Bond icon Judi Dench reflects on vision loss after 6 decades in film

Oscar-winning actress Judi Dench reflects on her legendary career as she copes with sight loss due to macular degeneration.

Sam Mendes directs Judi Dench on the set of Skyfall

Judi Dench, renowned for her role as M in the James Bond series, is celebrating her six-decade-long film career amid personal challenges. At 89, Dench continues to dazzle the industry with her resilience and talent, even as she grapples with macular degeneration, a condition that significantly impairs her vision. Dench’s iconic portrayal of M, spanning from GoldenEye (1995) to Skyfall (2012), cemented her as a beloved figure in the Bond universe, redefining the role with a commanding presence and depth.

In a recent interview, Dench candidly discussed her struggle with macular degeneration, a progressive eye disease that affects the central part of the retina, leading to loss of vision. Despite this, she remains undeterred, continuing to work and adapt to her changing circumstances. Dench shared how she now relies on friends and colleagues to read scripts to her, demonstrating her unwavering commitment to her craft.

Dench’s journey with Bond began in 1995 with Goldeneye, where she introduced a new era for the franchise. Her portrayal of M, characterized by a sharp wit and authoritative demeanour, broke ground as the first female head of MI6 in the series. Over seven films, Dench’s M became a cornerstone of the Bond narrative, culminating in an emotionally charged farewell in Skyfall. Her performance not only revitalized the character but also brought a fresh dynamic to Bond’s relationship with his superior, blending professional respect with a maternal undertone.

Beyond Bond, Dench’s illustrious career spans a vast array of roles across stage and screen. She earned an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love (1998) and has been nominated multiple times, showcasing her versatility and enduring appeal.

Source: Deadline

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