Dame Judi Dench


It's a common complaint among actresses of a certain, ahem, vintage that there just aren't any good roles for more mature women.

Dame Judi Dench's latter career suggests otherwise.

Since turning pro in her twenties, she has rarely been out of work, most notably as a stage actress in her early years.

Her versatility was, and still is, her strongest suit – she played Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Lady Macbeth and many other Shakespearean women and countless comic roles, all to universal critical acclaim.

Fame, however, came later when she began to regularly appear on both television and in major films.

She is now synonymous with the role of MI5 chief M, playing the hard-nosed James Bond boss seven times from Casino Royale through to Skyfall. She gave the character a surprising vulnerability and her Skyfall performance was described as 'compellingly luminous'.

Such work has garnered her numerous awards, including an Oscar for Shakespeare In Love and countless BAFTAs, Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild gongs.

It would be foolish of anyone to think that those awards will start drying up any time soon.

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Dame Judi Dench