Helena Bonham Carter is a highly acclaimed English actress known for her versatility. She is commonly regarded as one of UK`s most skillful and successful actresses, popular for her roles in films like the Harry Potter series (2007-11), Wings of Dove (1997) and King`s Speech (2010). She has made her name in English films as well as Hollywood and also hasn`t shied away from being a part of TV.
Bonham Carter was born in Golders Green, London to Raymond Bonham Carter and Elena. Her father belonged to an influential British political family, while her maternal grandparents were diplomats. She is the youngest of the three children, with Edward and Thomas being her elder brothers.
She was brought up in Golders Green and went to South Hampstead High School. She passed her A Levels at the Westminister School. As a child, with her older brothers at college, she was forced to help her mother cope up with taking care of her father who was wheel chair ridden. An operation to remove a tumor had left her father half-paralyzed.
Helena Bonham Carter has never been married, though she has publicly been in two relationships. She started dating actor Kenneth Branagh
in 1994. They called off their relationship after five years in 1999.
She then began a relationship with director Tim Burton
in 2001. They met each other while filming Planet of the Apes. The pair has two children Billy Raymond Burton and Nell Burton. Bonham Carter has mentioned in her interviews that she faced many difficulties during her pregnancy. She had to struggle with her infertility and the two had even considered IVF, though, she did conceive naturally. Tim Burton
and Helena Bonham Carter announced that they had separated amicably in 2014.
In the early part of her career, Bonham Carter played a lot of pre or early 20th century English characters for which she came to be popularly known as the `Corset Queen` and `English Rose`. Her debut film lead role had her playing Lady Jane Grey - aka as the Nine Day Queen - in the film Lady Jane (1986). However, she shot to fame with her performance as Lucy Honey church in the Merchant Ivory film Room With A View (1985) that was shot after Lady Jane but released beforehand. Angels Fear to Tread (1991) and Howards End (1992) are two of the other films where she played a corset clad character.
But Bonham Carter did not fit the stereotype as she also enacted Shakespearean characters in film like Hamlet (1990) and Twelfth Night (1996) with equal ease. Wings of Dove (1997) is one of her highly acclaimed films wherein her role of the cunning Kate Croy got her a Golden Globe as well as an Academy Award Nomination.
Since then, though, Bonham Carter has gone on to play a wide variety of roles and not stuck to being the delicate beauty, reminiscent of a bygone era. She went on to famously play a neurotic anti-heroine in the David Fincher
film Fight Club
(1999). Paul Greengrass
`s Theory of Flight (1998) had her playing the victim of a motor neurone disease.
Bonham Carter collaborated on many films with her then partnerTim Burton
. Planet of the Apes (2000) was the first of such collaborations wherein she played an ape. Big Fish (2003), Corpse Bride (2005), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
(2005), Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Alice in Wonderland (2010) were the other films that the pair collaborated on.
Her another popular portrayal is that of the character Bellatrix Lestrange in the Harry Potter series (1997-2011). She played the negative character to great appreciation from fans in the final four films of the series.
Her most prominent performance, though, came with the role of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in the film King`s Speech (2010) for which she won the BAFTA for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. She was also nominated at the Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress for the role, but did not win it.
In 2012, Bonham Carter essayed the role of Miss Havisham in the Mike Newell
adaptation of Great Expectations. She also played the role of Madame Thenardier in the film adaptation of the musical Les Miserable that year.
The year 2013 saw her playing a pimp named Red Harrington in the film The Lone Ranger
and playing the mother of the lead character TS Spivet in the film The Young and Prodigious TS Spivet. The film Suffragette (2014) in which starred in is a historical period drama about the suffrage of women in the United Kingdom. She played the role of Red Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass
Bonham Carter`s other films a spin-off of the Ocean`s Eleven Trilogy titled Ocean`s Eight (2017) and Enola Holmes (2020).
Bonham Carter has always played characters on Television in between her film career. She appeared as Don Johnson`s love interest in Miami Vice very early in her career. She has also played roles in more than a couple of television films like Live From Baghdad, Toast and Burton & Taylor. However, her most acclaimed TV performance came with the biographical television film Enid, wherein she essayed the role of the Enid. Bonham Carter won the International Emmy Award for her performance in Enid. She also featured in The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019) and The Crown (2020).