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The Roles of a Lifetime: Helen Mirren

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In the thick book of unwritten rules governing female actors and professional viability, here’s one: once you’ve portrayed Queen Elizabeth (twice), your glamor days are over—unless you’re Helen Mirren. The British actress has been nimbly sidestepping rules for almost half a century, never shying from frankly sensual roles even as she established herself as a serious actress, and turning dowdy monarchs (including Elizabeth I in the British TV series and Elizabeth II in The Queen) into something quite beautiful, indeed. The above gallery explores Mirren’s body of work, for which she has won multiple awards—including an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a BAFTA and a SAG award for The Queen alone, and a damehood in 2003.

1 of 64 "Advert Woman" - Herostratus (1967)

2 of 64 "Hermia" - A Midsummer Night's Dream (1968)

3 of 64 "Cora Ryan" - Age of Consent (1969)

4 of 64 "Gosh Boyle" - Savage Messiah (1972)

5 of 64 "Miss Julie" - Miss Julie (TV Movie, 1972)

6 of 64 "Patricia" - O Lucky Man! (1973)

7 of 64 "Claretta Petacci" - Caesar and Claretta (TV Movie, 1975)

8 of 64 "Ophelia"/"Gertrude" - Hamlet (1976)

9 of 64 "Caesonia" - Caligula (1979)

10 of 64 "May Sloan" - S.O.S. Titanic (TV Movie, 1979)

11 of 64 "Beaty Simons" - Hussy (1980)

12 of 64 "Alice Rage" - The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980)

13 of 64 "Victoria" - The Long Good Friday (1980)

14 of 64 "Morgana" - Excalibur (1981)

15 of 64 "Imogen" - Cymbeline (TV Movie, 1982)

16 of 64 "Marcella" - Cal (1984)

17 of 64 "Tanya Kirbuk" - 2010 (1984)

18 of 64 "Galina Ivanova" - White Nights (1985)

19 of 64 "Frieda von Richtofen Weekley" - Coming Through (TV Movie, 1985)

20 of 64 "Ruth Chancellor" - The Gospel According to Vic (1986)

21 of 64 "Mother Fox" - The Mosquito Coast (1986)

22 of 64 "Alma Rattenbury" - Cause celebre (TV Movie, 1987)

23 of 64 "Lydia Neuman" - Pascali's Island (1988)

24 of 64 "Georgina" - The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989)

25 of 64 "Caroline" - The Comfort of Strangers (1990)

26 of 64 "Lilia Herriton" - Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991)

27 of 64 "Annie Marsh" - The Hawk (1993)

28 of 64 "Geruth" - Royal Deceit (1994)

29 of 64 "Queen Charlotte" - The Madness of King George (1994)

30 of 64 "Superintendent Jane Tennison" - Prime Suspect (7 series of TV Movies, 1991-2006)

31 of 64 "Snow Queen" - The Snow Queen (1995)

32 of 64 "Chase Phillips" - Losing Chase (TV Movie, 1996)

33 of 64 "Kathleen Quigley" - Some Mother's Son (1996)

34 of 64 "Maggie Sheridan" - Painted Lady (TV Movie, 1997)

35 of 64 "The Queen" - The Prince of Egypt (1998)

36 of 64 "Ayn Rand" - The Passion of Ayn Rand (TV Movie, 1999)

37 of 64 "Mrs. Tingle" - Teaching Mrs. Tingle (1999)

38 of 64 "Georgina Woodhouse" - Greenfingers (2000)

39 of 64 "Doctor" - The Pledge (2001)

40 of 64 "The Boss" - No Such Thing (2001)

41 of 64 "Amy" - Last Orders (2001)

42 of 64 "Mrs. Wilson" - Gosford Park (2001)

43 of 64 "Karen Stone" - The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (TV Movie, 2003)

44 of 64 "Chris" - Calendar Girls (2003)

45 of 64 "Eileen Hayes" - The Clearing (2004)

46 of 64 "Dominique" - Raising Helen (2004)

47 of 64 "Rose" - Shadowboxer (2005)

48 of 64 "The Queen" - The Queen (2006)

49 of 64 "Emily Appleton" - National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)

50 of 64 "Elinor Loredan" - Inkheart (2008)

51 of 64 "Cameron Lynne" - State of Play (2008)

52 of 64 "Sofya Tolstoy" - The Last Station (2009)

53 of 64 "Grace Bontempo" - Love Ranch (2009)

54 of 64 "Prospera" - The Tempest (2009)

55 of 64 "Ida" - Brighton Rock (2010)

56 of 64 "Victoria Winslow" - RED (2010), RED 2 (2013)

57 of 64 "Nyra" - Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)

58 of 64 "Lillian Hobson" - Arthur (2010)

59 of 64 "Rachel Singer" - The Debt (2011)

60 of 64 "Emerenc" - The Door (2011)

61 of 64 "Alma Reville" - Hitchcock (2012)

62 of 64 "Linda Kenney Baden" - Phil Spector (TV Movie, 2012)

63 of 64 "Dean Hardscrabble" - Monsters University (2013)

64 of 64 "Madame Mallory" - The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)

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