Judi Dench Battles Loss of Eyesight

British actor suffers from macular degeneration
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2012 1:37 PM CST
British actress Dame Judi Dench arrives for the World Premiere of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at a Mayfair cinema in London, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012.   (AP Photo/Joel Ryan)
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(Newser) – Actor Judi Dench revealed in an interview with the Mirror that she can no longer see people's faces because her eyesight is deteriorating. But the 77-year-old is in treatment to stop her condition—macular degeneration—before it steals her sight altogether. "They had to do these injections and I think it’s arrested it," she says. "I hope so.” Nowadays she has friends read scripts to her so she can remember her lines.

"It’s usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind," says Dench. She has a new film coming out about British pensioners in India, and is filming her seventh James Bond film, Skyfall, as 007's unflinching boss. But she admits it's not easy. What she misses seeing most: "corpsing," or actors falling out of character onstage and cracking up. "I know there might be something going on but sometimes I can’t see it and that infuriates me as I think I’m really missing out on something.”

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