The award was presented by Kate Winslet during the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards.

On Sunday, Helen Mirren was feted for her acting career by the Screen Actors Guild. At the 2022 awards ceremony, she was the recipient of the Life Achievement Award, presented by an unexpectedly remote Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett (as she put it, "They got another Cate").

While accepting her award, she celebrated the tribe of actors as "rogues and vagabonds." Mirren called the award the S-A-G, noting that at her age she "hates to say the word 'sag.'"

Fitting, considering that Winslet noted one of Mirren's most particular achievements is the sheer volume of work and acclaim she's garnered after the age of 40. "She continues to fly the flag for women above the age of 45," Winslet said. "She confirms what we hope would one day be recognized in this industry — that women just get better with age."

Helen Mirren
Helen Mirren
| Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images

"I joined our tribe of rogues and vagabonds a long time ago," Mirren said while accepting the award. "It is you actors I want to thank for your wit and your humor, all the giggles. I've laughed my whole life. Your hopeless dedication to our chosen profession. I get really p'd off when I hear about actors being maligned as a group… When in my experience, the opposite is true. We love and admire each other's work. Together we laugh, we worry, we change clothes, we throw up, and we suffer diarrhea. Don't you? I mean, I do."

After addressing the constant tension between an actor's insecurity and their ego, as manifested by the symptoms of anxieties she listed, Mirren closed by reflecting on her time playing Phèdre in a theater in Greece that dates back to the ancients. "I felt the ghosts of all those ancient Greeks and vagabonds," she said. "I felt at one with them, actors. I'm sorry, you're a magnificent tribe, stretching across history, culture, and time. This is for the actors; thank you."

Mirren is the 57th recipient of the prize, joining the likes of Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Rita Moreno, Debbie Reynolds, Alan Alda, and Carol Burnett. The prize is awarded to actors who foster the "finest ideals of the acting profession" alongside humanitarian work.

Helen Mirren SAG Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images

"Dame Helen Mirren is quite simply a brilliant and luminous talent. Her work runs the gamut of characters from a not-so-retired CIA super-killer and a ruthless Russian spy handler to a Hungarian cleaning lady and the most exquisite Elizabeth II," said SAG-AFTRA's president, Fran Drescher, in a statement when Mirren was named this year's honoree. "She has set the bar very high for all actors and, in role after role, she exceeds even her own extraordinary performances. I've always felt a kinship with Helen."

Mirren has perhaps only become more famous in the latter half of her career, winning an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II in 2006's The Queen and earning nominations for The Last Station and Gosford Park. She channeled that into a buzzy career that ranges from TV mini-series (Catherine the Great) to action franchises (Red, The Fast and the Furious) to Hollywood biopics (Hitchcock, Trumbo).

But Mirren's career dates back to the late 1960s, beginning with her estimable stage work in Britain and roles that capitalized on her sensuality in projects such as 1979's Caligula. Beginning in the 1990s, she kicked off groundbreaking work as DCI Jane Tennison on the BBC's Prime Suspect, which continued across two decades ending with 2006's Prime Suspect: The Final Act.

Helen Mirren
Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images

Next up, she'll star opposite Jim Broadbent in The Duke and take on the role of former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir in the aptly named Golda.

Offscreen, Mirren is a dedicated philanthropist. She's a charitable supporter of the Meals on Wheels initiative that aims to fight hunger among those in need, as well as SAY: The Stuttering Association for the Young. She was also named an ambassador for women at the Women for Women International charity supporting female victims of war through education and job skills training.

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