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Why Dame Judi Dench can’t see on film sets anymore

Judi is most recognised for her role as M16 boss M in James Bond, where she played the part from 1995 until 2015, assisting the likes of Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig as the spy hero.

She first appeared in GoldenEye, taking over the reins from Robert Brown.

Judi has also had great success on the stage, winning a Tony in 1999 for Amy’s View and a string of Olivier Awards throughout the years.

She also has an impressive number of acting credits for film and television including her role in 1998’s Shakespeare In Love, which won her an Oscar.

The actress has continued to star in films in recent years including 2021’s Belfast, which won the Oscar for outstanding British film, and 2022’s Allelujah, an adaptation of Alan Bennett’s 2018 play of the same name.

Dame Judi Dench says she will work ‘as much as I can’ amid health diagnosis

Daily Echo: Judi was diagnosed with 'age-related macular degeneration (AMD)' in 2012 Judi was diagnosed with ‘age-related macular degeneration (AMD)’ in 2012 (Image: Yui Mok/PA)

But now the 88-year-old has spoken to The Mirror’s Notebook magazine, as she shares the difficulties in her acting career due to a degenerative eye condition, which has left her struggling to see properly.

Judi says she intends on working “as much as I can” and won’t be letting her health condition get in the way any time soon.

She said: “I mean I can’t see on a film set anymore, and I can’t see to read. So I can’t see much. But you know you just deal with it. Get on. It’s difficult for me if I have any length of a part. I haven’t yet found a way. Because I have so many friends who will teach me the script. But I have a photographic memory.”

Why is Dame Judi Dench struggling to see?

Judi was diagnosed with “age-related macular degeneration (AMD)” in 2012 and a few years ago she had to give up driving when her eyesight began to get worse.

Age-related macular degeneration affects the middle part of a person’s vision and is common among those in their 50s and 60s, according to the NHS website.

It does not cause total blindness but can make everyday activities such as reading and recognising faces difficult.

Daily Echo: Age-related macular degeneration is most common among those in their 50s and 60s, says the NHSAge-related macular degeneration is most common among those in their 50s and 60s, says the NHS (Image: Getty)

Dame Judi Dench feels ‘lucky’ to have met new partner David Mills after the death of husband Michael Williams

Dame Judi remains mostly quiet about her private life but revealed she feels “lucky” to have found a new partner in David Mills after her husband and fellow actor Michael Williams, died in 2001 from lung cancer.

“I never expected, not for a minute, that there would be anybody else in my life after Michael died”, she said.

“I’ve had many, many good friends, but it’s been very unexpected to have somebody new who is as caring as my partner, David.

“Someone to be able to share things with… I feel very lucky indeed. And to laugh with somebody is terribly important! Laughing is the most important thing. We laugh about everything.”

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