Dench Receives BAFTA Fellowship for BirthdayDate: 10 December 2001
Dame Judi Dench added to her huge cache of distinctions yesterday when she received an Academy Fellowship from BAFTA (British Association of Film and Television Arts). The award was presented at a star-studded tribute ceremony held at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, where Dench is currently appearing in Peter Hall's production of The Royal Family. Dench referred to the honour as the "perfect birthday present" - yesterday also marked the actress' 67th birthday.
Dench is widely recognised as one of the UK's greatest living actresses. Her prodigious accolades to date for her distinguished film, television and stage work have included numerous honorary degrees and doctorates as well as BAFTA, Golden Globe, Evening Standard, Critics Circle, Tony and Laurence Olivier Awards.
In 1996, she became the first person to win two Oliviers in a single year - a Best Actress for Absolute Hell and a Best Actress in a Musical for Sondheim's A Little Night Music, both at the National Theatre. More recently, she has received more international attention for her role in films such as Mrs Brown, Chocolat and Shakespeare in Love, for which she won an Oscar.
Dench was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1970 and was ordained a Dame of the British Empire in 1988,
Previous BAFTA fellowships have been awarded to Michael Caine, Stanley Kubrick, Woody Allen, Sean Connery and Elizabeth Taylor. At yesterday's ceremony, Dench was lauded by many of her contemporaries and former colleagues who were also in attendance, including Pierce Brosnan, Maggie Smith, Kevin Spacey, Billy Connolly and Lord Attenborough, who presented the award.
- by Terri Paddock