Helen Mirren’s best moments

Simon Hemelryk / 25 January 2016

Film star Helen Mirren’s new movie Trumbo is in cinemas February 5. We revisit some of the 70-year-old actor’s memorable career highlights.



O Lucky Man!, 1973

Mirren plays two roles, including a casting assistant, in this surreal, acclaimed satire about capitalism.

Related: Helen Mirren talks about her career on stage and screen

Parkinson, 1975

The young actress has Michael Parkinson squirming in his Seventies grey suit after he asks her a series of sexist questions.

‘Do you find what could be best described as your equipment hinders you in your pursuit [of being a serious actress]?’ the normally genial Yorkshireman enquires.

‘I’d like you to explain what you mean by my equipment – in great detail’, withers Mirren. ‘Serious actresses can’t have big bosoms: is that what you mean?’

Caligula, 1979

Despite disapproving of Parkinson’s preoccupation with her figure, Mirren stars as Caesonia, a former prostitute and wife of the debauched Roman Emperor Caligula (Malcolm McDowell), in a notoriously sexual and violent film. She sets pulses racing and video players to pause when she disrobes – several times.

Prime Suspect, 1991-2006

The show that really propelled Mirren into the mainstream consciousness for her memorable performance as flawed-but-brilliant Met detective DCI Jane Tennison.

Calendar Girls, 2003

Mirren’s assets are on display again, but this time it’s all in the best possible taste. She plays Chris in the heartwarming tale of a group of Women’s Institute members who reveal all for a charity calendar, in memory of one of their husbands, who died of leukaemia.

The Queen, 2006

A rather more demure starring role as Elizabeth II, following her in the weeks after Princess Diana’s death.  Mirren’s stately, but somehow mischievous performance helped take The Queen into numerous best-films-of-the-year top tens.

Red, 2010

Britain’s acting sweetheart turns Hollywood action hero as Victoria, a former special agent tempted out of retirement for one more job. The 60-something dodges bullets, explosions and nasty bad guys with typical measured aplomb.

That red bikini, 2008

Mirren has the world’s media in a lather when she is pictured looking stunning for almost any age – never mind 62 – in a red swimsuit, while on holiday in Italy.

Related: Want to make a splash on the beach? Read our top tips for swimwear

Read more about Helen Mirren

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