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"If this is not great acting, I don't know what is,” said critic Michael Billington of JUDI DENCH's Lady Macbeth with the RSC in 1976. It's a comment echoed up and down the decades since Judi Dench made her debut with the Old Vic as Ophelia in "Hamlet” in 1957. This fine, intuitive actress has been acclaimed across the world, winning countless awards for her work on the stage—both classical and contemporary works; on television and in movies. 

The latest James Bond movie, QUANTUM OF SOLACE is her sixth outing as Bond's boss, ‘M.' Other major films include TEA WITH MUSSOLINI, MRS. BROWN (Golden Globe winner, BAFTA winner, Oscar® nominee), A ROOM WITH A VIEW (BAFTA winner as Best Supporting Actress), 84 CHARING CROSS ROAD, A HANDFUL OF DUST (BAFTA winner as Best Supporting Actress), SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE (BAFTA and Oscar® winner as Best Supporting Actress), CHOCOLAT (Golden Globe and Oscar® nominee), IRIS (Oscar® nominee) and THE SHIPPING NEWS.

She made two films for Kenneth Branagh, HENRY V and HAMLET. Then Branagh asked her to direct him and Samantha Bond in the Renaissance Theatre Company production of "Much Ado About Nothing” in 1988. 

Dench continues to appear on the stage—in David Hare's "Amy's View” (she won a Tony Award when she took the play to Broadway), Peter Hall's "The Royal Family,” David Hare's "The Breath of Life” with Dame Maggie Smith, "All's Well That Ends Well” with the RSC in Stratford and the West End, a revival of "Hay Fever” and "The Merry Wives of Windsor” with the RSC in Stratford.

More recently, her films include Charles Dance's LADIES IN LAVENDAR, Stephen Frears' MRS. HENDERSON PRESENTS with Bob Hoskins, and NOTES ON A SCANDAL, based on the Zoe Heller book, directed by Richard Eyre co-starring Cate Blanchett. Her acclaimed performance was widely nominated for an Oscar and won the best actress at the 2007 British Independent Film Awards. 

She was celebrated for her role as Matty Jenkins in the BBC's recent adaptation of Mrs. Gaskell's CRANFORD. 

Although Judi Dench has not had occasion to sing on film before, singing in musical theatre is not new to her. Many years ago she was a heartbreaking Sally Bowles on the London stage in "Cabaret,” and she also sang in "The Good Companions” and a musical version of "A Comedy of Errors.” In the 1980s she starred in Sondheim's "A Little Night Music.”

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