Helena Bonham Carter Biography

(English Actress Who is Known for Her Roles in Period Dramas)

Birthday: May 26, 1966 (Gemini)

Born In: Islington, London, England

Born into an important political family, British actor Helena Bonham Carter endured a difficult childhood, having to cope with her parents’ ill health. Her debut movie ‘Lady Jane’ and her subsequent roles in the Merchant-Ivory productions, such as ‘A Room with a View’ and ‘Howards End,’ cemented her place in the film industry. Critic Richard Corliss referred to her as “a modern antique goddess.” Wanting to avoid being typecast, the actor began working with commercially successful, but artistically respected filmmakers like Tim Burton, who went on to become her partner. Her relationship with Burton helped her personally and professionally. She worked in many of Burton’s films, such as ‘Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Big Fish,’ ‘Sweeny Todd,’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ Apart from these Burton films, she played the mad witch ‘Bellatrix’ in several ‘Harry Potter’ films. She also played the innkeeper ‘Madame Thénardier’ in the big-budget musical ‘Les Misérables’ and ‘Miss Havisham’ in ‘Great Expectations.’ Three of her standout performances came in the films, ‘Wings of the Dove,’ where she played the manipulative ‘Kate Croy,’ ‘The King's Speech,’ where she played ‘Queen Elizabeth,’ and ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.’ As an actor, she has proved her versatility, playing important roles in several movies of various genres.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In May

Age: 57 Years, 57 Year Old Females


father: Raymond Bonham Carter

mother: Elena Propper de Callejon

siblings: Edward Bonham Carter, Thomas Bonham Carter

children: Billy Raymond Burton, Nell Burton

Partner: Kenneth Branagh (1994–1999), Tim Burton (2001–2014)

Born Country: England

Quotes By Helena Bonham Carter Actresses

Height: 5'2" (157 cm), 5'2" Females

City: London, England

Notable Alumni: South Hampstead High School, Westminster School

More Facts

education: Westminster School, South Hampstead High School

Childhood & Early Life

Helena Bonham Carter was born on May 26, 1966, in Islington, London, England, to Elena, a psychotherapist, and Raymond Bonham Carter, a merchant banker.

She came from a renowned political family. Her paternal grandparents were successful politicians. She was the great-granddaughter of former British PM Asquith. She has two older brothers, Edward and Thomas.

Her childhood was traumatic. Her mother had a serious nervous breakdown and took three years to recover. Her father suffered complications during a surgery to remove a tumor which left him half-paralyzed.

Educated at ‘South Hampstead High School,’ she completed her A-levels at ‘Westminster School.’ ‘King's College,’ Cambridge, would not admit her because they felt that she would discontinue the course to pursue her acting career.

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Helena Bonham Carter won a national writing contest in 1979. She used the prize money to pay for her entry into the actors' Spotlight directory. She made her debut at the age of 16, appearing in a television commercial.

She played the title role in the movie ‘Lady Jane’ in 1986. It tells the story of Lady Jane Grey, the Nine Days' Queen, her reign, and her romance with her husband Lord Guilford Dudley.

In the Merchant-Ivory produced 1985 romance film 'A Room with a View,’ she had a significant role as ‘Lucy Honeychurch,’ who falls in love with a free-spirited young man.

Between 1986 and 1988, she concentrated on television work. She appeared in the episodes of ‘Miami Vice’ and ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ (1994), and starred in television films, such as ‘A Hazard of Hearts’ and ‘The Vision.’

Her role as ‘Helen Schlegel’ in the 1992 film ‘Howards End’ brought her massive acclaim and a ‘BAFTA’ nomination for best supporting actress. The film was based on E. M. Forster’s novel.

In ‘Fight Club,’ a 1999 film based on Chuck Palahniuk’s novel, she starred alongside Edward Norton and Brad Pitt. She played a dissolute woman named ‘Marla Singer’ and received positive reviews from critics.

She did many movies with Tim Burton between 2001 and 2010. Some of these movies include ‘Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Big Fish,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ and ‘Corpse Bride.’

She did many movies with Tim Burton between 2001 and 2010. Some of these movies include ‘Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Big Fish,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ and ‘Corpse Bride.’

In 2006, the actor opened her own fashion line called ‘The Pantaloonies’ in collaboration with swimwear designer Samantha Sage. Their first collection, ‘Bloomin' Bloomers,’ was a Victorian-style range of camisoles and bloomers.

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She essayed the role of ‘Enid Blyton’ in ‘Enid,’ a British dramatic television film, which was first broadcast in 2009 on ‘BBC Four.’ She won the 2010 ‘International Emmy Award’ for ‘Best Actress’ for her role.

She starred in the biopic ‘Toast’ in 2010. It was a ‘BBC One’ adaptation of the autobiographical novel of the same name by cookery writer Nigel Slater - she played the role of ‘Joan Potter.’

‘The King's Speech,’ a 2010 British epic historical drama film, directed by Tom Hooper saw her portray Queen Elizabeth. It was a major box office and critical success and brought her much fame and appreciation.

Between 2007 and 2011, she played the villainous ‘Bellatrix Lestrange,’ a female Death Eater, in the famous ‘Harry Potter’ film series.

In 2012, she worked in two adapted classics; in the film ‘Great Expectations,’ she played the role of a wealthy spinster named ‘Miss Havisham,’ and in ‘Les Misérables,’ she played ‘Mme. Thénardier.’

‘Burton & Taylor,’ a 2013 ‘BBC’ TV film, was based on the legendary acting duo and former husband and wife, Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor. They were ‘perfectly’ portrayed by Dominic West and Carter, respectively.

Bonham Carter reprised her role as the ‘Red Queen’ in ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ in 2016. In 2018, she starred in the movie ‘Ocean's 8’ as ‘Rose Weil.’

In 2022, he voiced ‘Jen’ in the British animation stop-motion animated anthology film ‘The House’ directed by Emma de Swaef, Marc James Roels, Niki Lindroth von Bahr, and Paloma Baeza. The film garnered much praise from critics and holds a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That same year, she reprised her role of ‘Eudoria Holmes’ in the Harry Bradbeer-directed mystery film ‘Enola Holmes 2.’ The film was released on Netflix and received positive reviews from critics.

In 2023, she was seen in the British three-part biographical miniseries ‘Nolly’ where she portrayed ‘Noele Gordon.’

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Major Works

In the 1997 film ‘The Wings of the Dove,’ which is an adaptation of a novel written by Henry James, Helena Bonham Carter played the manipulative ‘Kate Croy.’ Her performance won her an ‘Oscar’ nomination and many other accolades.

She delivered a stunning performance in Tim Burton’s ‘Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,’ a 2007 musical horror film. Her performance as ‘Mrs. Nellie Lovett’ was applauded, and she received many accolades.


Helen Bonham Carter was nominated twice for the ‘Oscars’ for her performances in ‘The Wings of the Dove’ and ‘The King's Speech.’ She has also received many ‘Golden Globe’ nominations.

In 2011, for ‘The King's Speech,’ she won a ‘BAFTA’ for ‘Best Supporting Actress,’ and shared the ‘Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Award’ with her co-stars.

She won two ‘Empire Awards’ for ‘Best Actress’ for ‘Sweeney Todd’ and ‘Fight Club.’ The ‘Empire Award’ is an accolade bestowed by ‘Empire,’ Britain's best-selling film magazine.

In 2008, she was presented with the ‘Evening Standard British Film Award’ for her performances in ‘Conversations with Other Women’ and ‘Sweeney Todd.’

Personal Life & Legacy

Helena Bonham Carter was in a relationship with actor Kenneth Branagh. In 2001, she started dating director Tim Burton. The couple has two children - Billy Raymond and Nell. Burton and Bonham Carter went their separate ways in 2014. She started dating Rye Dag Holmboe in 2018.


This talented actor was named by ‘The Times’ as one of the ‘Top 10 British Actresses of all time.’ She was ranked No. 99 on the Telegraph‘s list of the ‘100 most powerful people in British culture.’

This actor has used fake teeth in several of her films, including ‘Planet of the Apes,’ ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,’ and the ‘Harry Potter’ film series.

Four of her relatives were killed in a safari bus crash in South Africa in 2008.

Helena Bonham Carter Movies

1. Fight Club (1999)


2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

  (Adventure, Fantasy, Mystery, Drama)

3. Big Fish (2003)

  (Romance, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy)

4. The King's Speech (2010)

  (Biography, Drama)

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

  (Mystery, Family, Adventure, Fantasy)

6. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

  (Fantasy, Mystery, Family, Adventure)

7. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

  (Mystery, Family, Adventure, Fantasy)

8. Les Misérables (2012)

  (Drama, Musical, Romance)

9. Maurice (1987)

  (Romance, Drama)

10. Howards End (1992)

  (Romance, Drama)


BAFTA Awards
2011 Best Supporting Actress The King's Speech (2010)

See the events in life of Helena Bonham Carter in Chronological Order

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