Dame Judi tells of battle with failing eyesight

Oscar-winning actress Dame Judi Dench has told of her “difficult” battle with failing eyesight that has left her unable to read scripts and struggling to watch films.

The York-born star of stage and screen suffers from macular degeneration – an age-related condition that leads to the gradual loss of vision.

But the James Bond actress, who has notched up a staggering 95 award nominations during her illustrious career, balked at suggestions she will slow down because of her failing health.

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The 79-year-old told The 
Hollywood Reporter: “I never want to make much of it, but it is difficult – very, very difficult.

“I can’t read anymore. I can’t paint like I used to. I try to watch movies, but it’s quite difficult. But these are all of the negatives. I don’t want to really think about all that. What I can do, I do. And I somehow get by.”

Even before her eyesight began to decline, Dame Judi preferred to have others read her scripts to her, as Steve Coogan did in her latest film Philomena which has earned the actress an Oscar nomination. But Dame Judi, who has also recently undergone knee surgery, insists she has no plans to retire.

Since making her professional acting debut at the Old Vic in 1957, Dame Judi has become one of Britain’s – and Hollywood’s – most acclaimed female actors. appearing in seven Oscar nominated films.