Judi Dench

Judi Dench : With a Crack in Her Voice

3.82 (141 ratings by Goodreads)
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Whether it is her sunny temperament, or her gift of laughter or her wide-ranging abilities, or all three, Judi Dench is a star. Shortlisted for a 1998 Hollywood Oscar for her performance as Queen Victoria in Mrs Brown, she is widely loved and not only among the theatrical profession. Her long-running appearance opposite Geoffrey Palmer in the TV situation comedy AS TIME GOES BY has run to four series and gained her a TV Times readers' award as "the actress we most wish see more often on television". Her range is far greater than her rival Maggie Smith (Dench was created a Dame in 1988 two years before Smith). She juggles the National Theatre (a sell-out season in Sondheim's A Little Night Music and David Hare's Amy's View) withb tv and films (she is now established as 'M' in the latest James Bond series). Judi Dench has always declined to write her memoirs, but agreed to co-operate with John Miller, whose life of Ralph Richardson was highly praised on publication in 1995. The only previous biography (by Gerald Jacobs and published in 1985) causes her to wrinkle her nose and laugh. "It didn't tell me anything I didn't know about myself. " John Miller's does that. The final chapter includes Dench's own diary she kept in the run-up to the Oscar ceremony in Hollywood in March 1998.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 130 x 194 x 32mm | 322.05g
  • Orion Publishing Co
  • Orion mass market paperback
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • Black and White 30
  • 0752826964
  • 9780752826967

Review Text

When the film Mrs Brown (originally, modestly, destined for television) hit the big cinema screens, Judi Dench became, overnight, an International Movie Star. It won her a Golden Globe, BAFTA 'Best Actress' Award, an Oscar nomination. But in Britain Judi had already been a theatrical star for decades, playing Shakespearean heroines from a 'Dream' fairy to Lady Macbeth, Juliet to Cleopatra - and not only on stage in the classics, but in television comedy too (A Fine Romance, with real-life husband Michael Williams; As Time Goes By, with Geoffrey Palmer...). This sparkling biography covers it all in immense, but never tedious, detail. Although the overall effect is of sun-and-starshine all the way, there have been dark moments. When Judi left drama school, trailing clouds of glory, the prestigious Old Vic theatre company snapped her up, catapulting her into the demanding role of Hamlet's Ophelia. The critics slaughtered her. She was smartly withdrawn from the role. A terrible start; but even then Judi had a stainless-steel backbone. She learned from the experience. She's been learning ever since, and is now recognized as the finest English actress of her generation. The book isn't only about Judi. It has a cast of thousands. She must have more colleagues and friends than she can count. She has a singular gift for uniting the cast of a play or film into a harmonious 'family'. Her spontaneous kindness and thoughtfulness are legendary. Men have fallen in love with her in droves, but her home life with Michael and daughter Finty is unshakeable. Too good to be true? No - it's all true! A book to raise the spirits; celebratory but never sycophantic, well written, hugely entertaining: packed with theatrical anecdotes. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Dame Judi Dench

John Miller's career has principally been in TV and radio (for the BBC) and for ten years until 1992 for the South of England ITV company, TVS. He is the author of biographies of Ralph Richardson, and for W&N/Orion: Judi Dench and Peter Ustinov. He collaborated with John Gielgud on AN ACTOR AND HIS TIME (Pan pb). He has also edited DARLING JUDI (W&N/Orion) which celebrated Judi Dench's 70th birthday.show more

Rating details

141 ratings
3.82 out of 5 stars
5 27% (38)
4 41% (58)
3 22% (31)
2 7% (10)
1 3% (4)
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