At last she tells her own story in her own words. Her impish sense of humour contributes vividly to her account of more than half a century as Britain’s best-loved actress.
From the moment Judi Dench appeared as a teenager in the York Mystery Plays it was clear a star was born. However, she described her debut as Juliet in Franco Zeffirelli’s memorable 1957 Old Vic production, ‘as being through fire’ in an interview with Michael Parkinson in 2007.
It opened out of town at Liverpool where she got rave reviews. Then when it opened in London, two interviewers who had come to talk to her prior, really ‘rubbished’ her, she said. They said, ‘how dare the so-called National Theatre get this unknown school girl to play this part, totally inept’, which she reported had a disastrous effect on her youthful confidence.
Fortunately for the future of theatre at the time she was working hard, loved being in the company and so, as she said herself, she just ‘kept at it’.
Feeling real fear’ when taking on a part, she believes keeps her on her mettle. Still today she does not ever read the whole script. In the past her husband actor Michael Williams guided her but sadly she lost him in 2001.
In the theatre Judi Dench has played every classic role. On television she has completed two sit-coms – FINE ROMANCE (opposite her late husband Michael Williams) and more recently the very popular AS TIME GOES BY, which still has many re runs.
Plays and classic serials include MIDDLEMARCH and most recently CRANFORD.
In the cinema her films have ranged from the delightful LADIES IN LAVENDER (opposite Maggie Smith) to Eleanor Lavish in ROOM WITH A VIEW and from Queen Victoria in MRS BROWN with Billy Connolly to NOTES ON A SCANDAL opposite a very brilliant Cate Blanchett.
However it is her role as M’ in the last six James Bond films that has gained her a whole new audience around the world.
Dame Judith Dench was created a DBE in 1988 and a Companion of Honour in 2005.
She trained at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company. In 2004 she starred opposite Peter Davison in the ITV drama-comedy Distant Shores and in 2006 she returned to the stage in a new production of Michael Frayn’s Donkey’s Years (for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award).
She has read many audiobooks, including those by Agatha Christie and Philippa Gregory. You can purchase this wonderful autobiography from www.bookoffers.com.au
The numerous awards she has received over a respected career are testimony to a fabulous life and it’s truly wonderful she has had an opportunity to record it herself.