot Of Dr. Fu Manchu

Alice Rage

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The Long Good Friday

Victoria

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Hussy

Beaty

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Caligula

Caesonia

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S.O.S. Titanic

Stewardess: May Sloan

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Miss Julie

Miss Julie

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O Lucky Man!

Patricia

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Savage Messiah

Gosh Boyle

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Age of Consent

Cora Ryan

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A Midsummer Night's Dream

Hermia

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Herostratus

Advert Woman

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Press for Time

Penelope Squires (uncredited)

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Long Story Short: Willie Nelson 90

Self

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