Celebrities in Classics – Judi Dench

judiWHO IS IT? Dame Judi Dench has always been a force to be reckoned with as a veteran English actress of film, television and theatre. For the upcoming Academy Awards to be held on March 2nd, she has been nominated for her lead role in Philomena. It will be her seventh Oscar nomination! Probably my favourite Judi Dench movie is Mrs. Brown (1997), although I will always have a soft spot for her role as M in the James Bond movies.

WHY I LOVE THIS ACTRESS: Judi Dench has always struck me as being a genuine, no-nonsense woman. She doesn’t pretend to know everything and doesn’t hesitate to tell it as she sees it. She exudes confidence, wisdom and has always shown a bit of a cheeky side. I think she is a really classy lady.

FIRST ENCOUNTER: I’m pretty sure the first time I saw Judi Dench was in Goldeneye (1995) when Pierce Brosnan was still 007. I loved how M was so ruthless and bitchy. Judi played M perfectly with her raspy voice and fierce cat-like eyes. Meow!

FAVE MOVIE/SCENE: My favourite scene is when Viola (played by Gwyneth Paltrow) meets Judi Dench as the Queen. She speaks bluntly about the way love is depicted in plays and she casually makes fun of Colin Firth on the side.


1981 ~ The Cherry Orchard ~ Mme. Ranevsky
1985 ~ A Room with a View ~ Eleanor Lavish
1987 ~ 84 Charing Cross Road  ~Nora Doel
1989 ~ Henry V ~ Mistress Quickly
1994 ~ Middlemarch ~ George Eliot (voice)
1996 ~ Hamlet ~ Hecuba
2000 ~ Chocolat ~ Armande Voizin
2001 ~ The Shipping News ~ Agnis Hamm
2002 ~ The Importance of Being Earnest ~ Lady Augusta Bracknell
2005 ~ Pride & Prejudice ~ Lady Catherine de Bourgh
2007 ~ Cranford ~ Miss Matty
2009 ~ Return to Cranford ~ Miss Matty
2011 ~ Jane Eyre ~ Mrs. Fairfax

I started from the 80s, but to see Judi Dench’s full filmography visit Wikipedia.

GREAT QUOTE:Shakespeare is wonderful for children. It fires their imagination – they recognise people being superstitious, greedy, envious and falling in and out of love.”

Who is your favourite celebrity in a classic?


6 comments on “Celebrities in Classics – Judi Dench

  1. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy
    February 21, 2014

    Oh I love Judi Dench! I think I’m most partial to her in Jane Eyre since I’m obsessed with the book, but she is wonderful in everything it seems!


    • ebookclassics
      February 21, 2014

      It’s SO true! I struggled picking my favourite movie and scene because she is excellent in every single movie. I did watch a couple of Jane Eyre clips preparing this post.


  2. Carolyn O
    February 21, 2014

    She’s so classy. Great post!


    • ebookclassics
      February 21, 2014

      Sigh … is it possible to have a girl crush on someone so elegant and refined?


      • Carolyn O
        February 21, 2014

        Hell yeah! See also: my crush on Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, and Emma Thompson.


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