Dame Helen Mirren Has said Her Prime Suspect Character Is a Lesbian

Dame Helen Mirren, who starred in the British version of police crime drama series Prime Suspect has claimed that her character, Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison, would likely have been a lesbian in her later years.

Prime Suspect’s seven seasons ran from 1991 until 2006, with Mirren playing the no-nonsense DCI serving in the Metropolitan Police force. The series was later adapted for U.S. television and dubbed as a “re-imagining” of the original; but lasted only a single season and ran from 2011-2012 (with Maria Bello starring as Jane).

When Helen was questioned what her Prime Suspect character would be doing in later life she said: “That is such a good question… she’s probably gone gay.”

“She’s a lesbian, living with a very attractive partner. Happier than she’s ever been, but still not entirely content. She gave up the drinking the moment she left the office and never went back to it.

“She does yoga. I would imagine she’s still working, either advising or lecturing. I don’t think she can stop – she’s too driven. The police retire quite young so she’s still got a life ahead of her. There are limitless opportunities for Jane.”


The British iteration of Prime Suspect was a resounding hit – both with critics and viewers alike; making it into the list of Time magazine’s top 100 Best Shows of all time. Additionally, it picked up numerous Emmy Awards, Peabody Awards and Golden Globe Awards.

This isn’t the first time Dame Helen Mirren has voice supported for the LGBT community. The 69 year old actress was once asked if she would ever consider playing the titular role in Doctor Who, pointing out in 2013 that she certainly wouldn’t be the first female Doctor.

“I’m not going to be the first female Doctor Who – no, no, no. I absolutely wouldn’t contemplate that,” she said, before voice her support for a lesbian Doctor Who: “I do think it’s well over-time to have a female Doctor Who. I think a gay, black female Doctor Who would be the best of all.”