Entertainment & Arts

At 78, Judi Dench feels like ‘a tall, willowy, blond 43-year-old’

At 78, Judi Dench feels like ‘a tall, willowy, blond 43-year-old’
Judi Dench attends the afterparty for the gala screening of “Philomena” in London.
(Jon Furniss / Invision for BFI / Associated Press)

Judi Dench is back to walking the red carpet, with “walking” being the operative word here.

The vivacious 78-year-old Academy Award winner had knee-replacement surgery just six weeks before the premiere of her latest film, “Philomena,” in London’s Leicester Square nearly two weeks ago. Now she’s thrilled to share her current state of mind and thoughts on her speedy recovery time.


“When I had it done on September 6, I said to my surgeon, ‘On October 16, I will walk up a red carpet unaided,’ and so I did,” she told the Daily Mirror. “You set your mind to a goal and go for it.”

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Indeed, there’s no keeping M down!

The “Skyfall” star hit the red carpet sans cane in an embroidered caftan paired with dark pants.

“The scar’s from here to here, there to there,” she said, showing her 6-inch-long evidence of the surgery. “I have a completely new knee now. It’s brilliant.”

The iconic British star is just as excited to remain a working actress despite her age and the revelation in February 2012 that she’d been diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration. The eye ailment has made it difficult for her to read scripts, but that doesn’t mean it’s quitting time.


“I’m not feeling my age at all. I am about 43, a tall, willowy, blond 43-year-old with long legs,” she told the Mirror. “I don’t want to slow down at all. We don’t say the word retirement in our house. Old and retired are totally banned. Energy keeps me going.”

And if that weren’t enough gusto ...

“We are in the minority of people who are doing a job we chose to do and can make a living at. Why aren’t we running to work every day?” she added.

“Philomena,” a film about a mother who was forced to give up her child and live in a convent, is set to hits U.S. theaters on Nov. 27.



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