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Saturday, April 4, 2015

A-Z Challenge 2015: D is for Judi Dench!

It should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with me or this blog that I first took notice of Judi Dench when she took over as James Bond's boss M in GoldenEye (1995).









I became a true fan a couple of years later. When Tomorrow Never Dies came out in 1997 - Dench returned as M and had a great adversarial relationship with Admiral Roebuck (Geoffrey Palmer) in the opening minutes of the movie.

Admiral Roebuck and M.



Some months later - my wondrous wife Suze and I were sitting down to a fine steak dinner - and we had kept the TV on in the background as we prepped and cooked. Imagine my surprise when a 90's British sitcom called As Time Goes By came on our local PBS station - and it starred Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer!


As Time Goes By - the early episodes.



As Time Goes By - near the end of the long run.

On the show they play a couple who'd had a torrid love affair in the 50's - then lost touch for more than 30 years. Now, both single after long marriages - they meet up again and start back to first friendship, then over the course of the series - love and marriage. The series was hugely popular in Great Britain, making their scenes together in Tomorrow Never Dies all the more awesome, as now I realize it's an in-joke - plus the fun of seeing the couple duking it out verbally in their Bond roles.




Judi Dench was born in York England December 9, 1934. She attended Mount School and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She started acting on stage at an early age.


On stage in the 60's.



Her acting career covered every facet of show business - though I believe she'd tell you she is first and foremost a stage actress. But she also did television and movies - with several series over the years and small parts in different flicks - and for her work on stage and in television and films - she has won 10 (!) BAFTA Awards. (That's the combo Oscar/Emmy from Great Britain.) When she was cast as M it opened up her film career in a lot of ways. It helped her get a role in Shakespeare in Love as Queen Elizabeth I - and that role - only eight minutes onscreen - won Judi the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1999.

With husband Michael Williams - A Fine Romance.


One interesting series she did in the early 80's was called A Fine Romance. It lays out the beginnings of a relationship between two middle aged people that is uncomfortable and funny - uncomfortable due to their awkwardness with each other. What makes this show special is that her co-star was Michael Williams - her real life husband from the early 70's until his passing in 2001.



In 2012 she was diagnosed with macular degeneration - a gradual loss of eyesight. It was decided that Skyfall would be her last 007 movie as M - and she made a spectacular exit in the movie. However, it appears treatment has helped - as she is still acting - with The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel a recent release. I hope she keeps working for years to come - check out some Judi Dench every chance you get!










Until next post - roughly 24 hours from now - you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here!

18 comments:

  1. Have been a Dench fan for ages! Her performance in Iris my favourite. Enjoyed her in Skyfall too. Watching her on stage would be a dream come true.

    Joining you in the wishes for a long acting career.

    Best wishes,
    Nilanjana.
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. Thank you for that. And thank you for coming by and commenting!

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  2. I love Judi! She is amazing in the Bond films and I loved her character Evelyn in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. That movie is one of my favorite films in recent years. I even bought the soundtrack on CD!

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    1. Yes we watch pretty much anything she's in. Mrs. Brown, Filomena, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel were all faves here.

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  3. I respectfully bow to her, she is one talented lady...

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    1. She might even be two, she's so talented!

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  4. Haven't seen her Bond films, but she seemed talented from the parts of Marigold Hotel that I've seen.

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    1. She is an amazing woman - and her seventeen years as James Bond's boss were incredible. Thanks for visiting and commenting!

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  5. Rumor has it that she dm's her grandchildren's Dungeons and Dragons games. Can you imagine?

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  6. Not many can steal a scene from Craig--but she managed it time and again in Skyfall. I felt the chemistry between M and Bond was a highlight of the recent films. She gave the role a wonderful turn as the tough mother figure. Gonna miss those scenes...

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    1. I will too - but I am looking forward to Ralph Fiennes' first go-round...

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  7. I love Judi Dench! GREAT theme ! #Blogging from A-Z swinging by to meet and greet. I am 456 & 457 in the long list, with MOVIES & What's in a NAME Hope you swing by to 4covert2overt and Defining Ways. Hope to meet up everywhere @M_C_V_Egan
    http://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/
    http://mariacatalinaegan.com/
    .⋱ ⋮ ⋰.,;***;,.⋱ ⋮ ⋰
    ⋯¤♥¤⋯.(^_^)⋯¤♥¤⋯
    ⋰ ⋮ ⋱..._/l\_...⋰ ⋮ ⋱
    ♫ ƤҼƌҪҼ ƌƝƊ ĻƠṼҼ ॐ βԼƐֆֆїɳɠֆ ƌƝƊ βԼїֆֆ ♫

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    1. Thanks for coming by and the kind words! I will head to over to your place forthwith!

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  8. Been a fan of Judi for a long time - it really is hard to remember where I first saw her, though no doubt it was on British TV in the early 90's. After that, it would have been the same as yourself - GoldenEye being the big one - but she always lends a touch of class to whatever she pops up in. Was surprised at her getting the oscar in 1999 for such a small role, but glad she got one! Sad to hear that on her eyesight, I had no idea. She was on the UK comedy chat show, The Graham Norton Show, recently in promotion for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and she was great fun, a really lively guest. Hopefully the surgery keeps her on the screen!

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    1. We get Graham Norton over here on BBC America - my favorite talk show by far - and really enjoyed Dame Judi whenever she's on the show. Dame Judi FTW!

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  9. M is my favorite of the lot ! Nice theme for A to Z
    I am Somali from http://life11.org

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    1. Thank you for the kind words - and for coming by and commenting.

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