Another Oscar nomination for Judi Dench?

By Laurie Bennett

December 3, 2013 at 10:20am
Judi Dench roles

Upon winning an Oscar for her performance in “Rosemary’s Baby,” then 72-year-old Ruth Gordon delivered a classic acceptance speech. “I can’t tell you how encouraging a thing like this is,” she said.

Judi Dench, who turns 79 next week, may well be in a similar frame of mind.

With more than five decades in theater, television and film, Dench has won just a single Oscar - for her brief supporting performance in the 1999 movie, “Shakespeare in Love.”

The buzz has begun about a second statue for her starring role in “Philomena,” in which she plays an Irish Catholic trying to find the child taken from her when she was a teenager.

Her age in this film is almost a character unto itself, conveyed in wordless closeups of a wonderfully wizened face with high cheekbones and pale blue eyes.

Known by current audiences for her role as “M” in the James Bond series, Dench has been around long enough to play the gamut. She has been both queen and bag lady, loving wife and conniving schoolmarm, novelist and a would-be artist. She has done sci fi and Shakespeare, comedy, drama and musical theater.

She has played opposite some of the best. Repeat co-stars include Daniel Day-Lewis, Kenneth Branagh and Tom Wilkinson. (Click on the above image for an interactive Muckety map.)

The star with whom she shares the most credits is fellow Brit Maggie Smith, who also turns 79 this month. The two appeared together in “Tea with Mussolini,” “Ladies in Lavender,” “A Room with a View” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

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  • #1.   Amanda Matthews 12.27.2013

    I love her from ‘As Time Goes By’. I still watch the reruns.

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