Helen Mirren to receive SAG Life Achievement Award

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Helen Mirren [Photo by Trevor Leighton]

LOS ANGELES – SAG Award- and Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren will be the 57th recipient of SAG-AFTRA’s highest tribute: the SAG Life Achievement Award for career achievement and humanitarian accomplishment.

Mirren will be presented the performers union’s top accolade at the 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, slated to be simulcast live on TNT and TBS on Feb. 27 from The Barker Hangar in Santa Monica.

“I am honoured to have been chosen to receive the SAG Life Achievement Award,” said Mirren in a statement. “Since I was a young actor starting out, I have always been inspired by and learned from American screen acting, so this award is particularly meaningful for me.”

Given annually to an actor who fosters the “finest ideals of the acting profession,” the SAG Life Achievement Award will be the latest of Mirren’s esteemed catalog of international industry and public distinctions recognizing her performances on stage, screen and television. Her previous honors have included an Oscar, multiple SAG Awards, three Emmy Awards, numerous BAFTA Awards, a Tony Award, a BAFTA Fellowship Award and The Film Society at Lincoln Center’s Chaplin Award. Plus, she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2003.

To date, Mirren is the most decorated SAG Life Achievement recipient with a total of 13 SAG Awards nominations and five SAG Awards Actor wins, according to a news release.

“Dame Helen Mirren is quite simply a brilliant and luminous talent. Her work runs the gamut of characters from a not-so-retired CIA super-killer and a ruthless Russian spy handler to a Hungarian cleaning lady and the most exquisite Elizabeth II. She has set the bar very high for all actors and, in role after role, she exceeds even her own extraordinary performances,” said SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher in a statement.

Over the course of Mirren’s illustrious film career, she has earned international acclaim for her appearance in more than 70 films. Her first major film was “Age of Consent” in 1969, and had her breakthrough performance in “The Long Good Friday” in 1980. Her early films included “Excalibur,” “Cal,” “The Mosquito Coast,” “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover,” and “Where Angels Fear to Tread.”

In 2006, she received an Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and BAFTA Award for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in “The Queen.” Her critically acclaimed performance in the 2001 film “Gosford Park: earned her dual SAG Awards, one for Female Actor in a Supporting Role and a second as part of the winning cast.

Mirren has also received Oscar nominations for her performances in “The Madness of King George,” “Gosford Park” and “The Last Station.”

Among her other film credits are “Calendar Girls,” “The Clearing,” “Shadowboxer,” “State of Play,” “The Tempest,” “Brighton Rock” and “Some Mother’s Son,” on which she also served as associate producer.

Helen Mirren appears in “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.” [Universal Pictures photo]

The prolific performer’s recent films include “F9,” “The Good Liar,” “Berlin, I Love You,” “Anna,” “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms,” “The Leisure Seeker” and “Trumbo.” Her previous works include “100 Foot Journey,” “RED” and “RED 2,” “The Debt,” “The Door” and “Hitchcock,” for which she was nominated for a SAG Award and other honors.

Mirren will next be seen opposite Jim Broadbent in Sony Pictures Classics’ “The Duke,” due for release in spring, and Lionsgate’s “White Bird: A Wonder Story,” to be released later this year.  She recently finished filming Warner Bros.’ highly anticipated superhero sequel “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” and will portray the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in the upcoming biopic “Golda.” 

On television, Mirren starred in the award-winning series “Prime Suspect” as Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison, for which she earned an Emmy Award and three BAFTA Awards, as well as numerous other nominations. She won another Emmy Award when she reprised the role in 2006’s “Prime Suspect 7: The Final Act,” the last installment in the PBS series.

In 2013, she starred with Al Pacino in the HBO biopic “Phil Spector,” for which she won a SAG Award for her performance and was nominated for an Emmy. Additionally, Mirren was honored for her performance as Queen Elizabeth I in the HBO miniseries “Elizabeth I,” winning a SAG Award and an Emmy.

Her long list of television credits also includes “Losing Chase,” “The Passion of Ayn Rand,” “Door to Door” and “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone,” earning Emmy and SAG Award nominations and awards. She was most recently seen in Amazon’s sci-fi anthology miniseries “Solos,” the Netflix comedy special “Sarah Cooper: Everything’s Fine” and the four-part limited series for HBO/SKY in the title role of “Catherine the Great.”

On stage, Mirren began her career in the role of “Cleopatra” at the National Youth Theatre and then joined the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she starred in such productions as “Troilus and Cressida” and “Macbeth.” In 1972, she joined renowned director Peter Brook’s theater company and toured the world.

In 2013, she debuted her stage role of Elizabeth II in “The Audience” in London’s West End, for which she received the Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award, and 2014 WhatsOnStage Award for Best Actress. Mirren also reprised her role as Queen Elizabeth II on Broadway in “The Audience,” a play written by Peter Morgan and directed by Stephen Daldry, for which she won the 2015 Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role.

Helen Mirren and Jim Broadbent star in the upcoming film “The Duke.” [Sony Pictures Classics photo]

Outside of performing on the stage, in films and on television, Mirren devotes her time to supporting a range of charitable organizations, including Meals on Wheels, which operates across America to address senior hunger and isolation, and SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young, a national non-profit organization that provides support, advocacy and life-changing experiences for young people who stutter. She has hosted a number of SAY events promoting their work empowering children who stutter. Mirren was recognized at Variety’s 2016 Power of Women event for her work with the organization.

Additionally, Mirren was named an Ambassador for Women For Women International, a charity that supports women who have been the victims of war by providing education and job skills training. Her global advocacy efforts also include work with Freedom From Torture, a charity providing torture victims with therapeutic care, and Refuge, a U.K. based charity helping to rebuild the lives of women and children who are survivors of violence and abuse.

The 28th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards, presented by SAG-AFTRA with Screen Actors Guild Awards, will be produced by Avalon Harbor Entertainment, Inc. and will be simulcast live on TNT and TBS at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT Feb. 27. For more information, visit sagawards.org/about.


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