Battling Macular Degeneration: Dame Judi Dench’s Inspiring Journey


At 88 years old, Dame Judi Dench, the legendary James Bond actress and Oscar winner, recently courageously opened up about her health struggles in an interview. She revealed her battle with macular degeneration, a condition that affects her eyesight. Despite the impact on her illustrious acting career, Dame Judi remains determined to continue working.

A Challenging Journey

Macular degeneration causes vision impairment, making it difficult for Dame Judi to see on a film set or read. However, she remains strong and determined. Reflecting on her condition, she shared, “I mean I can’t see on a set any longer. And I’m too dim to read. So I don’t see much. However, you already know how to handle it. Get on.”

Although memorizing long segments of scripts can be challenging, Dame Judi’s memory remains sharp and photographic. She is grateful for the support of her friends, who willingly assist her in learning her lines.

Defying Expectations

Dame Judi Dench first revealed her diagnosis of macular degeneration in 2012. The condition causes one eye to have fuzzy center vision, while the other eye develops blind areas. Despite these difficulties, Dame Judi has no plans to retire any time soon.

The idea of retirement irks her, as she firmly believes that age is just a number. In her own words, “Age is something you were forced to do. When people ask me if I’m going to retire, it totally irritates me. Isn’t it time you sat back and relaxed? Or, tell me your age.”

A Timeless Spirit

Dame Judi Dench’s passion for acting has spanned over 60 years, and there’s no sign of slowing down. Reflecting on her vibrant spirit, she shared, “For some reason, I only ever felt genuinely upset when I was 40. You are only as old as you feel is an old proverb. It has something to do with the inside and has nothing to do with age. It is the motor.”

Her incredible talent and dedication to her craft have earned her numerous accolades, including an Oscar for her supporting role in “Shakespeare in Love.” She is considered one of the greatest actresses in English theater and film history, with a career spanning six decades.

A Lasting Legacy

Dame Judi Dench’s contributions to the world of acting are immeasurable. Her impressive achievements include an Academy Award, two Golden Globes, a Tony, ten BAFTAs for cinema and TV, and a record-breaking seven Laurence Olivier Awards. Her films have also earned millions of dollars at the box office.

Despite her macular degeneration diagnosis and the challenges it brings, Dame Judi Dench remains an inspiration to us all. Her determination and passion for her craft continue to shine, showing us that age should never be a barrier to pursuing our dreams. Let us applaud her indomitable spirit and the lasting legacy she is creating.