Date of birth
9th December, 1934
1st January, 1970
Dame Judi Dench (born 9.12.1934)
Dame Judi Dench is a world-renowned and highly revered English film, stage and television actress.
Dame Judi Dench: Childhood
Judi Dench was born in Heworth, York, to Eleanora Olave Dench and Reginald Arthur Dench. She was raised as a Methodist until the age of 13, when she became a Quaker. Her brother Jeffery Dench, is also an actor.
Judi Dench: Career
As a child, growing up, Judi Dench had frequent contact with the theatre; her father was the GP for York Theatre and her mother was the wardrobe mistress there. Actors often stayed in the Dench family household.
Dench originally trained as a set designer but became interested in drama as her brother attended the Central School of Speech. She was later accepted to the same school, where she was a classmate of Vanessa Redgrave.
Judi Dench's first professional stage appearance came in 1957, with the Old Vic Company at the Royal Court Theatre in Liverpool. She played the role of Ophelia in Hamlet. Dench later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and played the role of Anya in The Cherry Orchard. Dench's film debut came in 1964, when she appeared in The Third Secret.
In 1968, Judi Dench enjoyed a long run in the popular West End musical, Cabaret. She then rejoined the Royal Shakespeare Company, for a number of successful performances. Her stage acting career continued apace and in 1978, she appeared in the BBC television film Langrishe, Go Down, with Jeremy Irons, with the screenplay written by Harold Pinter.
Dench's popularity grew even further from the 1980s onwards. In 1995 she took on the role of James Bond's boss, M, in the James Bond film franchise, including appearances in GoldenEye, with Pierce Brosnan, as well as Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace with Daniel Craig. In 1999, Dench won the Tony Award for her role in the Broadway production of Amy's View by David Hare. She also won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, playing the role of Elizabeth I in the film Shakespeare In Love. The film also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, Colin Firth and Ben Affleck.
One of Judi Dench's close friends is Geoffrey Palmer, with whom she has co-starred on a number of occasions. They worked together on the series As Time Goes By, as well as the film Mrs Brown, which also starred Billy Connolly and Gerard Butler. Judi Dench earned herself another Oscar nomination for her role in this film.
In 2000, Judi Dench appeared in Chocolat, which also starred Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, landing another Oscar nomination. She got yet more acclaim and Oscar nominations for her roles in 2001's Iris (with Kate Winslet), Mrs Henderson Presents, (with Bob Hoskins, Kelly Reilly and Will Young) and Notes on a Scandal, which starred Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy.
Dench has always maintained variety in her work and splits her time between stage and screen. In 2006, she returned to the West End, with a performance in Hay Fever, along with Belinda Lang, Kim Medcalf and Peter Bowles.
Returning to the small screen, Judi Dench accepted a starring role in the popular BBC TV series Cranford, which also featured Francesca Annis, Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton.
In 2009, Judi Dench played the role of Madame de Merteuil in Madame de Sade, followed by a renewed collaboration with Sir Peter Hill in A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Judi Dench: Personal Life
Judi Dench married the actor Michael Williams in 1971 and they have a child together: Tara Cressida Williams. Their daughter is also an actress, known professionally as Finty Williams.
Judi and Michael have worked together in the past, most notably in the TV sitcom A Fine Romance. Michael Williams passed away in 2001, aged 65, after suffering from lung cancer.
In 1970, Judi Dench was appointed an OBE. In 1988 she was promoted to Dame Commander of the British Empire and in 2005, she was appointed Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour.
Essentially a sequel to the 1997 hit Mrs Brown, this film returns Judi Dench to play Queen Victoria in another relationship that shook up the royal household. It's such a perfect role for Dench that it's impossible to imagine anyone else playing her, and this film traces Victoria's final 15 years with plenty of lively humour and some pointed drama. The story is a bit thin, and some elements are difficult to believe, but it's thoroughly engaging.
The story opens in 1887, as Abdul (Ali Fazal) is selected to travel from India to London with Mohammed (Adeel Akhtar) to present Queen Victoria (Dench) with special honour. In London, Abdul and Mohammed are called "the Hindus" even though they're Muslims, and told to stay out of sight with the servants. But Abdul catches the Queen's eye, and she brings him into her household as a personal tutor in Urdu and Islam. Her staff (headed by Tim Pigott-Smith) doesn't like this at all, and conspires with both the heir to the throne (Eddie Izzard) and the prime minister (Michael Gambon) to undermine Abdul's influence. But Victoria isn't having any of it, demanding that they respect him.
This is a story that was hidden for more than a century, because after Victoria's death all references to Abdul were erased from the official history. It was only the discovery of Abdul's journals that revealed the truth, and screenwriter Lee Hall (Billy Elliot) has clearly taken some artistic licence as he crafted the facts into an entertaining narrative that's packed with hilarious touches. Meanwhile, Stephen Frears (The Queen) directs in jaunty Downton Abbey style, never quite taking anything seriously.
Continue reading: Victoria & Abdul Review
The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style entertainment. Director-star Kenneth Branagh lets the story unfold with attention to detail while filling the screen with eye-catching images, from the spectacular mountain settings to the opulent costumes. And while the story is too familiar to stir up too much suspense, it's played with a strong sense of emotional resonance. And the moral question is provocative.
The Orient Express sets off from 1934 Istanbul with a colourful collection of passengers. A last-minute addition is noted detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh), who has just solved a thorny mystery in Jerusalem and is now heading to London. Even though he shouldn't be working, he begins to weigh up the odd collection of passengers around him, including a gangster (Johnny Depp), countess (Judi Dench), widow (Michelle Pfeiffer), governess (Daisy Ridley), maid (Olivia Colman), salesman (Wille Dafoe), assistant (Josh Gad), butler (Derek Jacobi) and doctor (Leslie Odom Jr.). Then in the middle of the night, one of them is violently murdered. And when the train becomes lodged in a snowdrift, Poirot has the time to dig further into each person's clearly suspicious back-story.
Continue reading: Murder On The Orient Express Review
The actress plays Queen Victoria in this epic biopic.
After an acclaimed career in theatre, Judi Dench took her first leading movie role playing Queen Victoria in 1997's Mrs Brown, earning an Oscar nomination in the process. Two decades later she returns to the role for Victoria & Abdul, another story about how the Queen's offbeat friendships shook up the royal household, this time an Indian Muslim named Abdul Karim (played by Bollywood star Ali Fazal).
Now 82, Dench says she had no intention of returning to play Victoria, but the script was too good to resist. "I thought it just gave another huge insight into her life," she says. "The whole episode with John Brown was strange, but I thought it was totally understandable, which I believe that this relationship was too. It's somebody that she found she could just talk to, and he talk to her, and she could ask questions and learn something."
Continue reading: Judi Dench Had A Laugh While Making Victoria And Abdul
Best rap collaboration in the history of rap collaborations.
Anybody who knows Lethal Bizzle knows that he's well known for popularising the British slang word 'Dench' - therefore it's only right that his number one fan is actress Dame Judi Dench. He reunited with her recently to give her a masterclass in rapping techniques, and she slayed.
The 32-year-old rapper brought along some of his Stay Dench designer gear as he and the 82-year-old Academy Award winner - who loves her new Dench cap - joined LadBible for a rap session earlier this week. They attempted his two hits 'Pow' and 'Celebrate', and it's safe to say that this is the oddest collaboration we'll see all year. But kinda the best too.
Continue reading: Lethal Bizzle Presents 'Pow' Remix Featuring Dame Judi Dench
Queen Victoria was one of the United Kingdom's most loved monarchs. She ruled over her country with dignity and grace though she wasn't a lady to be toyed with. After the death of her beloved husband, Albert, the queen found herself mourning her loss for the rest of her life - famously she wore black for her remaining years. She took solace in her children and continued to be a fine ruler of the country.
After the loss of Albert, few people penetrated the queen's frosty persona, most famously she developed a great friendship with a Scottish servant called John Brown and they remained good friends - some even say lovers - until his death. Once again alone, the queen was only to develop one other significant friendship outside of her close circle.
As the queen was celebrating her Golden Jubilee, she found herself surrounded by kings and queens from around the world but the one person that she genuinely struck up a friendship with was a Muslim waiter called Abul. Though it was entirely frowned upon for the royals to associate with lowly servants, Victoria was never one to follow those rules.
Continue: Victoria And Abdul Trailer
Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic maestro who so expertly infuses his creepy movies with vivid emotions. The film looks flat-out amazing, with lush production design, clever effects and a cast of outrageous characters. So it's somewhat frustrating that the movie feels weighed down by a story that's more complicated than it needs to be. There's too much plot detail explained in the dialogue, and the quirkiness gets a bit exhausting by the time the film passes the two hour mark.
It's set in the present day, as Florida teen Jake (Asa Butterfield) travels to an island off the coast of Wales to bring closure after the death of his beloved grandfather (Terence Stamp). His oblivious father (Chris O'Dowd) goes with him, but doesn't notice that Jake has discovered that Grandpa's bombed-out childhood home actually still exists in a 1943 time loop created by the ymbryne Miss Peregrine (Eva Green), who can turn into a bird and maintain loops like this one. Jake also realises that the freaky Barron (Samuel L. Jackson) is on his trail, so he tries to help Miss Peregrine rescue her children, all of whom have peculiar supernatural abilities.
From here the film takes on a more traditional action trajectory, as Barron and his toothy, long-limbed Hollows try to devour the children's eyes. Yes, there are a lot of grotesque touches in this story, and Burton knows that kids in the audience love this kind of stuff. They'll also be tantalised by the busy visual landscapes, which are magnificent in 3D, grossed out by the yuckiness and excited by the thrilling set-pieces. Adults will find all of this a bit harder to stomach, simply because the wordy dialogue never quite makes sense of the messy plot.
Continue reading: Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children Review
Imelda Staunton received the UK Theatre Award for Best Musical Performance on Sunday (18th October).
Imelda Staunton has won a UK Theatre Award for her performance in Gypsy. Staunton received the award for Best Musical Performance at the UK Theatre Awards 2015 at London’s Guildhall on Sunday (18th October).
Continue reading: Imelda Staunton Wins UK Theatre Award For Her Performance In ‘Gypsy’
Dame Judi Dench is taking her condition head on.
Judy Dench has long been regarded as one of the trailblazing women of the industry and she made a particularly brave admission this week. The 80-year-old actress, who has continued to take on challenging leading roles throughout her career, revealed in 2012 that she suffers from macular degeneration that can lead to blindness.
For Nighy, the biggest fear during filming was "killing the national treasure that is Dame Judi" while filming a sequence on a scooter. "This is the second time I've been on a motorcycle - the first was the first movie - and it's probably the last," he laughed. "That's enough for my motorcycling career!"
By Rich Cline
A badly under-developed script leaves a fine cast without much to do in this sequel to the 2012 hit. Reuniting in India, the actors find moments of comedy and emotion that help make the film watchable, and the big Bollywood-style finale leaves the audience with a smile on its face. But the simplistic plot-threads never amount to much at all, which leaves the project feeling like a missed opportunity to deepen the characters and push the premise in more interesting directions.
Business at the hotel in Jaipur is booming, so managers Sonny (Dev Patel) and Muriel (Maggie Smith) are looking for investors to expand into a second property. But this distracts Sonny from his upcoming wedding to Sunaina (Tena Desae), and she's not too happy about that. There are also two new guests (Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg) who may be important. Meanwhile, Evelyn (Judi Dench) is offered a new job just as she realises she might like to pursue a relationship with Douglas (Bill Nighy), whose ex-wife (Penelope Wilton) turns up unexpectedly. Madge (Celia Imrie) is struggling to choose between her many suitors. And Norman and Carol (Ronald Pickup and Diana Hardcastle) are having relationship issues due to their lack of communication.
All of these momentous plots, and a few more, swirl around over the course of about a week, which means that none ever has a chance to develop. It also means that the characters are all so busy with their own stories that they don't interact very much, and what contact they do have feels rather contrived. As a result, the film feels like an awkward mix of disconnected slapstick, farce and melodrama. That said, these high-powered actors can hold together even the flimsiest scene. Dench and Nighy generate some lovely emotional resonance in their contrived storyline, while Smith finds some quiet pathos in Muriel's own journey, even if the filmmakers seem to have forgotten to hire someone to do her costumes, hair and make-up.
Continue reading: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review
Dame Judi Dench - A host of stars were photographed as they attended the UK premiere of 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' which was held at the Odeon Leicester Square in London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 17th February 2015