A Legendary Career and Refusing the “National Treasure” Label
Veteran star Judi Dench, known for her incredible talent and class, reflects on her long and successful career spanning over 60 years. Despite her accomplishments, she dislikes being labeled a “national treasure” and prefers to see herself as youthful and vibrant.
The Tragic Loss of Her Husband
Dench experienced a profound loss in 2001 when her husband of 30 years, Michael Williams, passed away from lung cancer. She speaks emotionally about their loving relationship and the void left by his absence. Dench never thought she would find love again, but she has since entered into a relationship with conservationist David Mills.
Battling Macular Degeneration
Dench has been open about her battle with advanced macular degeneration, a sight condition that affects her central vision. In recent years, she has discussed the challenges it poses in her acting career, making it increasingly difficult for her to learn lines and read scripts. While there is no cure for the condition, Dench remains determined to continue acting with the help of her photographic memory and support from industry friends.
The Impact on Daily Life
The deterioration of Dench’s eyesight has not only affected her work but also her personal life. Simple tasks such as reading the newspaper, doing crosswords, and enjoying books have become nearly impossible. Despite these limitations, Dench expresses her reluctance to retire and finds alternative ways to overcome the difficulties, relying on repetition and the assistance of friends to learn her lines.
A Call for Awareness and Research
Dench’s experience with advanced macular degeneration sheds light on the impact of the disease and the need for further research. While there is currently no cure, treatments can help slow its progression. Dench hopes for advancements in medical science that will one day offer a solution to this devastating condition.
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