Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
She was born in York as Judith Olivia Dench. In 1971, she married British actor Michael Williams, who died of cancer in 2001. They starred together in a British sitcom, A Fine Romance . In 1988 she was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire (DBE). She has also occasionally directed plays.
Her many television appearances include the series As Time Goes By and the aforementioned A Fine Romance.
In her native United Kingdom, Dame Judi has developed her reputation as arguably the greatest British actress of the post-1945 period primarily through her work in theatre, which has been her main forte throughout her career.
Dame Judi received her professional training at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London and made her professional debut as Ophelia in Liverpool in 1957. She subsequently spent 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.
Dame Judi has also made numerous appearances in the West End and with the National Theatre in London. She is a multiple winner of the main awards for performances on the London stage, including a record six Laurence Olivier Awards. She has also appeared with success on Broadway.
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.
- A Room with a View (1985)
- A Handful of Dust (1987)
- Henry V (1989)
- Mrs. Brown (1997; also known as Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown)
- Shakespeare in Love (1998)
- Tea With Mussolini (1999)
- Chocolat (2000)
- Iris (2001)
- The Shipping News (2001)
- The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
In recent interviews she claimed to be returning to the role for the next James Bond film, Casino Royale.
Selected Awards and Nominations
1997 - London Critics' Circle Theatre Award for Best Actress for Amy's View
1996 - Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress for Absolute Hell
1984 - Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actress in a New Play for Pack of Lies
Film and Television
- 2002 - Nominated Academy Award for Best Actress for Iris
- 2001 - Nominated Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Chocolat
- 1999 - Won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Shakespeare in Love
- 1998 - Nominated Academy Award for Best Actress and won Golden Globe for Mrs. Brown
- 1987 - Won BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress for A Room with a View
- 1967 - Won BAFTA Television Award for Best Actress for Talking to a Stranger
- 1966 - Won BAFTA Award for Most Promising Newcomer for Four in the Morning
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