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Judi Dench

Since playing Ophelia in Hamlet at The Old Vic Theatre 55 years ago, Judi Dench has garnered wide popular and critical admiration for a career marked by outstanding performances in both classical and contemporary roles. She has won numerous major awards - including an Academy Award, ten BAFTA Awards and a record six Laurence Olivier Awards - for work on both stage and screen. In recognition of her many achievements, she received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1970, became a DBE (Dame of the British Empire) in 1988, and in 2005 was awarded a Companion of Honour.

Her distinguished list of film credits includes iconic performances as Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown, for which she won a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award, and Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare In Love, for which she received an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has also been lauded for her roles in Chocolat, Iris, Mrs Henderson Presents and Notes on a Scandal, and she is known internationally for her role as 'M' in the latter James Bond films, from GoldenEye to the current Skyfall.

This year has seen the worldwide success of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, in which Dame Judi stars, directed by John Madden, and other recent credits include Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga, and My Week with Marilyn, directed by Simon Curtis.

Dame Judi is also revered for her television roles, most recently starring as Miss Matty in the BBC's critically acclaimed Cranford, for which she received Best Actress nominations at the BAFTA Awards, the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards, and the subsequent Return to Cranford, for which she was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

Dame Judi's achievements on screen are mirrored by her celebrated career on stage. She has won Laurence Olivier Awards for Macbeth and Juno and the Paycock for the RSC, Pack of Lies at the London Lyric, and Anthony and Cleopatra, Absolute Hell, and A Little Night Music - all at the National Theatre. Her performance in Amy's View, directed by Richard Eyre, brought her a Critics Circle Award and an Olivier Award Nomination in London, followed by a Tony Award for Best Actress when the play transferred to Broadway.

Other theatre credits include: The Royal Family, directed by Peter Hall; The Breath of Life, directed by Howard Davies and co-starring Dame Maggie Smith; All's Well That Ends Well, for the RSC; Hay Fever, directed by Peter Hall; The Merry Wives of Windsor, for the RSC; Madame de Sade, directed by Michael Grandage for The Donmar West End and Peter Hall's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Rose Theatre, Kingston.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2012.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Judi Dench Facts

Birth NameJudith Olivia Dench
BirthdayDecember 9, 1934 (87)
BirthplaceYork, England, United Kingdom
Awards2002 BAFTA Awards: Actress in a Leading Role (for Iris)
2001 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Mini-Series or a TV Film (for Last of the Blond Bombshells)
2001 Screen Actors Guild Awards: Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role (for Chocolat)
1999 Academy Awards: Best Supporting Actress (for Shakespeare in Love)
1999 BAFTA Awards: Actress in a Supporting Role (for Shakespeare in Love)
1998 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama (for Mrs. Brown)
1998 BAFTA Awards: Actress in a Leading Role (for Mrs. Brown)

Selected Filmography

Pride & Prejudice
Shakespeare In Love
Casino Royale
Angelina Ballerina: All Dancers On Deck
Angelina Ballerina: Princess Dance
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The Chronicles of Riddick
Quantum of Solace
Jane Eyre
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