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    Helen Mirren Wins Major Theater Award, Judges Quit After Claiming Voting Was Rigged

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    Helen Mirren, Red 2 Premiere, Tokyo
    Helen Mirren, Red 2 Premiere, Tokyo Jun Sato/WireImage

    There's no doubt that Helen Mirren is a critically acclaimed actress, but did she win her latest award fair and square?

    That seems to be the hotly debated topic at hand after she won Best Actress at the 2013 Evening Standard Theatre Awards recently.

    After much debate during the secret voting process, Dame Helen was voted as the top female performer of the year based on her work as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience.

    Standard movie critic Henry Hitchings ended up pushing Mirren into the lead place with his second vote. He later defended his decision to change his original vote, which ultimately lead to a tie break between Mirren and another actress.

    The only issue is, in light of Hitchings' vote change, that outsiders are speculating that the voting was rigged.

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    In fact, three of the seven judges on the voting panel, Charles Spencer, Georgina Brown and Susannah Clapp, have chosen not to return next year.

    According to the BBC, one of the judges said that "one of the awards seemed like a fix."

    Sarah Sands, an editor and fellow awards judge, said that Hitchings initially voted for Rosalie Craig, but was actually forced to change his vote after her name was transferred into the Best Musical Performance category.

    Mirren, she claims, was always his second choice and therefore became the front-runner in the Best Actress category.

    Sands, who insisted that her vote remained unchanged throughout the process, has spoken out about the need for a more public ceremony during the 2014 voting process. 

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    PHOTOS: Remember that time Helen Mirren dyed her hair pink? We do!



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