Saturday, February 18, 2012

Judi Dench facing blindness

This is absolutely hearbreaking news about one of my all time favorite actresses, Judi Dench. According to various news sources including the Daily Mirror, Dench has been diagnosed with macular degeneration. My mother-in-law suffered from the same eye condition which can cause blindness. For someone who loves to read - like my mother in law used to - and or who needs to read - like the wonderful actress does her scripts - the debilitating disease is particularly cruel. Dench said that her eyesight was already so bad that she couldn't even read her own scripts and that she relied on friends and family to help her with her lines.
Of course beyond the problem with reading, as the disease progresses, day to day life gets tougher and tougher too. My sweet mother in law had a couple of different eye surgeries but it didn't help and the darkness eclipsed her ability to get around. Such a sweet lady, she never complained, and always thought of how she could be good to others, especially her family. She died two years ago of heart failure and is dearly missed.
I know she would appreciate the cheery spin Judi Dench puts on macular degeneration.
"It's usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind," she told the newspaper during an interview at a London hotel. "The most distressing thing is in a restaurant in the evening I can't see the person I'm having dinner with."

Dench  won an Academy Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in "Shakespeare in Love" and while she is best known to international audiences as M in the 007 series, I think I love her in the PBS series As Time Goes By. She was recently nominated for a BAFTA for her work in My Week with Marilyn and I can't wait to see her in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel based on These Foolish Things by Debborah Moggach.

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