Thursday, November 8, 2007

Helena Bonham Carter - A True Leading Lady

Helena Bonham Carter may not be a household name in America but this London born actress is no stranger to the big screen. Helena broke into her acting career at 16 without any formal training on a television commercial. Soon after, she landed in the cast of the "made for television" film "A Pattern of Roses" by K. M. Peyton. Not far after, she nabbed her first leading role in "Lady Jane", and much more success was quick to follow.


Helena Bonham Carter was born on May 26, 1966 in Golders Green, London. She was raised there by her mother Elena, father Raymond Bonham Carter, and has two brothers, Edward and Thomas. As a young woman she worked towards attending Cambridge University where she was denied acceptance. The school worried that she would leave before completion to pursue her already promising acting career. With the rejection from furthering her education at Cambridge, Helena quickly decided to seek out and establish her acting career.

After busting into the scene through the television commercial and a small role in "A Pattern Of Roses", Carter could land a more serious leading role as Lady Jane Grey in the 1986 film "Lady Jane." Although the story of England's nine-days' Queen troubled life was met with mixed reviews, it presented her as a motivated and capable actress on the screen. It was not until she played the character of Lucy Honeychurch in the more successful "A Room with a View" that her career would break out completely. Still, even with these early successes Carter was becoming typecast in early 20th century characters. A persona she would eventually completely shed away from with her more modern roles in hit movies such as Fight Club, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Carter has since gone on to play "Bellatrix Lestrange" from the blockbuster Harry Potter franchise and joined the cast of "Alice in Wonderland" playing The Red Queen for Tim Burton's 2010 reworking.

In 2006 Carter, alongside swim wear designer and friend Samantha Sage, launched a fashion line "The Pantaloonies." The clothing includes camisoles and bloomers in a variety of Victorian stylings. The first debut collection named "Bloomin' Bloomers" has garnered nice buzz. As of 2007, the fashion duo have been working on a jean collection which emphasizes Carter's quirky and eccentric fashion sense, including customizing customers favorite pairs of denim.

Personal Tidbits

Helena was in a long term relationship with fellow actor Kenneth Branagh from 1994 until the summer of 1999. In 2001, she and director Tim Burton pursued romantic interests after meeting on the set of "Planet Of The Apes." Carter has been cast in many of Burton's movies, including Big Fish, Corpse Bride, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and Alice in Wonderland. The couple purchased a home where they reside at Belsize Park, London to raise their two children, Billy Raymond Burton and daughter Nell Burton. In 2008 Helena Bonham Carter began giving back in the form of charitable acts, including joining Action Duchenne (Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy). Helena remains at the top of her game in 2010, and the London born actress shows no signs of slowing down.

This biography of Helena Bonham Carter was written by Reed of for The Helena Bonham Carter Fansite 2010 provides great entertainment news and reviews for New York City plus tips for finding great Broadway tickets online.