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C Entries
Edward L. Cahn
James Cameron
Lewis John Carlino
Richard Carlson
John Carradine
Helena Bonham Carter
Leo G. Carroll
Maurice Cass
Lon Chaney
Lon Chaney, Jr.
John Cho
Arthur C. Clarke
Phyllis Coates
Joan Collins
Sir Sean Connery
Roger Corman
Buster Crabbe
Richard Crane
Tom Cruise
Peter Cushing
 
CARTER, HELENA BONHAM
(1966– ). British actress.

SCIENCE FICTION, FANTASY, AND HORROR FILM CREDITS
Acted in: La Maschera (Fiorella Infascelli 1989); Hamlet (Franco Zeffirelli 1990); Frankenstein (Kenneth Branagh 1994); Mighty Aphrodite (Woody ALLEN 1995); Merlin (tv miniseries) (1998); Fight Club (David Fincher 1999); Planet of the Apes (Tim BURTON 2001); Big Fish (Burton 2003); Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Burton 2005); Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (David Yates 2007); Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Burton 2007); Terminator Salvation (McG 2009); Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Yates 2009); Alice in Wonderland (Burton 2010); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Yates 2010); Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (Yates 2011);  Dark Shadows (Burton 2012).

Provided voice for animation: Brown Bear's Wedding (tv movie) (1991); White Bear's Secret (tv movie) (1992); Carnivale (Deane Taylor 2000); Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Steve Box and Nick Park 2005); Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (video game) (2005); Corpse Bride (Burton and Nick Johnson 2005); The Gruffalo (tv short) (Max Lang and Jakob Schuh 2009); The Gruffalo's Child (Uwe Heidschötter and Johannes Weiland 2011).

 
She first made a splash in A Room with a View (1984) as a proper young Englishwoman vacationing in Italy and impressed everyone with her aristocratic beauty, bonhomie, and British accent, persuasively suggesting that (as was indeed the case) she was to the manor born. For these reasons, Helena Bonham Carter seemed well prepared to play the ingenue to Maggie Smith's dowager in scores of stately, impeccably well staged, and vacuous Merchant-Ivory productions, and one had every reason to believe that the closest she would ever get to science fiction film was an encounter with the Ghost in Hamlet. Who could have imagined that she would someday deliver her greatest performance while pretending to be an ape?

However, like her character in A Room with a View, Carter evidently harbored a secret desire to break away from being prim and proper, and amidst several additional roles of the sorts we can come to expect, some strangeness began creeping into her filmography during the 1990s: the imperiled bride in Frankenstein, Morgan le Fey in a television adaptation of Merlin, and the token romantic interest in that very odd fantasy, Fight Club. An apparently firm shift to a career of walking on the wild side came when she established a romantic relationship with Tim BURTON and started to appear in almost all of that distinctive director's invariably outré productions.

This liaison has brought, one might say, mixed results. On the positive side, one cannot praise too highly her radiant performance as the sympathetic ape scientist in Burton's Planet of the Apes, conveying a passionate commitment to her character through all of that makeup in a manner matched only by fellow actor Tim Roth. (Indeed, they are the only two reasons to regret that this otherwise deeply flawed film never engendered a sequel). On the other hand, confronting the challenge of portraying the homicidal Mrs. Lovett in an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's musical Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the hapless Ms. Carter didn't have a clue. When given smaller roles in Burton's films, she tended to fall between these extremes, neither enhancing nor diminishing the quality of the productions, though she was better than usual as the mother in the misguided Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and a bit worse than usual as the Red Queen in the annoying Alice in Wonderland. When her paramour was not in need of her services, Carter also did some weird films for other directors, playing an evil witch in four Harry Potter films and a scientist in the fourth, and worst, Terminator film.

Still, while these were the roles that were attracting attention, Carter was also maintaining the skills that had made her famous in some less prominent films set in the drawing rooms and country estates that were her original stomping grounds, and observing her performance as Queen Elizabeth in The King's Speech (2010), she conveyed the relaxed aura of someone finally returning to her comfort zone. To be sure, she may continue to work for Burton in calamities like Dark Shadows, yet one suspects that she will now be seeking out more roles in films like Great Expectations (2012) and Les Misérables (2012), as she pursues that elusive Academy Award and someday, perhaps, a lifetime achievement award to be accompanied by a series of clips that, unless carefully edited, will display talents of a quite surprising variety.

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