Judi Dench Makes Shock Admission About The Future Of Her Acting Career

The British national treasure has been open about how her deteriorating eyesight has affected her ability to work.
Dame Judi Dench at the Chelsea Flower Show last week
Dame Judi Dench at the Chelsea Flower Show last week
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

Dame Judi Dench has suggested that her acting career might be over after more than 60 years in the industry.

The British acting legend last acted in the 2022 Christmas comedy Spirited starring Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds (playing herself), and has not performed on screen since. She also has no known upcoming projects.

Asked by a journalist at the Chelsea Flower Show in London last week if she had any more work on the horizon, the Oscar-winner replied: “’No, no, I can’t even see!”

The actor’s agent told journalists that there was nothing further to add to her comments (per The Mirror).

Dame Judi, who celebrates her 90th birthday later this year, has been candid in the past about suffering from the age-related macular degeneration (AMD) she was diagnosed with more than a decade ago, which causes a gradual deterioration of eyesight.

Dame Judi Dench at the London Film Festival in 2022
Dame Judi Dench at the London Film Festival in 2022
Karwai Tang via Getty Images

In 2023, the Skyfall star told The Mirror that she wants to work “as much as I can” but admitted that it’s become more difficult as her eyesight has worsened.

“And I can’t see to read. So I can’t see much,” Dame Judi said, adding: “But you know you just deal with it. Get on.

“It’s difficult for me if I have any length of a part. I haven’t yet found a way. Because I have so many friends who will teach me the script. But I have a photographic memory.”

She also elaborated on those struggles during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show last year.

“I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page,” she said. “I used to find it very easy to learn lines and remember them. I could do the whole of Twelfth Night right now.”

Dame Judi was also forced to stop driving in 2017 due to her deteriorating eyesight, describing it as “the most terrible shock to the system” to British Vogue.

In 2022, she also told Louis Theroux: “I don’t want to retire. I’m not doing much at the moment because I can’t see. It’s bad.”

She continued: “’I have a photographic memory so a person saying to me, ”This is your line…” I can do that .”

The British national treasure began her career in theatre before transitioning into film, going on to win an Oscar in 1999 for her supporting role in Shakespeare In Love.

She’s since gone on to star in career-defining roles like Secret Intelligence Service chief M in the James Bond franchise, and has been nominated for Academy Awards seven more times throughout her career for films like Mrs Brown, Notes On A Scandal, Philomena and Belfast.


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