A decade later, as London's Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison in PBS' "Prime Suspect" series, Mirren inspired women and enthralled men with her portrayal of a character uniting instinct and intelligence, vulnerability and iron will, humor and obsession, as she fought crime and patriarchy. Mirren said Tennison was the one character she didn't have to pre-think at all.Mirren started this century doing splendid supporting parts in Robert Altman's "Gosford Park" and Fred Schepisi's "Last Orders." She has been on a major roll for the last decade. She expressed a monarch's "cruel passions" with a throaty roar as the title character in HBO's "Elizabeth I," then topped herself as Elizabeth II in "The Queen." Michael Sheen, who played Tony Blair, told me, "You can't play the queen without guts and courage and chutzpah. But Helen also has the steel."