The European Film Academy has proudly presented Dame Helen Mirren with the honorary European Achievement in World Cinema Award 2012 for her outstanding body of work. “It was discovering the immense diversity of European film-making that gave me an enduring love and respect for the art form,” Mirren said when she received the news. “This award is therefore a very meaningful honour. I would be proud to be counted as an actor in the European tradition.”
Helen Mirren began her film career with Michael Powell’s Age of Consent (1969) and her breakthrough film role came in 1980 in John Mackenzie’s The Long Good Friday. Over the next ten years, she starred in a wide range of acclaimed films, including John Boorman’s Excalibur (1981); Neil Jordan’s Irish thriller Cal (1984), for which she won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival; Peter Greenaway’s The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover (1989) and Charles Sturridge’s Where Angels Fear to Tread (1991).
Mirren starred as Queen Charlotte in Nicholas Hytner’s The Madness of King George (1994) for which she received Best Actress honours at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival and her first Oscar nomination. She was again nominated for an Oscar, for a Golden Globe, BAFTA and for the European Film Academy’s Audience Award for her work in Robert Altman’s 2001 film Gosford Park. For her 2003 performance in Nigel Cole’s Calendar Girls she received another nomination for the European Film Awards, an award she then won for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006 in The Queen, for which she received virtually every award there is, from an Academy Award and Golden Globe, to a BAFTA Award for Best Actress and the Volpi Cup in Venice. Among her most recent films are The Last Station(2009) by Michael Hoffman, for which she was again nominated for an Academy Award® for her portrayal of Sofya Tolstoy, The Debt by John Madden and The Door by István Szabó (both 2011).
Dame Helen Mirren will be an honorary guest at the 25th European Film Awards Ceremony on 1 December 2012 in Malta.