In 2002, Eileen won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture for Gosford Park.
In 2008 Eileen won the best actress Bafta for her role in the show Cranford.
Atkins mother sent her off to dancing lessons when she was just 3, after a fortune teller told her that she would one day become a famous dancer.
Eileen is well known for being a star of stage and screen. Her first appearance on stage was at the Open Air Theatre in Regent's Park in 1953.
In 1990 Eileen was awarded a CBE.
Eileen was married to actor Julian Glover from 1957 to 1966.
In 1992, Eileen appeared in the made for UK television movie The Lost Language of Cranes. It co-starred Brian Cox and Angus Macfadyen.