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Crowning moment for Helen Mirren as she receives her first ever Olivier award for Queen portrayal

29 APRIL 2013

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Helen Mirren has been crowned queen of the London stage. The beloved British star picked up her first ever Olivier award on Sunday, as she was named best actress for her role in The Audience.

Helen, 67, received her trophy for her portrayal of the Queen in the play, which centres on the weekly audiences given by the monarch to her prime ministers.

She famously won an Oscar and a Golden Globe when she took on the same part for the 2006 film, The Queen, and has now been honoured with British theatre's top acting accolade after returning to the role on stage.

 

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After receiving her trophy from Daniel Radcliffe, Helen paid tribute to the Queen, referencing her recent honorary Bafta.

"The Queen has already won a Bafta this year, I think she's going to be thrilled with an Olivier award as well," she said. "She deserves one for the most consistent and committed performance of the 20th century and probably the 21st."

Dame Helen has been nominated for the best actress Olivier award three times before, but has never won. The humble star said the award was not because she was the best actress, but, "I think it's a reflection of the respect the Queen is held in."

 


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The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, an adaptation of Mark Haddon's acclaimed novel, was the most successful production on the night, picking up seven awards including the coveted best actor trophy for Luke Treadaway.

The delighted star, 28, beat James McAvoy, Rupert Everett, Rafe Spall and Mark Rylance, twice winner of the award. "I can't believe it, I'm so surprised," Luke said. "Everyone I was nominated with are incredible actors. I've enjoyed watching their performances in many things over the years."

The nation's finest stage talent was out in force for the glamorous red carpet event. Homeland's Damian Lewis was best supporting husband on the night, escorting his wife Helen McCrory, who was nominated for her supporting role in The Last of the Haussmans.

 

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Oblivious to the crowds, the happy couple — who married in 2007, and have a daughter Manon, six, and son Gulliver, five — seemed very much in love, sharing kisses and cuddles as they arrived at the Royal Opera House.

Inside they caught up with another husband and wife team, Billie Piper and Laurence Fox — Billie and Damian go way back, having starred together in a BBC adaptation of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing in 2005.

Other famous faces at the Olivier Awards, which was hosted by Downton Abbey actor Hugh Bonneville and West End star Sheridan Smith, included James McAvoy and his wife Anne-Marie Duff, Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall, Glee's Matthew Morrison and Myleene Klass.

 

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