Happy Birthday to Dame Helen Mirren

By Guest Blogger Spencer Blohm

The incomparable Dame Helen Mirren is turning 68 years old today, but you wouldn’t know it from her spunky attitude or unique fashion choices – she was spotted in clear platform heels at the Red 2 premiere in Hollywood a few weeks ago on July 11. She has portrayed the Queen of England, Alfred Hitchcock’s wife, and Linda Kenney Baden, but her roles don’t just include famously imposing females – Mirren played Prospero (changed to Prospera) in Shakespeare’s epic screen adaptation of The Tempest, just to cite one unexpected example. The following year, Mirren also appeared as Hobson in the 2011 remake of the 1981 comedy Arthur– coincidentally, both roles were previously played by British actor Sir John Gielgud, certainly a far cry from Mirren in terms of, well, everything.

           At 68, Dame Mirren is basically a one-woman powerhouse. She has won an Academy Award, 3 Golden Globes, 4 Emmy’s, and 4 SAG Awards, just to name the most recognizable of her many trophies, and she continues to dazzle both on and off screen. Like many of her fellow British actors, Mirren worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company throughout the late 1960s, made her West End stage debut in the 1970s and recently returned again to the stage, portraying Queen Elizabeth II for the second time in her career in the play The Audience. Earlier this year, in January, Mirren was awarded her very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, a well-deserved honor for an actress rapidly becoming something of an icon.

           In November of this year, the long-running British sci-fi show Doctor Whowill be celebrating its 50th anniversary, and just a month later, the show says goodbye to the eleventh regeneration of the Doctor when Matt Smith leaves the role. Smith’s announcement has opened up the door to speculation and predictions about possible actors to play the twelfth incarnation of Dr. Who, and Mirren’s name has repeatedly come up among fans, amongst whom the cry for there to finally be a female Doctor has grown louder and louder. Dame Helen Mirren herself has said publicly that she believes it is time for a female Doctor – but not her. So far, she has stuck with her assertion that she would never even contemplate the role, but since Mirren has successfully portrayed previously male characters before, and because her presence might bring a new audience to the cult show that Dr. Who has always been, it has to be said that if anyone could be the first female Doctor it would be Dame Helen Mirren.

           Despite her 68 years, Dame Helen Mirren continues to work both in front of the camera and on stage, and it doesn’t look like she plans on retiring from acting in the next few years or any time soon. The bold actress continues to entertain us with her art as well as her fiery, unapologetically honest and fun personality, and we hope she doesn’t go anywhere for a long, long time.

Author Bio: Spencer Blohm is a freelance film, entertainment, and culture blogger for DirectTVcomparison.com. When he’s not working he can usually be found in bed watching movies with his less than enthusiastic cat. He lives and works in Chicago, despite the winters.

Leave a Reply