Judi's Dench birthday is tightly linked to the Christmas time. No wonder, since she was born on the ninth of December! What's more, the legendary actress is celebrating a magnificent eighty-six this year. And how does she imagine an ideal Christmas atmosphere? In short, it simply cannot do without hanging mistletoe, a fragrant Christmas tree, a beautiful holly, an excellent Christmas pudding that she prepares herself, and colorful stockings above the fireplace.
Judi Dench was born on December 9, 1934 in York, UK as Judith Olivia Dench to a family of amateur actors, Dr. Reginald Arthur Dench and his wife Eleanore Dench. Just like Judi's parents, her two siblings, Jeffery and Peter, also shared love for the theater. It is therefore no wonder that Judi's destiny was predetermined from an early age.
Quaker and noblewoman in one
Right from the outset, we'll have you know that the Dench family belonged to the Quakers, a religious movement that denies authority and promotes social egalitarianism. Despite that, Judi Dench was elevated to the nobility for her achievements by Queen Elizabeth II. in 1988.
From scenography to acting
Thanks to her siblings and parents, Judi got into acting from an early age. She actively participated in school theater performances and shows. However, a career in acting wasn't what she dreamt about. She wanted to devote her life to theatre, but not as an actress. Instead, she decided to study scenography. Over time, however, she started enjoying dramatic arts so much that she went on to study at a renowned acting school, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. It is part of the prestigious University of London.
Beginnings on the stage
Her success was born on theatre stage. Dench made her debut at the Royal Theater in Liverpool in 1957 as Ophelia in Shakespeare's famous play Hamlet. She was also a member of the renowned Old Vic Company Theater in central London. She remained faithful to theater up until her thirtieth birthday. At that time, she was beginning to test the waters of movie roles.
The famous "M"
There are many acting roles associated with Judi Dench. But what truly helped her rise to fame was the role of "M", James Bond's boss, which she portrayed as many as eight times in various Bond movies. She starred in them between 1995 and 2015. During her time, Pierce Brosnan and later Daniel Craig took over the role of James Bond.
From Pride and Prejudice to Pirates of the Caribbean
She has also appeared in many award-winning films during her lifetime. Already in the 1990s, she began collecting Oscar nominations. In 1997, she was nominated for her role of Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown, in 2000 she received a nomination for a role in the film Chocolate and a year later for Iris. In 2005, she received a nomination for Mrs Henderson Presents. In 1998, she finally won a much-deservered Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. Viewers may also know the actress from the films Pride and Prejudice or Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
In addition to her film roles, Judi Dench also sings. She may not have began her singing career until after the age of 50, but her first role was prominent indeed. She made her debut as Sally Bowles in the world-famous musical Cabaret. Spectators and fans alike could also see her in the original musical Cats, in which she briefly played Grizabella.
Work and relaxation
Despite her advanced age, Judi enjoys life to the fullest and is definitely not about to retire! This year, for example, she went on a vacation with friends and tried out snorkeling. And she hasn't given up on acting either. This year, she appeared in the action/adventure film Artemis Fowl, a year ago in the film version of the musical Cats and two years ago in the film The Story of a Spy.
We wish Judi good health and many more film roles in the years to come, as she herself said some time ago:
"I really don't want to retire. I intend to continue working as long as I can, because I still have a huge amount of energy."