Judi Dench, who has been a star for many years, is a person who is fascinating, funny, and incredibly talented; she just reeks of class.

The 88-year-old actress has been fighting a ‘traumatic’ eye condition for the longest time. Her husband’s condition and tragic death have both taken their toll on the Oscar-winning performer throughout her life.

Dame Judi Dench has had an incredible career that has spanned over 60 years, but she manages to keep the naive smile of a young woman on her face at all times. Since 1957, when she made her first appearance in a professional capacity, Dench has been held in high esteem as one of the most accomplished performers in Britain.

Dame Judi Dench attends a Memorial Service for Sir Richard Attenborough at Westminster Abbey on March 17, 2015, in London, England. (Photo by Neil Mockford/Alex Huckle/GC Images)


Dench, born in England, has had a legendary career on stage and screen; she has, in effect, done it all and is praised wherever she travels.

Even though she is happy with her legacy, the famous actress doesn’t like being called a “national treasure.”

“For one thing,” she told People, “it’s a terrible label. So dusty, so gloomy. For another, it relegates me to being an 86-year-old woman. In my mind, I’m 6 feet tall, willowy, and around 39.”

But even though Dench still considers herself a youthful woman, her personal life shows that she has experienced a great deal of hardship. And now, at 87, the illnesses are beginning to show themselves, as is usual with all of us as we get older.

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The 30-year marriage between the Oscar Winner performer and Michael Williams ended in divorce in 2001. The couple tied the knot in 1971 and shared a warm and supportive bond up until the time that he passed away from lung cancer. In 2010, Dench was the subject of a heartbreaking interview in which she discussed the painful experience of having to say goodbye to the passion of her life.

Dench, fighting back emotions, admitted that she would never get over the death of her husband. When Michael passed away, he was 65 years old.

“He was the most unselfish man, and he wouldn’t ever attribute that to anything that might be between us… Oh, God, how he used to make me laugh. He used to make me absolutely howl,” she said.

After Michael’s passing, Dench never dreamed that she would discover happiness in another romantic relationship. On the other hand, the performer has been in a relationship with the conservationist David Mills since 2010.

“I wasn’t even prepared to be ready for it. It was very, very gradual and grown up. It’s just wonderful,” she told The Times in 2014.

The condition of Judi Dench’s eyes

Dench has stated, in recent interviews, that she has no plans to retire from acting any time soon, despite the fact that it is becoming increasingly challenging for her to give performances.

The actress has been open about her struggles with advanced macular degeneration in the past; however, during a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Dench addressed how her vision has evolved over the course of the past decade.

“It has become impossible and because I have a photographic memory, I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page,” the 88-year-old actor said when discussing the difficulty she faces when learning her lines.

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Macular degeneration is a condition that causes central vision to become blurry. The Oscar recipient disclosed in 2012 that she had the condition.

“In response to the numerous articles in the media concerning my eye condition – macular degeneration, I do not wish for this to be overblown,” she told ET at the time.

“This condition is something that thousands and thousands of people all over the world are having to contend with…and it’s something I have learnt to cope with and adapt to — and it will not lead to blindness.”

No treatment

At the moment, there is no cure for this condition, but treatment may help slow the progression of the disease.

However, after ten years, Dench explained that her eyesight had declined to the point where it was “impossible” for her to read. In the interview that took place in 2022 with Louis Theroux, she was questioned about the seriousness of her situation.

“Bad. Bad enough. Bad enough in that you’re quite fuzzy. You’re just a tad fuzzy,” Dench answered.

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Unfortunately, her poor eyesight is beginning to interfere with other aspects of her life as well.

“I can’t read the paper now, I can’t do the crossword, I can’t read a book,” she told Radio Times in 2021.

The 88-year-old Dame has no intention of leaving the performing world, despite the fact that certain facets of the profession have become extremely challenging.

“I don’t want to retire. I’m not doing much at the moment because I can’t see. It’s bad.”

Instead, she leans on the help of her colleagues in the business. And fortunately, everyone’s favorite actress has a photographic recall.

“You find a way of just getting about and getting over the things that you find very difficult,” Dench said. “I’ve had to find another way of learning lines and things, which is having great friends of mine repeat them to me over and over and over again. “So I have to learn through repetition, and I just hope that people won’t notice too much if all the lines are completely hopeless!”

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There are a great number of individuals worldwide who are afflicted with the terrible disease known as advanced macular degeneration. People can lose their sight to it, and even worse, there is no treatment for it.

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