The award-winning actress has been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration causing partial blindness and preventing her from reading and writing.
Dame Judi Dench made her professional debut in 1957 and since then has made worked remarkably across various films and television programs of different genres. With more than 60 completed films in her pocket, she turns 87 this year. In a recent interview by Louis Theroux, she admitted that she could no longer read or write. Dame has been diagnosed with Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD). According to the NHS, this condition affects the center of the vision, making it difficult to carry out routine tasks such as reading and recognizing faces. The actress however has no plans to let that clip her away from an established six-decade career.
She cleared in the interview that despite this new challenge, she does not plan on concluding her acting career. "I don't want to retire. I'm not doing much at the moment because I can't see. It's bad." She is struggling, but also adamant about teaching herself a way around. She said, "I have a photographic memory so a person saying to me, ''This is your line...'' I can do that." She added, "I’ll teach myself a way, I know I will. So long as I don’t trip overdoing it." Her interview with Louis Theroux will be telecasted on November 1, 2022.
Dame got candid about her struggles of losing sight in the interview with Louis Theroux for BBC. She chuckled away her struggle as she shared a little incident. "I went to a dinner a few weeks ago, a rather important dinner. It was so dark that I said to my partner David, who was next to me, ‘Have I anything on my plate?’ He said, ‘Yes’. I said, ‘Does it need cutting up? So he said, ‘Yes’ and I said, ‘Would you do it?’ He cut it up and handed something to me on a fork and that’s the way I ate it. I don’t know if I finished it, I don’t know what I did. I probably scooped it all up and over the side of the plate for all I know."
As she turns 87, she shares how the subject of aging terrifies her. Earlier this year, she opened up on the topic to SAGA. She said, "I don’t recommend it. I had a frightful fall not long ago. I tripped over the carpet and there was nobody in the house, and I was lying on the ground unable to get up for half an hour. I have a wonderful parrot who kept saying, “What are you doing? What are you doing?” This is when you need a very convenient parrot who would phone somebody but she didn’t. After half an hour I just got up." The veteran actress has given stellar performances in seven bond films including GoldenEye, Skyfall, The World Is Not Enough, Tomorrow Never Dies, Casino Royale, and Die Another Day.
Getty Images | Photo by Jeff Spicer