With apologies to the great Judi Dench, we’d like to take a moment and wish her a very happy belated birthday. Turning 77 on Friday, 9 December, the brilliant actress has done nothing but give theatre goers, film lovers and situation comedy fans, worldwide, birthday presents every year since her first professional stage appearance in 1957 with the Old Vic Theatre Company, at the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool, as Ophelia in Hamlet.
Showing absolutely no signs or desire to begin to take some down time, Dame Judi Dench played a part in nine films in 2011 that are all in various stages of pre-production, post-reduction or release. Next up, with a March 2012 scheduled in both the U.S. and the UK, is The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love, Her Majesty, Mrs. Brown), the film also stars a line-up of a who’s who in British acting, both young and old, including Dench, Bill Nighy (Page Eight), Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey, Harry Potter), Tom Wilkinson (Full Monty, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol), Ramona Marquez (Outnumbered) and Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire).
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel tells the story of British retirees who travel to India to take up residence in what they believe is a newly restored hotel. Less luxurious than its advertisements, the Marigold Hotel nevertheless slowly begins to charm in unexpected ways. How can it not with this ridiculously brilliant cast. Can’t wait.
A very, very happy belated birthday, Dame Judi Dench.