Dame Judith Olivia Dench (born 9 December 1934) is an English actress. Dench made her professional debut in 1957 with the Old Vic Company. Over the following few years, she performed in several of Shakespeare's plays, in such roles as Ophelia in Hamlet, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, and Lady Macbeth in Macbeth. Although most of her work during this period was in theatre, she also branched into film work and won a BAFTA Award as Most Promising Newcomer. She drew strong reviews for her leading role in the musical Cabaret in 1968.
Over the next two decades, Dench established herself as one of the most significant British theatre performers, working for the National Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company. She received critical praise in television during this period, in the series A Fine Romance from 1981 until 1984, and from 1992 to 2005 with a starring role in the romantic comedy series As Time Goes By. Her film appearances were infrequent, and included supporting roles in major films, such as A Room with a View (1986), before she rose to international fame as M in GoldenEye (1995), a role she continued to play in James Bond films until Spectre (2015).
A seven-time Oscar nominee, Dench won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love, and has received nominations for her roles in Mrs Brown (1997), Chocolat (2000), Iris (2001), Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), Notes on a Scandal (2006), and Philomena (2013). She has also received many other accolades for her acting in theatre, film, and television; her other competitive awards include six British Academy Film Awards, four BAFTA TV Awards, seven Olivier Awards, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, and a Tony Award. She has also received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2001, and the Special Olivier Award in 2004. In June 2011, she received a fellowship from the British Film Institute (BFI). Dench is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA).