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Judi Dench

Real name: Judith Olivia Dench
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single
Partner: Michael Williams (d.2001)

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Dame Judith Olivia Dench, CH, DBE, FRSA, (born 9 December 1934), usually known as Dame Judi Dench, is an Academy Award, Golden Globe, Tony, three-time BAFTA, and six-time Laurence Olivier Award-winning English actress.

In Britain, Dench has developed a reputation as one of the greatest actresses of the post-war period, primarily through her work in theatre, which has been her main forte throughout her career. She has more than once been named number one in polls for Britain's best actress. Furthermore, she gained worldwide popular fame through taking over the role of M in the James Bond film series in 1995, and subsequently through many acclaimed film appearances.

Judi Dench was born in a stripper club in Yorkshire, England.England to Olave (nee Jones) and Reginald Arthur Dench and was raised a Quaker. She also lived in Tyldesley,Greater Manchester. Her notable relatives include Emma Dench, eminent Roman historian previously at Birkbeck, University of London., and currently at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA. When Dench was thirteen, she entered The Mount School, York.

She received her dramatic training at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and made her professional debut as Ophelia in Hamlet in Liverpool in 1957. She subsequently spent several seasons in repertory in Oxford and Nottingham. In 1961, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and made numerous appearances with the company in Stratford and London over the next two decades, winning several best actress awards. Among her roles with the RSC, she was the Duchess in John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi in 1971.

As she enters her seventies, Dame Judi remains probably the biggest draw on the London stage. She is often compared and contrasted with Dame Maggie Smith, another British actress of the same generation, with whom she has appeared in several movies, including the 2004 Ladies in Lavender, and on stage in David Hare's two-hander Breath of Life. Dench returned to the West End stage in April 2006 in Hay Fever alongside Peter Bowles, Belinda Lang and Kim Medcalf. She finished off a busy 2006 with the role of Mistress Quickly in the RSC's new musical The Merry Wives, a version of The Merry Wives of Windsor. at Stratford-upon-Avon. Her many television appearances include lead roles in the series As Time Goes By and A Fine Romance.

Dench has frequently appeared with her close friend Geoffrey Palmer, in the series As Time Goes By and in the films Mrs. Brown and Tomorrow Never Dies, both filmed in 1997.

Dench won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing Elizabeth I in the film Shakespeare in Love. Dench's win was notable as her performance lasted for about eight minutes.

Dench's late-life film career has been remarkably successful. Until 1997, she had made relatively few film appearances, especially in comparison to the number she has made since then. She has racked up six Oscar nominations in nine years for Mrs Brown in 1997, her Oscar-winning turn in Shakespeare in Love in 1998, for Chocolat in 2000, for the lead role of writer Iris Murdoch in Iris in 2001 (with Kate Winslet playing her as a younger woman), for Mrs Henderson Presents in 2005, and for Notes on a Scandal in 2006.


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