Judi Dench rediscovered love when she was in her 70s. It took her nine years of being a widow and living alone before she met the man who would become her future husband, David Mills. Not only do they love one other, but they also look out for each other’s health, which is particularly important now that the actress is dealing with such a complicated condition. Yet despite the fact that they continue to pursue one another romantically, she has decided that she will not marry him.
Judi Dench, who played Anne Hathaway in «Shakespeare in Love,» is a well-known English actress who has appeared in a wide variety of films and television shows throughout the course of her career. After performing in many of Shakespeare’s plays, including «Macbeth,» «Romeo and Juliet,» and «Hamlet,» she made her professional debut in 1957. Her roles included Juliet, Lady Macbeth, and Ophelia.
She rose to prominence as one of the most important actors in British theater during the course of the following two decades, during which time she starred in the television series «A Fine Romance» (1981–1984) and «As Time Goes By» (1992–2005), both of which garnered widespread critical acclaim.
In addition to her work in the theater, the actress has been cast in a number of high-profile films and television shows, including the James Bond films as M and Victoria & Abdul as Queen Victoria.
The actress who appeared in «He Who Rides a Tiger» has accomplished a great deal during her career, including being nominated for the Academy Award eight times. But, her accomplishments outside of work are just as impressive. She also had a great life away from the silver screens, as shown by the fact that she was married to her husband Michael Williams for the whole of the three decades leading up to his passing in the year 2001.
Williams, who was born in Liverpool, was also involved in the entertainment sector. He was a well-known actor who landed his first film part in 1962, when he was 25 years old. Later in his career, he transitioned into both television and film. He went on to star in «Educating Rita,» «Elizabeth R,» «Henry V,» and many more. During the staging of «The Duchess of Malfi,» a play written by John Webster, which took place in 1971, William and Dench’s paths met. «The Duchess of Malfi» is a Jacobean vengeance tragedy.
Theirs was a story of pure love that lasted three decades. Nonetheless, Williams had a difficult time successfully proposing to Dench and winning her hand in marriage. Dench said that she had rejected his proposal of marriage in the past because she wanted it to seem more genuine.
She told how Williams had travelled to Australia, where she was traveling with the Royal Shakespeare Company. She and the gang were in bad circumstances since they had recently lost one of their own, Charlie Thomas. As a result, Williams’s visit came as a pleasant and unexpected shock. Yet, Dench gave the following response when Williams proposed to her:
«Will you kindly ask me on a gloomy day in Battersea?»
It is unknown if Williams was able to exercise the patience necessary to wait for a wet day in Battersea. Despite this, he was successful in his pursuit of the girl, and in 1971, the couple married the marriage. The next year, they became parents for the first and only time, to a girl named Tara Cresida Williams, who is now known as Finty Williams.
Finty, who was born in London, followed in her parents’ footsteps by developing an interest in acting. She began her acting career by enrolling in the Central School of Speech and Drama, which opened the way for her to have a prosperous acting career throughout the years. Her list of acting credits is extensive and includes roles in productions such as «The Mystery of Edwin Drood,» «Yummy,» «The Hidden Rapture,» «Cranford,» and «Nothing Like A Dame,» among others.
Dench and Williams worked together in the film «Tea With Mussolini,» which was directed by Franco Zeffirelli in 1999. In addition to having a daughter together, the two also have an unbelievable love story. After that, on January 10, 2001, Pope John Paul II honored Williams for his service to the Catholic Church by bestowing upon him the title of Knight of Saint Gregory. This happened two years after Williams’ first recognition.
Tragically, Williams died unexpectedly the day after, on January 12, barely three weeks before the couple would have celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary. He had lung cancer and had fought it for years, but ultimately he was defeated by the disease.
The passing of Williams was a terrible loss for Dench, and she has had a very difficult time adjusting to life without him. On the other hand, she cherishes the memories of her late husband, who once said that the two of them had a connection that developed organically and did not need a great deal of effort on their part.
In the podcast «David Tennant Does a Podcast,» she talked warmly of her late husband, saying that he was the most selfless guy she had ever encountered and that she considers herself fortunate to have known him. David Tennant was the host of the podcast. In addition to that, he made her giggle, and she questioned whether or not she would ever be able to completely get over him.
It is not uncommon for her to be walking around and suddenly come across his picture, which causes memories of her spouse to rush back to the surface and makes it even more difficult for her to forget him. She went on to talk about the unforeseen events that have taken place in her life following the passing of her husband, noting that she can still sense his presence in their house.
«There are times when I get home and find that the door to this house is open, and I’m very sure that he just walked in.»
She has the impression that his presence is quite strong in all aspects of their home, from the garden to the house itself. She said that she had an experience in which she discovered a tin on the floor with the inscription «I love you» shortly after sensing his presence in the house.
Dench wept for her late husband for many years and clung to the memories that the two of them had created together over the course of their many decades of marriage. Nevertheless, in 2010, nine years after her husband’s passing, Dench found love once again.
David Mills, a conservationist, introduced the actress from «Run For Your Wife» to himself when he asked her to open a squirrel cage at the wildlife center he operates close to her house in Surrey. Mills is also an environmentalist. The actress was not ready to find love again, so the quick connection took her by surprise. She had been alone for quite some time. According to her, their relationship developed over time and became quite mature.
When the two individuals initially began seeing one other, there was a lot of talk about the possibility of a future romantic relationship between them. Dench immediately admitted that she had been lying, adding that it was pleasant to have someone else’s company after a lengthy period of time spent being a widow:
«It is lovely to have someone who says things like «I’ll locate your keys for you» or «Let’s go to the theater tonight» even if there isn’t a tremendous, passionate sexual affair going on between the two of you. It isn’t necessary for there to be a sexual relationship between the two of you. Extremely good.»
Since then, the couple has remained together through thick and thin, braving every storm together and continuing to be just as head over heels in love with one another as they were when they first met. Dench and Mills have had a wonderful relationship for the last 13 years, during which time it has only strengthened.
Mills Helps Dench Even as Her Eyesight Trouble Deteriorates
Dench started having issues with her vision in 2012, which was two years after the couple first met and started dating. As a result, she is now blind and cannot see at all. She said that the ailment she suffers from, known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which damages the central portion of one’s eyesight, is rather common.
This condition does not result in complete blindness. It does, however, make carrying out tasks of daily living such as reading exceedingly challenging. The actress has maintained a positive outlook over the years; yet, the situation continues to deteriorate with each passing minute. And as a result, it has permeated every aspect of her existence. According to Hello Magazine and Radio Times, she said that:
«I’m sorry, but I can’t read the article right now. I’m not good at doing crossword puzzles. I am not able to read books.»
In 2017, she also gave up driving, which she describes as being the single most distressing and painful event in her life. On the other hand, she is aware that if she were to get behind the wheel, she would almost certainly end up running someone over or possibly putting herself in a dangerous situation.
And despite the fact that she did not want to give up acting, the state she is in has forced her to take a step back from her profession since she is unable to read the script. She came clean and said:
«I have no desire to end my working life. Due to my vision problems, I am unable to engage in too much activity at the present.»
She said that she has wonderful friends who have read her lines to her on several occasions, so she has had to learn by practicing over and over again. She is exerting a lot of effort to come to terms with the disease and figure out new ways to go about life, but acting has become difficult for her.
Keeping her independence is proving very challenging for her as she works to readjust to the new way of life that she has adopted. After stumbling over the carpet and collapsing in 2022, she had a frightening worry over her health. She was the only other person in the home at the time, and she was unable to raise herself up off the floor for a half an hour.
Dench has managed to preserve her sense of humor despite the difficulties, and she has quipped that she has a gorgeous parrot that is always inquiring about what she is doing. She claims that the parrot is quite helpful and can quickly summon anybody; yet, while she was laying on the floor and unable to get up, the parrot did not do anything about it. She adds that this is really strange.
She admits that her eyesight has worsened to the point that it is possible for her to be in the same room as a familiar person and not be able to identify them. She previously revealed to DailyMail that she would approach strangers and strike up discussions with them, only for the other person to reveal that they were not the person she had assumed they were. In order to combat it, she needs to go very near to them before she can identify them. In her words:
«That’s not easy to do. Yet you adjust to it.»
Even though she is able to get through the most of her day, she is continuously concerned about her kid. She confessed that her mother had suffered from the same disease, and now she thinks that the condition would also be inherited by her daughter since it is hereditary. She makes it a point to take her kid in for frequent eye exams to ensure that her daughter’s vision is in good shape.
When asked when she thought she would lose her sight completely, the actress from «Casino Royale» said she did not want to say and ignored the thought that that was a possibility altogether. Living with her condition is undeniably difficult, and when asked when she thought she would, she said she did not want to say.
Dench has categorically rejected Mills’ proposal of marriage, yet Mills continues to care for her.
The actress has been going through a difficult time recently, but she is grateful to the individuals who are doing their best to make things simpler for her. Her daughter, who is in close proximity to her, has been one of her most great supports, as has her boyfriend, Mills, who resides just four miles away from her. Both of these individuals live within close proximity to her.
Even though Dench’s illness is becoming worse by the day, Dench’s ex-husband, Mills, has been an incredible support for her and even slices up the food that is on her plate. The actress said that she once attended a highly important dinner where the lighting was so poor that she was unable to determine whether or not she had any food on her plate.
The actress who played the lead role in «Chocolat» went to Mills and inquired as to if there was food on her plate and whether it required any chopping. She requested him to chop it up for her when he confirmed that he would do so in the affirmative. She described the incident as follows:
«He sliced it up for me and offered me something to eat on a fork, and that’s how I ended up eating it.»
Ironically, despite the fact that they love one other so much, the couple has never really lived together. The actress from «The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel» and her partner both like to live on their own and even spent the lockdown apart, each in their own residences. They have no interest in getting married.
Mills did disclose, however, that they were always either at one house or the other, and that the distance between their homes was just four miles, so they were never too far from one other. They have also dismissed any rumors that they may get married, with Dench expressing her utter disgust at the idea of Mills making a marriage proposal to her. She went on to explain that they had too many separate interests to be together:
«And he has a lot of things to do. He is responsible for running the company. Nonetheless, he is extremely charming and has a wonderful sense of humor.»
She went on and on about how beautiful their connection was, gushing about how great it was that she was in a relationship with Mills and how happy she was that she had someone in her life who could make her laugh. She pondered out loud, «Isn’t it lovely?»
Dench continues to think of Mills as a very romantic person, and she indicated that she is not frightened of spicing things up with him despite the fact that they have never been married. She said that they went for a wonderful swim over a steamy summer evening in 2017 and then celebrated with a glass of champagne afterward. The actor then glowed as she expressed how pleased she becomes at such occurrences.
She also acknowledged to visiting a lingerie store in London’s Covent Garden periodically, even though she never is interested on purchasing anything they offered there. Even after 11 years together, the award-winning actress thought that closeness between two people who loved each other could evaporate. She pondered whether the yearning ever vanished before offering the challenge:
«Does it ever go?»
Even though the actress’s vision is deteriorating, she is still every bit as charming as she has been for decades, owing to the fact that her daughter and Mills are always at her side.
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