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Judi Dench can no longer read or watch films

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With 95 award nominations under her belt and no signs of slowing down as she approaches her 80th birthday, Dame Judi Dench is nothing short of extraordinary.

But the star has recently announced that her failing eyesight has left her unable to read scripts and struggling to watch films.

"I never want to make much of it, but it is difficult — very, very difficult," she told the Hollywood Reporter. "I can't read anymore. I can't paint like I used to. I try to watch movies, but it's quite difficult.

Dench suffers from macular degeneration, an age-related condition that leads to a gradual loss of vision, which her mother also suffered from.

"But these are all of the negatives," she continued. "I don't want to really think about all that. What I can do, I do. And I somehow get by."

Of course, Dench is continuing to work - shooting The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 in India earlier this month - and has said that she's outright insulted by the thought of retiring.

"It's the rudest word in my dictionary, 'retire,'" she said forcefully. "And 'old' is another one. I don't allow that in my house. And being called 'vintage.' I don't want any of those old words. I like 'enthusiastic' and I like the word 'cut' because that means you've finished the shot."

She added, "I heard a woman being interviewed on the radio the other day who was 105, and I expected this very frail voice, but this wonderful voice came out and she said to this reporter who was interviewing her, 'I'll tell you one thing,' she said, 'Don't stop anything. I never stop anything I'm doing because otherwise I'll never get started again.' And I thought, 'That'll do.'"

In celebration of her boisterous and inspirational attitude here are a few extra wise words from the incredible Dame.

Five best Dame Judi Dench quotes

1. On a work life balance:

"I think you should take your job seriously, but not yourself - that is the best combination."

2. On staying motivated:

I need to learn every day. I don't question the curiosity.

3. On fame:

"I think you've got to have your feet planted firmly on the ground, especially in this business, and you must not believe things that are said or written about you, because everything gets out of proportion one way or the other."

4. On her successful career:

"Seriously, though, I think I never ceased to be grateful of the fact that I am able to do a job that I really love - I never got over that."

5. On her home life:

I have "a dog, four cats, two guinea pigs, a lot of ducks and a lot of coots and 10 water voles, and a huge goldfish that has died twice and I blew into its mouth twice and revived it. Lazarus."

Words: Sejal Kapadia, Image: Rex Features

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