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Judi Dench

Judi Dench

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: December 9, 1934 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: York, England, GB Profession: Cast ...
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NOTES

Dench was awarded an honorary doctor of letters from Warwick University in 1978 and from York University in 1983

She was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 1980 and made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1988.

Dench was the original choice to play Grizabella in "Cats" but an injury forced her to withdraw and be replaced by Elaine Paige.

In 1996, Dench became the first performer to win two Olivier Awards in a single year.

"Once you've done a film performance, it's like a butterfly -- somebody's taken you and pinned you to that thing, and although it can look very pretty and you can appreciate it, it doesn't change. And I think change is kind of the essence of what we do, of how you get near to something, near what the author wants you to say." --Judi Dench in Buzzweekly, July 25-31, 1997.

"I don't like filming very much, I've turned down a lot more film work than I've actually done. I don't enjoy the process. What I like about theater is rehearsing, getting an audience in and trying to get it right. With filming, you get one chance and then it's like some dead thing, crystallized forever." --Dench to Los Angeles Times, July 27, 1997.

On her casting in "Mrs. Brown", Dench jokingly told the Los Angeles Times (July 27, 1997): "I have to tell you, I wasn't [co-star] Billy [Connolly]'s first choice. He wanted Bob Hoskins. Bill saw him playing Victoria in some production at the Edinburgh Festival and said he was definitive. So I'll settle for that--being Bob Hoskins' understudy."

"Playing M [in the Bond films] is the closest to glamour I've ever got." --Dench to New York Post, July 14, 1997.

"When you talk about Judi, you unpack a suitcase full of superlatives. She's sort of diffident. There's not a trace of self-advertisement about her. She's genuinely modest. But in my view she is our greatest actress." --director Richard Eyre to The New York Times, July 13, 1997.

"It's too ephemeral to say that theatre's a spiritual thing, but that's what it can be. It has something to do with the spirit of the people ... with communication. And the audience plays a totally vital part in it. They make it different every night, not us. If that wasn't the case I'd just stay home." --Judi Dench to the London Sunday Times, June 8, 1997.

"What attracts me is that a script should be totally different, so you can get your teeth into it. No more queens for a bit." --Judi Dench on accepting her role in the HBO drama "The Last of the Blonde Bombshells", quoted in USA Today, August 21, 2000.

"Judi doesn't perform. She just is. There's not an atom of ostentation about her ... She's not just one of the most generous actresses, but actually just about the most generous, good-hearted person I know." --director Richard Eyre, quoted in the London Times, October 28, 2001.

On her career, Dench reflected to Matt Wolf in the London Times (October 28, 2001): "It's about things coming your way if you're lucky enough, or not, if you're unlucky, and then a question of being in people's minds and the choices you make. Going to the Old Vic was just wonderful, the best schooling you could possible have ... and then Stratford after that: that was just luck, that just happened. ... All I've ever wanted to do, if it's at all possible, is choose the most unlikely next job like playing Cleopatra [for the National Theatre in 1987] where people were openly aghast. In actual fact, if somebody says, 'Oh, well, you're perfect for that part,' I think: 'Beware, beware.'"

"Judi's brilliant at rounding out a character [and] bringing out the humanity."-Director Oliver Parker

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