Judi Dench Not Giving Up on Acting Career, Despite Deteriorating Eye Condition: ‘I Used to Find It Very Easy to Learn Lines’

Judi Dench never used to have a problem remembering her lines, which is understandable considering she has a photographic memory that allows her to memorize her lines from start to finish. Unfortunately, what used to come as second nature to the 88-year-old actress has now become nearly impossible.

She first opened up about her age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in 2012, explaining that she had dry AMD in one eye and wet AMD in the other. While she was being treated with injections, she discussed the need for someone to read all of her lines to her – opposed to relying on her photographic memory. 

Judi Dench Not Giving Up on Acting Career, Despite Deteriorating Eye Condition: 'I Used to Find It Very Easy to Learn Lines'

Now more than 10 years later, she continues to suffer from her deteriorating eye condition as her vision worsens – AMD is a condition many people above the age of 50 experience and is one of the leading causes of blindness and impaired vision. She recently opened up about how it’s affecting her career.

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“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,” she explained in a recent appearance on The Graham Norton Show on Friday. Despite the increase in difficulty, she isn’t giving up.

In October, she revealed that she doesn’t want to retire, but admitted she’s ‘not doing anything much at the moment because I can’t see.’ She went on to discuss how the condition is ‘bad enough’ that she’s often ‘quite fuzzy’ and even needed a friend to cut up her food at an event because the room was dark.

Despite that, she wow-ed hotel guests in Scotland with an impromptu performance in December when she accompanied Sharleen Spiteri – the lead singer of the band Texas – on the piano. The duo performed the hit ABBA song ‘Waterloo’ at Fife Arms in Braemar, Aberdeenshire, as the countdown to 2023 began. 

Now, she’s on the move again as she promotes her newest film Allelujah – where she stars as Mary Moss alongside Jennifer Saunders, Bally Gill, Russell Tovey, David Bradley, and more. The film made its world premiere back in September 2022 and is now being released theatrically on March 17, 2023. 

Judi Dench Sculpture Has Been Approved for York Cycle Path

Judi Dench has enjoyed an impressive acting career that spans eight decades – beginning in 1957 and continuing throughout her 80s, with her most recent performance coming last month at a BBC concert. She’s a British legend that has entertained audiences on various stages – including film, TV, and stage.

Her incredible devotion to her craft has earned her a wide range of accolades, awards, and other honors. That’s why it’s no surprise to hear of a new sculpture of Dame Judi being commissioned along a cycling path in a city park in York, England – she was born and raised in the York town of Heworth in the 1930s.

The British icon’s sculpture – which was approved alongside a statue of cycle campaigner Dave Jackson – will be made of Corten steel sheet, according to The York Press. The sculptures were voted on by the public, with York residents choosing both Dench and Jackson as the appropriate icons to commemorate. 

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In 1970, Judi Dench was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by then-Queen Elizabeth II. 18 years later, she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. Most recently, she was appointed as a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in 2005. 

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