Perspectives; Judi Dench

Dame Judith Olivia Dench (born 9 December 1934) is an English actress. Dench made her professional debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. Over the following few years, she performed in several of Shakespeare’s plays, in such roles as Ophelia in Hamlet , Juliet in Romeo and Juliet , and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth . Although most of her work during this period was in theater, she also branched into film work and won a BAFTA Award as Most Promising Newcomer. She drew rave reviews for her leading role in the musical Cabaret in 1968. Over the next two decades, Dench established herself as one of the most significant British theater performers, working for the National Theater Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She received critical acclaim for her work on television during this period, in the series A Fine Romance (1981–1984) and As Time Goes By (1992–2005), in both of which she held starring roles. Her film appearances were infrequent, and included supporting roles in major films, such as A Room with a View (1986), before she rose to international fame as M in GoldenEye (1995), a role she continued to play in James Bond films until Skyfall (2012).

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"I was in Yorkshire. We were a family of five and I used to be sent sometimes to get the rations for the week and I was easily able to carry them back. It was like one egg and a tiny bit of tea."

“It actually was a complete departure having a woman playing ‘M’. I didn’t realize at the time that it would be so noticed.”

"I’ve figured out what to do so far, but it’s always the next thing you come to where the man with the bucket of ice cold water is waiting – whoosh! in your face. That’s why you work with directors who know what to tell you to do."

"I don’t think anybody can be told how to act. I think you can give advice. But you have to find your own way through it."

"I would hate people to think bossy is all I can do."

"I’ve always loved painting, although I never show anyone what I’ve done. Mainly because I don’t do it well. But it’s like a form of visual diary for me. A way of fixing things in my mind."

"I think you should take your job seriously, but not yourself – that is the best combination."


Loved her in As Time Goes By! Great show.


I watch the reruns weekly on PBS. Enjoy the show. Don’t see her in many of her movies cause they just aren’t my taste.

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It certainly was a departure in the fictional world of spy thrillers, but the decision to cast Judi Dench as M mirrored the appointment of Stella Rimington as the head of the real-life MI5 in 1992:


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