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Since playing Ophelia in Hamlet at The Old Vic Theatre 55 years ago, JUDI DENCH (Philomena Lee) has garnered wide popular and critical admiration for a career marked by outstanding performances in both classical and contemporary roles. She has won numerous major awards -- including an Academy Award, ten BAFTA Awards and a record six Laurence Olivier Awards -- for work on both stage and screen, and in recognition of her many achievements, she received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1970, became a DBE (Dame of the British Empire) in 1988, and in 2005 was awarded a Companion of Honour. In 2011 she also received the Japan Arts Association's prestigious Praemium Imperiale Laureate Award for Film and Theatre.

This year Dame Judi has won critical acclaim for her performance on the West End stage in Peter and Alice, directed by Michael Grandage and starring opposite Ben Whishaw, and this followed two hugely successful films in 2012: the India-set comedy The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, directed by John Madden, and Skyfall, directed by Same Mendes, in which Dame Judi reprised her legendary role as M opposite James Bond for the seventh time.

Her other iconic film roles include Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown, for which Dame Judi won a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award, and Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare In Love, for which she received an Academy Award and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has received Academy Award nominations for performances in four other films: Lasse Hallstrom's Chocolate, for which she was also nominated for a Golden Globe; Iris, directed by Richard Eyre, for which she also won a BAFTA Award; Mrs Henderson Presents, directed by Stephen Frears, for which she was further nominated at the BAFTAs and the Golden Globes; and Notes on a Scandal, directed by Richard Eyre, which also brought her BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations.

Her other film credits include Tea With Mussolini, directed by Franco Zeffirelli; A Room With a View and A Handful of Dust, both of which brought her BAFTA Awards for Best Supporting Actress; 84 Charing Cross Road, directed by David Jones; Henry V and Hamlet, both directed Kenneth Branagh; and Nine, directed by Rob Marshall; Jane Eyre, directed by Cary Fukunaga; My Week with Marilyn, directed by Simon Curtis; and J. Edgar, directed by Clint Eastwood.

Dame Judi is also revered for her television roles, her work including The Last of the Blonde Bombshells, for which she won received a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award nomination, and the long-running hit BBC sitcom, As Time Goes By. She also starred as Miss Matty in the critically acclaimed BBC series Cranford, for which she received Best Actress nominations at the BAFTA Awards, the Golden Globes and the Emmy Awards, and Cranford: Return to Cranford, for which she was nominated for an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

Dame Judi's achievements on screen are mirrored by her celebrated career on stage. She has won Laurence Olivier Awards for Macbeth and Juno and the Paycock for the RSC, Pack of Lies at the London Lyric, and Anthony and Cleopatra, Absolute Hell, and A Little Night Music, all at The National Theatre, and her performance in Amy's View, directed by Richard Eyre, brought her a Critics Circle Award and an Olivier Award nomination when it played in London at The National and Aldwych, followed by a Tony Award for Best Actress when the play transferred to Broadway. Her other theatre credits include: The Royal Family, directed by Peter Hall; The Breath of Life, directed by Howard Davies and co-starring Dame Maggie Smith; All's Well That Ends Well, for the RSC; Hay Fever, directed by Peter Hall; The Merry Wives of Windsor, for the RSC; Madame de Sade, directed by Michael Grandage for The Donmar West End and Peter Hall's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Rose Theatre, Kingston.

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