Judi Dench: Staying Strong in the Face of Macular Degeneration

Battling Macular Degeneration

At 88 years old, Dame Judi Dench, the legendary James Bond actress and an Oscar winner, recently opened up about her health struggles in an interview. She revealed that she is battling macular degeneration, a condition that affects her eyesight. Macular degeneration has had an impact on her illustrious acting career, but Dame Judi remains determined to continue working.

A Challenging Journey

Macular degeneration causes vision impairment, making it difficult for Dame Judi to see on a film set or read. Despite these challenges, she is determined to carry on. She explained, “I mean I can’t see on a set any longer. And I’m too dim to read. So I don’t see much. However, you already know how to handle it. Get on.”

Although she sometimes finds it challenging to memorize long segments of scripts, Dame Judi’s memory is still sharp and photographic. She is grateful for the support of her friends who are willing to assist her with learning her lines.

Defying Expectations

Dame Judi Dench first revealed her diagnosis of macular degeneration in 2012. The condition causes one eye to become “dry” with fuzzy center vision, while the other eye becomes “wet” and creates blind areas. Despite these difficulties, Dame Judi has no plans to retire any time soon.

The idea of retirement irritates her, as she firmly believes that age is just a number. In her own words, “Age is something you were forced to do. When people ask me if I’m going to retire, it totally irritates me. Isn’t it time you sat back and relaxed? Or, tell me your age.”

A Timeless Spirit

Dame Judi Dench has been a professional actor for over 60 years, and she has no intention of slowing down. She shared, “For some reason, I only ever felt genuinely upset when I was 40. You are only as old as you feel is an old proverb. It has something to do with the inside and has nothing to do with age. It is the motor.”

Her incredible talent and dedication to her craft have earned her numerous accolades, including an Oscar for her supporting role in “Shakespeare in Love.” She is considered one of the greatest actresses in English theater and film history, with a career spanning six decades.

A Lasting Legacy

Dame Judi Dench’s contributions to the world of acting are immeasurable. Her impressive achievements include an Academy Award, two Golden Globes, a Tony, ten BAFTAs for cinema and TV, and a record-breaking seven Laurence Olivier Awards. Her films have also earned millions of dollars at the box office.

Despite her macular degeneration diagnosis and the challenges it brings, Dame Judi Dench remains an inspiration to us all. Her determination and passion for her craft continue to shine, and she shows us that age should never be a barrier to pursuing our dreams.