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Helena Bonham Carter (born 26 May 1966) is an English actress. Bonham Carter made her film debut in the K. M. Peyton film, A Pattern of Roses, before appearing in her first leading role in Lady Jane. She is best known for her portrayals of Lucy Honeychurch in the film A Room with a View, Marla Singer in the film Fight Club, Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter film series, her Oscar-nominated performance as Kate Croy in The Wings of the Dove, her Golden Globe-nominated performance as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, as well as her other collaborations with Tim Burton, her domestic partner since 2001. Bonham Carter will play the villainous Red Queen, alongside notable actors such as Johnny Depp, Alan Rickman, Anne Hathaway, and Christopher Lee, in her partner Tim Burton's 2010 film, Alice in Wonderland, and Enid Blyton in the first ever adaptation of her life entitled Enid.



  • 1 Early life and family background
  • 2 Career
  • 3 Personal life
    • 4.1 Films
    • 4.2 TV shows
    • 4.3 Stage productions and radio shows
    • 4.4 Video games
  • 5 Discography
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

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// [edit] Early life and family background == Bonham Carter was born in Golders Green, London. Her mother, Elena (née Propper de Callejón), is a psychotherapist. Her father, Raymond Bonham Carter, was a merchant banker and the alternate UK director representing the Bank of England at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. during the 1960s;[1][2][3] he came from a famous British political family, being the son of English Liberal politician Sir Maurice Bonham Carter and renowned politician, orator and member of the House of Lords, Violet Bonham Carter, whose father was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, H. H. Asquith (1908–1916). Helena Bonham Carter's maternal grandfather, Eduardo Propper de Callejón, was of half Spanish and half Jewish ancestry, and served as a diplomat and former Minister-Counsellor at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C. Bonham Carter's Jewish maternal grandmother, Hélène Fould-Springer, was the daughter of Baron Eugène Fould-Springer (a French-born banker), and Marie Cecile Von Springer (whose father was the industrialist Baron Gustav Springer).[1][4][5] Hélène Fould-Springer's sister was the French philanthropist Liliane de Rothschild (1916–2003), the wife of Baron Élie de Rothschild, and her other sister, Therese Fould-Springer, was the mother of British writer David Pryce-Jones.[4] Bonham Carter has two brothers, Edward and Thomas, and is a distant cousin of fellow actor Crispin Bonham-Carter, who played Mr. Bingley in the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, and Jane Bonham Carter. Bonham Carter is also distantly related to Admiral Stuart Bonham Carter, Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels (through marriage), pioneering English nurse Florence Nightingale[6] and is the grand-niece of Anthony Asquith, legendary English director of such classics as Carrington VC and The Importance Of Being Earnest. Bonham Carter was educated at the South Hampstead High School, a girls' independent school in Hampstead, London and later at Westminster School, a co-educational independent school near the Palace of Westminster. Bonham Carter was denied admission to King's College, Cambridge University, not because of her grades or her test scores, but because school officials were afraid that she would leave mid-term to pursue her acting career. Because of Cambridge's rejection, Bonham Carter decided to concentrate fully on acting.

When Bonham Carter was just five, her mother had a serious nervous breakdown, from which it took her three years to recover. Upon her recovery, her experience in therapy led her to become a psychotherapist herself — Bonham Carter now pays her to read her scripts and deliver her opinion of the characters' psychological motivations. Five years after her mother's recovery, there was a more terrible familial blow. While holidaying in Greece, her father went deaf in one ear. He was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, and a routine operation was carried out to remove the benign tumour. It went badly wrong. After 9 hours in surgery, Raymond, only 50 years of age, had a stroke that left him half-paralysed and confined to a wheelchair. With her two older brothers (both now bankers) at college, Bonham Carter was left to help her mother cope. She would later study her father's movements and mannerisms for her role in The Theory of Flight.[7]

[edit] Career[]

Bonham Carter has not received any formal training in acting.[8] In 1979, she won a national writing contest and used the money won to pay for her entry into the actors directory Spotlight. She made her professional acting début at the age of 16, in a television commercial. She also had a part in a minor TV film A Pattern of Roses. Her first starring film role was in Lady Jane which had mixed reviews. Her breakthrough role was Lucy Honeychurch in A Room with a View which was filmed after Lady Jane, but released first. Bonham Carter also appeared in episodes of Miami Vice as Don Johnson's love interest during the 1986–87 season. Bonham Carter auditioned for the role of Nancy Spungen in Sid and Nancy, however she lost out to Chloe Webb, and also turned down the role of Bess McNeill in Breaking the Waves due to the sexual content. The role went to Emily Watson who was nominated for an Academy Award for the role.[9]

These early films led to her being typecast as a "corset queen", and "English rose," playing pre- and early 20th century characters, particularly in Merchant-Ivory films. She expanded her range,[8] her more recent films are Fight Club, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, and Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Corpse Bride, Big Fish, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. She also speaks French fluently, starring in a 1996 French film Portraits chinois. In August 2001, she was featured in Maxim. She played her second Queen of England when she was cast as Anne Boleyn in the ITV1 mini-series Henry VIII, her role was however restricted as she was pregnant with her first child at the time of filming. Bonham Carter was a member of the jury at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival that unanimously selected The Wind That Shakes the Barley as the best film.[10]

Bonham Carter played Bellatrix Lestrange in 2007's Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and 2009's Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. She will reprise the character in the film adaptations of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Bonham Carter received positive reviews as Lestrange, described as a "shining but underused talent".[11][12] She then played Mrs. Lovett, Sweeney Todd's (Johnny Depp) amorous accomplice in the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. The film was released on 21 December 2007 in the US[13] and 25 January 2008 in the UK. Directed by Tim Burton, Bonham Carter received a Golden Globe nomination ("Best Actress - Comedy or Musical") for her performance, though she did not win. She also won the Best Actress award in the 2007 Evening Standard British Film Awards for her performances in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Conversations With Other Women, along with another Best Actress award in the 2009 Empire Awards. Bonham Carter also appeared in the fourth Terminator film entitled Terminator Salvation, playing a small but pivotal role.[14]

In May 2006, Bonham Carter launched her own fashion line, "The Pantaloonies," with swimwear designer Samantha Sage. Their first collection, called Bloomin' Bloomers, is a Victorian style selection of camisoles, mop caps and bloomers. The duo are now working on Pantaloonies customized jeans which Bonham Carter describes as "a kind of scrapbook on the bum".[15] Bonham Carter also planned to return to the West End with an appearance in "Rubenstein's Kiss;" however, the play was delayed because of her busy schedule. The production, also set to star Gary Kemp of Spandau Ballet fame, was due to open in November 2004 but has now been postponed.[16]

In September 2008, Wild Target director, Jonathan Lynn, confirmed in an email to a fansite, that Bonham Carter had in fact had to drop out of his film due to filming difficulties. He then went on to say that she had joined the cast of partner Tim Burton's 2010 film, Alice in Wonderland. Bonham Carter's role has now been confirmed, and it is The Red Queen.[17] Bonham Carter will be appearing alongside various big names such as Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Christopher Lee and Alan Rickman. Bonham Carter and Hathaway will be playing the two dueling sisters, the Red and White Queens, respectively. Bonham Carter's role consists of two merged roles, The Queen of Hearts, and The Red Queen.[18][19][20] In early 2009 Bonham Carter was named one of The Times newspaper's top 10 British Actresses of all-time. Bonham Carter appeared on the list alongside fellow British actresses, Julie Andrews, Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Audrey Hepburn.[21]

Bonham Carter has signed on to play the renowned author Enid Blyton in the upcoming BBC Four television biopic, Enid. It will be the first depiction of Blyton's life on the screen, and Bonham Carter hopes to "do her justice". Bonham Carter will be starring alongside Matthew Macfadyen and Denis Lawson.[22]