Helen Mirren is one of my favorite actors, ever since I saw her as the flawed but brilliant Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison in one of the Prime Suspect series. Born Ilyena Vasilievna Mironov in West London, Mirren was already an accomplished stage actor and a household name in Britain before most Americans were introduced to her as the long-suffering housekeeper Mrs. Wilson in Robert Altman's whodunit Gosford Park.
I love her sense of style, the gown that she wore to the 2008 Oscars suited her perfectly, it wasn't flashy or revealing, in fact she looked regal.
Little-known fact: The Mars Volta have a song called "Ilyena" that is named after Mirren. Mars Volta singer/lyricist Cedric Bixler has stated an affinity for the actor.
In December 2003 she was invested as a Dame Commander of the British Empire. Her autobiography was published in 2007 titled "In The Frame: My Life In Words And Pictures".