English actress Dame Judith Olivia Dench was born on December 9, 1934. She is regarded as one of Britain’s top actresses and is known for her versatility, which has been displayed through a variety of theatrical productions, films, and television shows across several genres. During her career spanning more than six decades, Dench has won several honors, including an Academy Award, a Tony Award, two Golden Globe Awards, four British Academy Television Awards, six British Academy Film Awards, and seven Olivier Awards. We are happy to celebrate with her on her special day.
The daughter of Eleanora Olive and Reginald Arthur Dench, Judith Olivia Dench was born in the York neighborhood of Heworth. She attended the all-girls Mount School, and because of the school’s influence, she became a Quaker. Her father worked as York Theatre’s resident physician, which put her in close touch with several actors. She spent some time at the York School of Art honing her design skills before becoming interested in theater. After that, she enrolled at the Central School of Speech and Drama, where she participated in several productions. In September 1957, Dench appeared on stage for the first time as Ophelia in “Hamlet” with the Old Vic Company.
In 1971, Dench wed Liverpool-born actor Michael Williams; the couple remained together until Williams’ death from lung disease in 2001. Their daughter, Finty Williams, their only child, was born in 1972 and went on to become an actress. For her performance as Hazel Wiles in the 1979 B.B.C. drama “On Giant’s Shoulders,” she received a BAFTA nomination. Together with her husband Michael Williams, Dench starred in Britain’s BAFTA-winning “A Fine Romance” from 1981 to 1984. For her Broadway performance as Esme Allen in Sir David Hare’s “Amy’s View” in 1999, she received a Tony Award. In Oliver Parker’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” which was released in 2002, Dench was cast opposite Reese Witherspoon. Dench provided Miss Lilly’s voice in the animated children’s program “Angelina Ballerina” in 2002. The 2005 version of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” by Joe Wright was a huge success for Dench. Later, in 2006, Dench, as her character M, was the only cast member from the Brosnan movies to appear in “Casino Royale.” It was one of the highest-earning James Bond movies ever, grossing over $594 million globally.
In February 2008, Dench took up narrating duties for the refurbished Spaceship Earth ride at Walt Disney World’s Epcot. The comedy-drama “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” which earned $134 million worldwide and earned Dench a nomination for Best Actress at both the British Independent Film Awards and Golden Globe Awards, reunited Dench with director John Madden on set in 2011. Dench made history by being the oldest person to appear on the British “Vogue” cover in May 2020. Dench joined the cast of “Allelujah” in October 2021.
Dench appears on stage for the first time as Ophelia in “Hamlet.”
She stars in “A Fine Romance” alongside her husband.
Dench receives a Tony Award for her Broadway performance as Esme Allen in Sir David Hare’s “Amy’s View.”
The Best Supporting Actress Oscar award is given to Dench for “Shakespeare in Love.”
The 2005 version of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” by Joe Wright becomes a huge success for Dench.
Dench joins the cast of “Allelujah” in October 2021.
Why We Love Judi Dench
She is always stylish
In 2013, “The Guardian” honored the Oscar-winning actress as one of the 50 best-dressed persons over 50. This demonstrates how her sense of style has grown to be almost as well-known as her acting.
She has won multiple awards
Dench has accumulated several awards over the past 50+ years! She won the Most Promising Newcomer category at the 1966 BAFTAs, earning her first trophy.
She had a beautiful love story
The story of Dench’s 30-year marriage to Michael Williams is legendary. Early in the 1960s, while Dench was touring Australia with “A Winter’s Tale,” by Shakespeare, the two fell in love.
5 Surprising Facts
She had a Harvey Weinstein tattoo
Dench chose to get a temporary tattoo in 2014 to express her thanks to Harvey Weinstein for helping her establish her Hollywood career.
She got a tattoo at 81
For her 81st birthday, Dench chose to defy the prevailing wisdom about growing older gracefully by getting her life’s slogan, “Carpe Diem,” inked across her wrist.
She has poor eyesight
Dench has been candid about her battle with macular degeneration, a disorder that worsens over time and can lead to blindness.
She is in a new relationship
She decided that it was time to clear the cobwebs out of her heart and make room for a new partner after her spouse passed away — David Mills, a conservationist.
She loves horse riding
She enjoys riding horses and shares ownership of a horse named Smokey Oakey with her driver, Bryan Agar.
Judi Dench FAQs
Did Judi Dench stop acting?
She has been a fixture on television and in movies for 60 years, and at 86, she has no immediate plans to stop.
How long has Judi Dench been with David Mills?
They have been dating for 11 years.
How did Judi Dench meet David Mills?
In 2010, she and her future partner met when he asked her to help him open a squirrel enclosure.
Judi Dench’s birthday dates