A romance with a rocky start. Helen Mirren and Taylor Hackford have been together for more than 30 years, but their first encounter didn’t go smoothly.
The Oscar winner and the Ray director met in 1985 while Hackford was working on the movie White Nights, but Mirren wasn’t impressed when her future husband kept her waiting for an audition. “It was a strange way to meet Helen, because she is a lovely person,” the California native told AARP The Magazine in September 2006. “But she didn’t hold back her fury.”
After they got to know each other, however, the Queen actress came around, in part because of how Hackford interacted with his sons. “I have to say that the thing I loved most about Taylor was his absolute, total commitment to his children,” the Emmy winner told the outlet. The Bukowski writer shares son Rio (born in 1970) with first wife Georgie Lowres and son Alexander (born in 1979) with second wife Lynne Littmann.
Mirren, for her part, has said that she never wanted her own biological children. “It was not my destiny,” she told British Vogue in February 2013. “I kept thinking it would be, waiting for it to happen, but I never did, and I didn’t care what people thought.”
The U.K. native also wasn’t totally sold on marriage in her younger years, but meeting Hackford changed her mind. “We got married in the end because we realized that we were going to be together forever,” Mirren told AARP The Magazine in November 2016. “We got married, ultimately, for legal reasons more than anything else. Estate planning and other complicated things like that. And our families, we sensed, wanted us to be married. I always said I have nothing against marriage; it just wasn’t to my taste, like turnips. It took me a very long time to come around to acquiring the taste. I just had to meet the right turnip.”
In December 2022, the Tony Award winner revealed that her relationship helped inspire her portrayal of Cara in the Yellowstone spinoff 1923, in which she’s married to a man named Jacob Dutton (Harrison Ford). “I may be the boss, but he’s the leader. It’s an equal partnership and I know from being with my husband,” she told Entertainment Tonight at the time. “But if you manage to stay together through love, you come to this very beautiful place where it is this equal partnership, and I think that’s where Cara and Jacob are.”
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
Keep scrolling for Mirren and Hackford’s complete relationship timeline: