Judi Dench was born in York, England, to Eleanora Olive (Jones), who was from Dublin, Ireland, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor from Dorset, England. She attended Mount School in York, and studied at the Central School of Speech and Drama. She has performed with Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, and at Old Vic Theatre. She is a ten-time BAFTA winner including Best Actress in a Comedy Series for A Fine Romance (1981) in which she appeared with her husband, Michael Williams, and Best Supporting Actress in A Handful of Dust (1988) and A Room With a View (1985) . She received an ACE award for her performance in the television series Star Quality: Mr. and Mrs. Edgehill (1985). She was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1970, and was created Dame of Order of the British Empire in 1988.
She has received BIFA nominations for Best Actress for her role in Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2012), Philomena (2013) and Notes on a Scandal (2007), winning for the latter.