most glorious period in the theatre though began in the mid-nineties.
For her work onstage, in 1996, she became the first person to win
two Olivier awards for different roles. She took Broadway by storm,
and won a Tony in 1999 as ageing actress Esme in 'Amy's View' which,
with advance ticket sales of over $3 million, even surpassed the takings
of 'The Blue Room', a play featuring a controversially nude Nicole
Kidman. She then proceeded to win a Golden Globe for TV's The Last
Of The Blonde Bombshells, in which she played sax as a member of an
all-girl band (Ian Holm, also appeared, in drag).
the same time, her film career took off. Taking the role of James Bond's
no-nonsense boss M (her sheer authority making her the franchise's first
and only strong female character), she scored $100 million hits with
'Goldeneye', 'Tomorrow Never Dies' and 'The World Is Not Enough'. Then
came the major nominations. She won a Golden Globe and was Oscar-nominated
for her role as the grieving Queen Victoria in 'Mrs Brown', then won
the coveted Oscar for her 8-minute performance as Elizabeth I in 'Shakespeare
In Love' - that same year she writing the foreword to the guide-book
Shakespeare For Dummies.
would be another Oscar nomination for her role as the tetchy oldster
seeking reconciliation in Chocolat, and yet another nomination for her
performance as the older, Alzheimer's-suffering version of the controversial,
bisexual novelist Iris Murdoch, alongside Jim Broadbent in Iris. Kate
Winslet would play the younger Murdoch - the pair would appear together
again in the Winslet-produced Therese Raquin. After this there would
be 'The Shipping News', where Dench played the aunt of troubled Kevin
Spacey, who discovers love, trust and his own history when he moves
home to Newfoundland. And, of course, there was the role she was born
to play - Lady Bracknell, bossing about Rupert Everett and Colin Firth
in The Importance Of Being Earnest. Only Dench could match the severity
and crushing observations of Edith Evans in the original version.
one of Britain's most respected and popular actresses, Judi Dench can
claim a decades-old career encompassing the stage, screen, and television.
A five-time winner of the British Academy Award. However, if possible,
in the last few years her work rate has even increased. She was in Die
another day, again reprising her role of M and is even lending her voice
to the associated computer games. Then in 2006 she appeared, this time
as Daniel Craigs boss, in Casio Royale. Somehow she managed to fit in
the critically acclaimed drama 'Notes on a Scandal' (2006) for which
she nominated for another British and US Academy award. She is rumoured
to be appearing again as M (this time in Bond 22 - working title).
A staunch Royalist, Dench was awarded an OBE in 1970, and was made a
Dame of the British Empire in 1988. The Queen's respect for her was
further evinced by a letter of consolation she sent when Dench's Hampstead
home burned down. This respect, and her success, has been hard won.
When she was just starting out, an older player once recalled, her voice
was so croaky she sounded like she had laryngitis. In the hard world
of stage acting, he believed, she had no chance. But, as always, she
worked on it, put in the hours, and made it right. She is a genuine
I am afraid it is a non-starter [refering to technology]. I cannot even
use a bicycle pump let alone a computer.
films to see:
in Love (1998)
A Room with a View (1985)
Casino Royale (2006)