Dame Judi Dench, the iconic British actress, has revealed that she is no longer able to read scripts due to a degenerative eye disease known as macular degeneration. This condition affects the central part of the retina, which is responsible for sharp and detailed vision, making it difficult to see fine details and read small print.
In an interview with the Radio Times, Dench shared, “I can’t read scripts anymore because of the trouble with my eyes. And so somebody comes in and reads them to me, like telling me a story.” She added, “It’s usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind.”
Despite this setback, Dench has not let her condition slow her down. She has continued to act in films, TV shows, and on stage, using a combination of memorization, rehearsal, and listening to audio recordings of her lines. She has also used magnifying lenses to help her read scripts in the past.
Dench has been open about her struggles with macular degeneration, even speaking at a fundraising event for the Macular Society in 2015. She has urged people to get regular eye checks and to be aware of the warning signs of the disease, which include blurred or distorted vision, difficulty reading or recognizing faces, and the appearance of dark spots in the field of vision.
While Dench’s condition may make reading scripts more difficult, it has not affected her love of acting and storytelling. She has been nominated for numerous awards throughout her career, including an Academy Award, and has won an impressive eight Olivier Awards for her stage performances.
Dench’s resilience and determination in the face of adversity serve as an inspiration to all, especially those facing similar challenges due to health conditions. Her ability to adapt and find new ways to pursue her passion is a testament to her talent and her dedication to her craft.
We wish Dame Judi Dench all the best and thank her for sharing her story with us.