Helen Mirren, 76, is acting royalty! The Hitchcock star has appeared in tons of beloved and critically acclaimed movies throughout her career. From her early career as Hermia in a 1967 adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream to more recent roles in mystery dramas like The Good Liar in 2019, there’s no slowing the British star down. Throughout much of her career she’s had one man by her side: her husband Taylor Hackford, 77, who she’s been with since 1986 and married to since 1997. Find out more about Taylor and his marriage to Helen!
How did Helen and Taylor meet?
Both Helen and Taylor had established themselves in the film industry when they first crossed paths in 1985. Helen had recently made her breakout performance in 1980’s The Long Good Friday, and Taylor had recently had box office success with An Officer and a Gentleman and The Idolmaker. The pair met when Helen was cast in Taylor’s 1985 flick White Nights. Taylor opened up about his first meeting with Helen in a 2006 profile on the actress for AARP. He revealed that he’d kept her waiting for her audition for an extended period of time. “It was a strange way to meet Helen, because she is a lovely person, but she didn’t hold back her fury,” he said.
Prior to meeting Taylor, Helen had thought that she wouldn’t get married, but she’s come to really enjoy being wed to the director. She explained she especially likes calling him her husband in that AARP interview. “I can’t wait for an opportunity to say it…you know: ‘My husband is over there at the moment.’ I absolutely love it,” she said. The pair ended up wedding on New Year’s Eve in 1997.
Taylor is a director and producer
Like his wife, Taylor has had a presence in the entertainment industry for decades, but he’s mostly stayed behind the camera throughout his nearly 50-year career. He made his directorial debut in 1973 with the TV movie Economic Love-In, and that same year he released a documentary on the transgressive poet Charles Bukowski. Throughout his career, he’s been a director and producer for a number of different genres, but perhaps his best known movie is the 2004 Ray Charles biopic Ray, which starred Jamie Foxx as the iconic musician. His most recent directorial effort came in 2016, when he was the auteur behind the Jeff Ross-written, Robert De Niro–starring movie The Comedian.
Taylor has two kids from previous marriages
While Helen has no kids of her own, she is a step-mom to two of Taylor’s sons from his first two marriages. Taylor was married to Georgie Lowres from 1967 to 1972, and they have one son Rio, 51, who is also an actor, having appeared in a number of projects including The Mandalorian. His second marriage was to director Lynne Litman from 1979 to 1987, and the pair had a son Alexander, 43, who is the head of creative music affairs at PlayStation, according to his LinkedIn.
Taylor’s directed Helen in three movies
While Helen and Taylor have both had extremely busy careers since they’ve gotten together, the pair have not worked together on many projects. Besides White Nights when the pair first met, the couple have only collaborated on two more movies together. The pair didn’t work together again until 25 years after their first picture together, when Helen starred in Taylor’s 2010 movie Love Ranch alongside Joe Pesci. In the dramedy, Helen and Joe play a couple who go into business when they open the first legal brothel in Nevada.
The pair wouldn’t reunite for the screen again until 12 years later, and the pair are working together on the upcoming movie Sniff, which is expected to hit theaters in September 2022. Besides Helen, Taylor has recruited an all-star cast, consisting of Al Pacino, Morgan Freeman, and Danny Devito. The film will tell the story of a detective brought out of retirement to taken down a notorious criminal mastermind.
He’s also won an Oscar
Like his wife, Taylor has also won an Academy Award. He received the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film in 1978 for the short film Teenage Father, which briefly told a story about teen pregnancy. Taylor received nominations from the Academy again in 2005, when Ray was nominated for both Best Motion Picture and Best Director.
Taylor and Helen have the same number of Oscars, with the actress receiving the award in 2007 for her leading role in The Queen. Helen has been nominated on three other occasions. Her first nod came in 1995, when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in The Madness of King George. She received a Best Supporting Actress nomination again in 2002 for Gosford Park, and she was nominated for Best Leading Actress again in 2009 for The Last Station.
Helen and Taylor usually spend time apart due to their jobs
Given how busy the life of an actor and director can be, the pair very often spent time apart from each other. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Helen reflected that it was a bit of a blessing in disguise, because the couple got to spend every night together during lockdown. “My husband and I have been married for 30-something years, you know, a very long time. But in all that time because of the nature of both of our work we’ve always been looking at suitcases, at packing. The suitcases are always on the floor ready to be packed or unpacked. We have literally never spent this amount of time together,” she told The Telegraph in a March 2021 interview. “It’s been really great to just sort of have what most people have. You know, normal, regular, repetitive lives, but comfortable lives. So it’s been a wonderful way for the two of us to bond, in a weird way. I think it’s been a very bonding experience