Essex-born actress awarded Bafta Fellowship

Dame Helen Mirren arriving at The EE British Academy Film Awards 2014, at the Royal Opera House, Bow Street, London Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Dame Helen Mirren, who was born in Essex, has been awarded a Bafta Fellowship.

She was presented with her Bafta by the Duke of Cambridge at last night's ceremony.

The actress won an Oscar in 2007 for her performance in the title role of The Queen. Before that she had been best known as tough-talking DCI Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect.

She was born Ilynea Lydia Mironoff in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, to a family of Russian aristocrats forced into exile by the 1917 Revolution.

In her youth she once worked at the Kursaal amusement park in Southend as a "blagger", to attract customers to the rides.

Mirren decided she wanted to be an actress at the age of six, but went to teacher training college to keep her parents happy.

Eventually she ditched her studies in favour of the stage, and made an immediate impact playing Cleopatra in a 1965 production for the National Youth Theatre.

She was soon snapped up by the Royal Shakespeare Company and tackled numerous classical parts.

In the 1980s she appeared in The Long Good Friday, Excalibur and Peter Greenaway's The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover.

Her performances in five Prime Suspects were a huge critical and commercial hit, earning her three consecutive Baftas and an Emmy for the role.

She returned after a seven-year break with Prime Suspect 6 in 2003, and came back again in 2006 for Prime Suspect: The Final Act.

She had been nominated for Oscars twice, in 1995 for The Madness Of King George and for Gosford Park in 2002, before she finally won.

More recent roles have seen her play a retired Israeli Mossad agent in The Debt and the part of Alfred Hitchcock's wire Alma in the 2012 biopic Hitchcock about the making of Psycho.

She also returned to the royal family on stage - playing the Queen again in The Audience which depicts the monarch in conversation with the many prime ministers who have served throughout her reign.

Dame Helen married American producer-director Taylor Hackford in 1997 and the pair divide their time between homes in London and Los Angeles.

For more on the Baftas and a full list of winners click here.