Oscar Actors: Mirren, Helen

The Best Actress nomination for Helen Mirren's majestic performance in Stephen Frears' “The Queen,” is her first nod in the league category.

Helen Mirren's Oscar Nominations

1994: The Madness of King George (Supporting Actress
2001: Gosford Park (Supporting Actress)
2006: The Queen (Best Actress)

Analysis

Mirren has been nominated twice before, both in the Supporting Actress category. The first time was, Surpirse! for playing a monarch too, Queen Charlotte, in Nicholas Hytners “The Madness of King George” (1994), which was nominated for Best Picture. It's the only time Mirren has played a monarch on the big screen before “The Queen,” a role for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Festival de Cannes. As the title suggests, that movie belongs to the king, splendidly played by Nigel Hawthorne, who did receive a Best Actor nomination.

The second Supporting Oscar nomination Mirren received was for Robert Altman's period thriller, “Gosford Park,” in which she played a member of a different class, the housekeeper. It was a major achievement due to the fact that all the “Who's Who” of the British theatre and cinema were in the picture, including Maggie Smith, who garnered a Supporting Actress nomination as well. Unfortunately, in the final voting, Mirren, who earlier won the New York Film Critics Award for “Gosford Park” (and other films), and Maggie Smith cancelled each other out, and the Oscar went to Jennifer Connelly for “A Beautiful Mind.”