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Dame Judy Dench is one talented and tough lady, so news this weekend that she's battling blindness due to macular degeneration is especially sad to hear. Her positive outlook and determination to not let it slow her down, however, are both encouraging and inspirational.
In a poignant interview with the Daily Mirror, the Oscar-winning actress said it's the same disease that her mother had. She has wet macular degeneration in one eye and dry macular degeneration in the other. While she is undergoing treatment that she hopes stops the progression of the disease, it has taken a severe toll on her sight already.
She told the paper that the disease has progressed so far that she can't see the faces of friends and family even when they're right in front of her. She can no longer read scripts, but she says that hasn't stopped her so far from continuing her acting career (she's currently filming the James Bond film "Skyfall"), and she doesn't intend to let it stop her anytime in the near future either.
To learn her lines, she has people read them to her. She says she actually likes it that way, because she can then sit there and imagine the story in her mind.
She told the paper:
As long as there is a possibility of working I’m not going to retire because if I retire nothing will work any more and it’s hard enough as it is. I’m very conscious that I’m in the minority in that I love what I do. How big is the number of people who are running to work to do a job that they like? And how lucky to be employed at it – how incredibly lucky.
She is such an amazing and inspirational woman from whom all of young Hollywood's actresses could learn a great deal. So many of them are presented with incredible opportunities only to waste them and their lives with bad choices instead of recognizing just how lucky they are. Judy has always shown strength of character both on screen and off, and whether she can see or not, we want to see her on the big screen for as long as possible.
Have you known anyone with macular degeneration? Are you a fan of Dame Judy Dench?
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