Helen Mirren was born Ilynea Lydia Mironoff on 26th July 1945 in Chiswick, London, England. Her nickname is "Popper". She has an English mother and her father, a Russian aristocrat who was stranded in London after the 1917 revolution, was a driving instructor and a musician. She is the granddaughter of a White Russian émigré nobleman and has a sister, Catherine, and a brother, Peter. In her youth she once worked at the Kursaal amusement park in Southend as a "blagger" to attract customers to the rides. She attended a teacher training college to please her parents but pursued her real love, acting, during weekends and vacations at the National Youth Theatre.
Biography by Contactmusic.com