Judi Dench

Judi Dench

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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.



Biography by Contactmusic.com

The Olivier Awards Winners

Dame Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey - The Olivier Awards held at the Royal Opera House - Winners. - London, United Kingdom - Sunday 12th April 2015

Dame Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey
Dame Judi Dench and Kevin Spacey

Judi Dench statue unveiling

Dame Judi Dench - Bruce Denny's 'Conversion of Saint Paul' - statue unveiling at the The Actors' Church Yard in Covent Garden. - London, United Kingdom - Friday 20th March 2015

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench

Richard Attenborough Memorial

Judi Dench - Richard Attenborough memorial service held at Westminster Abbey - Arrivals. - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 17th March 2015

Dame Judi Dench Is Facing Deteriorating Eyesight with Grace


Judi Dench

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.

Judy Dench
Dame Judi Dench is coping well with her condition.

But Dench doesn't find her condition daunting. She recently revealed that she requests a bigger typeface for her scripts, so that she can read them. Other than that, her condition has not had any significant impact on her life and career. 

Continue reading: Dame Judi Dench Is Facing Deteriorating Eyesight with Grace

Judi Dench leaving her hotel in New York

Judi Dench - Judi Dench leaving her hotel in New York - Manhattan, New York, United States - Wednesday 4th March 2015

Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench
Judi Dench

'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Unites Original Starry Cast With Richard Gere


Richard Gere Judi Dench Maggie Smith Bill Nighy Celia Imrie Dev Patel Penelope Wilton

After The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel earned nearly $140 million on its release in 2012, the all-star cast and crew were keen to reassemble for a sequel. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel hits UK cinemas this weekend and arrives in America next week, adding Richard Gere and Tamsin Grieg to a cast that includes Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Dev Patel and Penelope Wilton.

Richard Gere and Lillette Dubey in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'
Richard Gere is a newcomer in 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'

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!"

Continue reading: 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Unites Original Starry Cast With Richard Gere

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Review


OK

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

'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Captures Magic of its Predecessor


Richard Gere Dev Patel Judi Dench Celia Imrie Maggie Smith

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel had a tough act to follow. Its predecessor remains of the best loved British movies of recent times and its subtle casting, genuinely funny script and heart-warming narrative saw it gross over $130 million on a budget of just $10 million.

The Second Best Exotic Marigold HotelRichard Gere joined the cast for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The sequel - out in cinemas this week - follows the expansionist dream of Sonny (Dev Patel) who has his eye on a promising new property now that his Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a success. Judi Dench, Bill Nighty, Celia Imrie and Maggie Smith all return for Second Best, while Richard Gere and Tamsin Greig are among the new arrivals.

Continue reading: 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Captures Magic of its Predecessor

At 80 Retirement Is "The Rudest Word In The Dictionary" For Dame Judi Dench


Judi Dench Maggie Smith Bill Nighy Richard Gere

Dame Judi Dench has described “retirement” as “the rudest word in the dictionary”, as she promotes her latest film, The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Speaking to The Telegraph, the 80 year also revealed she doesn't allow the word “old” to be used in her house and as for “vintage”, well that’s on the banned list too.

Judi DenchJudi Dench in The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

“I don't want any of those old words,” the actress told the newspaper. “I like 'enthusiastic' and I like the word 'cut' because that means you've finished the shot.”

Continue reading: At 80 Retirement Is "The Rudest Word In The Dictionary" For Dame Judi Dench

A Week In Movies: Berlin Wraps Up, Dames Judi And Maggie Hit The Red Carpet, Julia Roberts Films In L.A. And There Are New Trailers For Age Of Adaline, Big Game And Crimson Peak


Cate Blanchett Helena Bonham Carter Tom Courtenay Judi Dench Maggie Smith Adam Scott Julia Roberts Chiwetel Ejiofor

Cinderella

The Berlin Film Festival wrapped up last weekend after the premiere for Disney's new live-action version of Cinderella, and stars Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter, Lily James and Richard Madden, plus director Kenneth Branagh were all on hand for the event.

Photos - 65th Berlin International Film Festival - 'Cinderella' - Premiere

Continue reading: A Week In Movies: Berlin Wraps Up, Dames Judi And Maggie Hit The Red Carpet, Julia Roberts Films In L.A. And There Are New Trailers For Age Of Adaline, Big Game And Crimson Peak

'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Premiere

Dame Judi Dench and David Mills - 'The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Premiere - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 17th February 2015

Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench and David Mills
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench Considering Getting A Tattoo For 80th Birthday


Judi Dench Benedict Cumberbatch

She may have been in showbusiness for almost sixty years, but Dame Judi Dench is still young at heart, if her latest interview is anything to go by. Gracing the cover of the March edition of Good Housekeeping, the Oscar-winning actress said that she was considering marking her 80th birthday by getting a tattoo.

Dench turned 80 on December 9th last year, and despite the landmark she declared that she has no intention of retiring or slowing down just yet. “All I wanted was the people I love around me, I didn’t want a fuss. The words old, eight-oh and retire are banned in my house,” the Philomena and Skyfall actress said. “The prospect of no work on the horizon makes me a bit edgy. I have no particular ambitions – I just want to be employed!”

Judi Dench Emma Watson
Dame Judi Dench, picture here with Emma Watson, is considering getting a tattoo

Continue reading: Dame Judi Dench Considering Getting A Tattoo For 80th Birthday

Emma Watson And Dame Judi Dench Win Britannia Awards


Judi Dench Emma Watson Beverly Hilton Hotel Robert Downey Jr Mark Ruffalo

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 Angeles on Thursday evening.

Judi Dench Emma Watson
Dame Judi Dench and Emma Watson were both honoured at the Britannia Awards on Thursday

Dame Judi was given the Albert ‘Cubby’ Broccoli Award for Worldwide Contribution to Entertainment, a gong named after the legendary James Bond movie producer. Presented with her award by Dustin Hoffman, she said: "I'm rather overwhelmed by [the award], because I didn't ever expect to have a film career at all.”

Continue reading: Emma Watson And Dame Judi Dench Win Britannia Awards

Judi Dench Joins Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC's Shakespeare Adaptations


Judi Dench

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 Hollow Crown series.

Judi DenchJudi Dench in 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2'

Dench will play the role of Cecily, Duchess of York after Cumberbatch asked her to appear alongside him when she appeared at the Hay Festival earlier this year. Elsewhere, the Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville will play the Duke of Gloucester in the first of two Henry VI instalments. Sally Hawkins, who most recently starred opposite Cate Blanchett in Woody Allen's excellent Blue Jasmine, will play Bonneville's wife.

Continue reading: Judi Dench Joins Benedict Cumberbatch in BBC's Shakespeare Adaptations

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


Richard Gere Judi Dench Bill Nighy Maggie Smith

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 Graham Broadbent and Peter Czernin pitched the idea of a movie about a group of British retirees travelling to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel - maybe a tidy little profit and a healthy top up in DVD sales.

Judi DenchJudi Dench in 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2'

Though Broadbent and Czernin acquired an extraordinary cast - Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Celie Imrie - and a clever, funny script. The movie took $136 million worldwide, on a budget of just $10 million. It was a hugely impressive comedy that paved the way for an immediate sequel.

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

Judi Dench

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