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Judi Dench: Reading scripts ‘has become impossible’ with vision loss

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Judi Dench is opening up about her worsening eye condition.

Dench, 88, was diagnosed with advanced macular degeneration (AMD) in 2012 and shared that she has been struggling with the loss of her vision.

While appearing on The Graham Norton Show, the Oscar winner admitted that she has found it to be harder and harder to read scripts and learn her lines — something she used to find very easy.

“It has become impossible and because I have a photographic memory,” she said. “I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page.”

Her photographic memory used to come in handy when memorising scripts.

“I used to find it very easy to learn lines and remember them,” the Dame said. “I could do the whole of Twelfth Night right now.”

AMD is a common condition and the leading cause of vision loss in older adults, according to the US National Institutes of Health.

The Oscar winner revealed during a 2021 conversation with Vision Foundation that she asks her friends to help her with lines by reading them out loud to her.

“You find a way of just getting about and getting over the things that you find very difficult,” Dench said at the time. “I’ve had to find another way of learning lines and things, which is having great friends of mine repeat them to me over and over and over again. So I have to learn through repetition, and I just hope that people won’t notice too much if all the lines are completely hopeless!”

But not even loss of vision can stop Dame Judi Dench.

In 2022, she was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in Belfast.

She also made an appearance in Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds’ Christmas movie Spirited and is currently promoting the new film she stars in, Allelujah.

This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission.

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