All hail Queen Judi
A right royal career stretching 60 years
Judi started her career on the stage after a film producer told her, ‘Miss Dench, you have every single thing wrong with your face.’ She makes her debut as Ophelia in Hamlet at the Old Vic and goes on to join the RSC.
She wins the part of Sally Bowles in the musical Cabaret and immediately signs up for singing lessons.
1981 A FINE ROMANCE
Her successful TV career bags her the role, along with real-life husband Michael Williams, in this sitcom about an awkward couple. Judi and Michael also sang the theme tune.
1997 MRS BROWN
Appearing in her first leading film role, Judi gives a tender portrayal of Queen Victoria and her friendship with John Brown, played by Billy Connolly.
Judi makes acting history as the first woman to play Bond’s no-nonsense boss, M, the head of MI6. She appeared in seven Bond films before dying in Daniel Craig’s arms in 2012’s Skyfall.
1998 SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE
Her turn as Queen Elizabeth I wins Judi an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, although she only appears on screen for eight minutes.
Judi brings the life story of Iris Murdoch to the big screen, playing the novelist in her later years when she was suffering from Alzheimer’s.
2006 NOTES ON A SCANDAL
A change of role for Judi as she plays a bitter spinster teacher who becomes obsessed with a female colleague who is having an affair with a teenage student.
Based on a true story, Judi wins critical acclaim for her role as an Irish woman desperately searching for the son she had been forced to give up for adoption.
2017 VICTORIA & ABDUL
Back on Queen Victoria’s throne, Judi plays the elderly monarch who strikes up a friendship with a young Indian clerk, despite her family’s disapproval.