Judi Dench

Biography

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.

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Emma Watson And Dame Judi Dench Win Britannia Awards

1st November 2014 -

 News

Emma Watson and Dame Judi Dench were among the British movie stars to be honoured at the Britannia Awards. The annual ceremony was hosted by BAFTA at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, Los...

Judi Dench Joins Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC's Shakespeare Adaptations

23rd August 2014 -

 News

Dame Judi Dench and Benedict Cumberbatchhave joined the cast of the BBC's adaptation of a trilogy of classic Shakespeare plays. Cumberbatch will play Richard III in the third part of the Wars of the Roses...

'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Looks Fantastically Watchable [Trailer + Pictures]

11th August 2014 -

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Forget The Avengers, The Hunger Games and The Hobbit, for it was The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel that ruled supreme as the true box-office success story of 2012. Fox were never expecting much when producers...

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

11th August 2014 -

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Set eight months after the 2012 original film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel sees the majority of the cast return India for this sequel from director John Madden. In the run up to Sonny's...

Angela Lansbury "Very Proud" To Be Made A Dame

15th April 2014 -

 News

Angela Lansbury has today been bestowed with the honour of being made a dame by Queen Elizabeth in a special ceremony. The 88 year-old actress, who had previously been known as Angela Lansbury CBE, will...

'The Good Life' & 'As Time Goes By' Writer, Bob Larbey, Dies Aged 79

6th April 2014 -

 News

Bob Larbey, the co- writer of the classic British sitcom The Good Life, has died. Larbey's agent confirmed his death to the BBC on Saturday (5th April). Larbey died in London on 31st March at...

Dame Judi Dench's Failing Eyesight Leaves Her Unable To Read Scripts

24th February 2014 -

 News

Dame Judi Dench says her failing eyesight had left her unable to read scripts or watch movies. The actress, 79, has age-related macular degeneration, which affects more than 600,000in the UK and is the cause...

Judi Dench Cannot Read Scripts Due To Failing Eyesight

24th February 2014 -

 News

Dame Judi Dench recently revealed she is suffering from a health issue that has to be very concerning for someone in the movie industry.The 79 year-old's eye sight is failing as she has a condition...

Forget Who Will Win, Who SHOULD Win At The Oscars?

19th February 2014 -

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On March 2nd 2014, the 86th Annual Academy Awards will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. As we all well know, for the few months leading up to the Oscars, the awards...

Gary Oldman Would Be A Real Coup For Star Wars: Episode VII

7th February 2014 -

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Is Gary Oldman about to add to his ridiculously impressive list of franchises by appearing in Star Wars: Episode VII? That’s what the rumors are suggesting, and Oldman did little to quell them when he...

POLL: Are You Happy With The Star Wars Casting Rumors? Zac Efron?

3rd February 2014 -

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With the sheer size of the Star Wars franchise, Episode VII was always going to be a big deal. J.J Abrams took on a daunting task when he agreed to helm the reboot following Disney’s...

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31st January 2014 -

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In the lull between big awards shows, media attention turns to Super Bowl halftime performances and adverts, while award-nominated actors and filmmakers travel around the world to squeeze in their next projects before Bafta and...

A Week In Movies: Dame Judi In Star Wars? Jack Ryan And Milla Jovovich Hit London, While Trailers Promise Vampires, Spies, Aliens And Hunks

24th January 2014 -

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The best rumour this week is that Judi Dench may play Mon Mothma in Star Wars Episode VII, which director JJ Abrams starts shooting in the UK this spring. The character is a rebel leader...

A Week In News: Globes And Oscars Mania, Prince Finds His Funny Bone, Lena Dunham Gets A Vogue Make-Over

17th January 2014 -

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Golden Globes Glory: Last weekend's Golden Globe awards set hearts racing ahead of March's Oscars with plenty of deserving winners next to a few jaw-dropping snubs. 12 Years A Slave predictably came out on top...

Judi Dench Leads Veteran Oscar Nominees June Squibb And Bruce Dern

16th January 2014 -

 News

Dame Judi Dench has been nominated in the Best Actress category ahead of this year's Academy Awards for her lead role in the British film Philomena, which has also been nominated for Best Film. The...

The Baftas 2014: Predicting Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Supporting Categories

8th January 2014 -

 News

Award season has been grumbling away like Smaug inside Erebor for the last few months; but dragon is slowly awakening. Since the Gotham awards last year, the perennial question of ‘who’ll win what?’ has echoed...

Baftas 2014: 'Gravity' Pulls in the Nominations While Chiwetel Ejiofor Stands a Great Chance

8th January 2014 -

 News

The Bafta nominations didn’t really throw up any surprises, with many of the year’s top actors, directors and films being recognised. The constant metronome of: ‘Gravity,’ ’12 Years a Slave’ and ‘American Hustle’ still chimes...

The 10 Worst Films of 2013

24th December 2013 -

 News

10. A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III - Charlie Sheen exploits his bad-boy image in this fractured comedy in which he plays a paranoid idiot who thinks his ex is trying to...

Jude Law as 'Henry V' is (Probably) The Best Acting Performance of 2013

5th December 2013 -

 News

The latest stage version of William Shakespeare's historic epic Henry V is currently playing to packed-out audiences at the Noel Coward Theatre on London's West End, with critics being particularly taken by lead man Jude...

Tonight in Cinemas: Oldboy, Philomena, Frozen, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Pick a Winner?

29th November 2013 -

 News

Thanksgiving weekend represents a real mix of genres should you venture out to the pictures. From animated Disney musical action in Frozen, to hyper-violent revenge seeking in Oldboy, there’s truly something for everyone. But what...

Will 'Philomena' Translate To U.S Market with its Thanksgiving Release?

29th November 2013 -

 News

Philomena enjoyed a brilliant critical response in the UK, with special mentions for actors Steve Coogan and Judi Dench for the way they handled the emotive subject matter with grace, dignity and a level of...

Review Round-Up: 'Philomena' Receives High Praise From Critics

22nd November 2013 -

 News

Philomena, starring Steve Coogan and Judi Dench, is due to be released in US cinemas today (22nd November). Reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan star in Philomena.The biopic, based on a...

'Philomena' Actors Shortlisted For British Independent Film Awards

12th November 2013 -

 News

Philomena has been released in UK cinemas and is proving to be one of the British film events of the year as critics flock to praise Steve Coogan and Judi Dench's performances in this touching,...

The Sisters are Nun Too Happy with Judi Dench, Steve Coogan and 'Philomena'

8th November 2013 -

 News

The story of Philomena doesn’t exactly paint nuns in the best light, which isn’t to say the story isn’t valid or true. But it’s difficult to escape the fact that nuns don’t exactly come off...

National Theatre In London Celebrates 50 Years With A Shining Cast And Star-Studded Guest List

3rd November 2013 -

 News

The National Theatre in London celebrated five decades of quality productions yesterday with the aid of some of the brightest and most experienced stars of UK theatre. Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Helen Mirren, Derek Jacobi,...

BAFTA Bound, But Could 'Philomena' Feature at the Oscars?

1st November 2013 -

 News

Don't laugh. We're serious. Stephen Frears' new movie Philomena, based on the investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, could well figure in the behemoth that is the American movie awards season following stunning reviews...

Critics Agree, 'Philomena' Is A "Serious" Comedy That Needs To Be Seen

1st November 2013 -

 News

Philomena stars Judi Dench as Philomena Lee in the movie adaptation of Martin Sixsmith's 2009 novel The Lost Children of Philomena Lee. Co-starring Steve Coogan as Sixsmith, the film is an emotionally moving and shocking...

Philomena

31st October 2013 -

 Movie Review

Based on a true story, this warm drama uses sharp humour to keep from tipping over into sloppy sentiment. It's still hugely emotional, but in a shamelessly entertaining way. And it gives Judi Dench and...

Richard Gere Joining Veteran Cast for 'Marigold Hotel' Sequel

31st October 2013 -

 News

Not only has The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel retained its all-star cast for the sequel, but another behemoth of the big screen has joined ranks. Richard Gere will star alongside Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie...

Steve Coogan on 'Philomena': It's Not Simply "An Angry Attack on The Church"

30th October 2013 -

 News

Best known for his seminal comedy creation, Alan Partridge, Steve Coogan’s dramatic work sometimes slips under the radar.But with Philomena, the British actor’s emotional attachment, combined with the technique and skill from both he and...

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