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Judi Dench hints on retirement from acting

Judi Dench (Photo by CHRIS JACKSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Mohnish Singh

In what may be a poignant close to one of the most celebrated careers in cinema and theatre, Judi Dench has suggested that her time on film could be over.

The 89-year-old Oscar winner, known for her powerful performances and commanding presence, made the revelation during her appearance at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, as confirmed by Deadline.

Dench, who last graced the screen in the 2022 film Spirited, admitted that she currently has no new film projects on the horizon.

“No, no. I can’t even see!” she confessed, hinting at the significant impact her deteriorating eyesight has had on her ability to work, according to Deadline.

This marks a significant shift from her previous stance on retirement. In a candid interview earlier, Dench had expressed a strong desire to continue working despite her vision issues.

“I don’t want to retire. I’m not doing much at the moment because I can’t see. It’s bad,” she shared, adding that her photographic memory and ability to recall lines had been crucial in helping her manage her condition, as per Deadline.

Dench suffers from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common cause of vision loss affecting over 700,000 people in the UK.

This condition progressively diminishes central vision, making tasks such as reading and recognizing faces challenging.

Despite this, Dench had previously shown remarkable resilience, continuing to deliver memorable performances on both stage and screen.

Judi Dench’s career began in 1957, and she quickly established herself as one of the foremost classical actors of her generation.

Her Oscar-winning role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love (1998) is still celebrated, as is her iconic portrayal of M in the James Bond series, a role she held from 1995’s Golden Eye to a cameo in 2015’s Spectre.

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