“I should get a few ribs taken out, because I’ll be in a corset for the rest of my life.” —Helena Bonham Carter
Helena Bonham Carter was born on this day in London, England in 1966. She is 47 years old.
She is youngest of three children born to Elena and Raymond Bonham Carter. Her mother is a psychotherapist, her father was a banker. She went to South Hampstead High School and Westminster School. Although not formally trained as an actress Bonham Carter had plenty of gumption and talent. When she won second place in a national poetry writing competition she used the money she won to put her head shot in a casting directory. She started to get commercials and made a few television dramas.
Her first feature film was in 1985 with A Room with a View in which she played Lucy Honeychurch. The following year she nabbed the title role as Lady Jane Grey in Lady Jane. Period drama seemed in her blood and she was quickly dubbed the “Corset Queen” for her roles like:
- Ophelia in Hamlet,
- Caroline Abbott in Where Angels Fear to Tread,
- Helen Schiegel in Howards End,
- Elizabeth in Frankenstein,
- Olivia in Twelfth Night and
- Kate Croy in The Wings of the Dove.
But she could bring the drama (nd occasionally a darkly comic sensibility) to more modern roles too, as she did in Fight Club, Live from Baghdad, and Terminator Salvation.
After 2001, when she played Ari, a sympathetic ape in Planet of the Apes, she seemed to take on a new type of typecasting and this beautiful actress was suddenly thrust into the role of the haggard witch…which is what she played in Big Fish and the Harry Potter. She also did creepy variations on that genre with her roles as:
- Mrs. Lovett in Sweeny Todd,
- Madame Thenardier in Les Miserables
- Miss Havisham in Great Expectations and
- the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland.
Then she did a perfectly lovely, warm and very funny turn as the Queen Mom in the wonderful The King’s Speech. She earned an Academy Award nomination for the role.
Upcoming for films for Bonham Carter include:
- The Lone Ranger
- The Young and Prodigious Spivet and
- Burton & Taylor (She plays Taylor to Dominic West’s Burton for the BBC biopic that promises to out act the Lifetime / Lindsay Lohan movie on the famous pair, Liz and Dick.)
- Happy Birthday, Helena Bonham Carter! Check Her Most Outrageous Red Carpet Fashion! (socialitelife.com)
- Sweeney Todd 2007 Review (theeradicatorreviews.com)
- FIRST LOOK: Helena Bonham Carter As Elizabeth Taylor (queerty.com)
- Helena Bonham Carter in Fight Club (1999) (film-meets-fashion.com)