Judi Dench is well known for her roles in blockbuster movies, but does the actress follow a vegan diet?
Judi Dench has spoken publicly about her views on animal rights. Though the star is clearly an animal lover with strong views on the dog meat industry, it is unclear whether she refrains from consuming animal products.
Read more about Judi Dench, her career and her views on animal rights below.
Who is Judi Dench?
Born in 1934, Judi Dench grew up in York, Britain. She has older brothers and credits one of her siblings, Jeffrey, as the reason she began acting.
She recalls a happy childhood, explaining “We rode bikes and rollerskated, and I was always dressing up. We’d play in other people’s gardens and rig up phones with soup tins. And Mummy would play the piano and we would sing.”
While her brothers attended the same school as each other, the young Dench was educated at a female only religious school.
During the 50s, she was exposed to her first experience of acting in the York Mystery Plays. The plays are a theatrical tradition in the UK city, where a series of performances take place for local people to enjoy.
The plays were a family activity, with Dench’s mother helping with the costumes and her father also acting. “We had huge fun,” she fondly recalls.
Judi Dench has been outspoken regarding her views on the protection of animals and has collaborated with the charity PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). The charity is the world’s largest animal rights group.
In 2018, Dench was one of a number of high profile people to call for an end to the fur clothing industry, asking the government in her native UK to ban fur. She signed an open letter that read “The U.K. banned fur farming almost two decades ago because of animal suffering, but we continue to import that same cruelty from other countries such as Canada, China, Poland, and the U.S., where the appalling suffering continues.”
She has also been a voice against the puppy dealing trade and signed a petition which urged online listing site eBay to take a stand against puppy sellers. The petition requested that eBay implement identity verification, therefore making it impossible for puppy dealers to act anonymously.
The actress has also commented on the Chinese dog meat industry. She said she is saddened by the trade, and commented, “I cannot imagine the suffering of those poor dogs, and I hope very much that one day soon this cruel trade will end.”
She has a host of pets herself, including some unusual choices of animals. Dench’s pets include guinea pigs, ducks, cats, dogs, and fish.
“We’ve always had lots of animals at home,” she explains, citing her love of animals as one the things she has in common with her partner.
Dench’s acting career began not on the set of Hollywood movies, but on stage. First, she acted in the York Mystery Plays, and later on stage in Shakespeare plays, notably playing the role of Ophelia in ‘Hamlet’.
She later joined the Royal Shakespeare Company and took on the roles of some of the biggest female leads in Shakespeare’s plays. In 1959, she made her first appearance on TV in the show ‘Hilda Lessways’.
In the following decade, Dench landed a series of movie roles, including in the award-winning ‘Four in the Morning’. Her reputation grew, particularly in the UK.
In 1995, she joined the cast of ‘Golden Eye’, the latest James Bond movie. Her role in the spy thriller made her globally recognizable. She appeared in the movie series until 2012 when her character was killed in the movie ‘Skyfall’.
It’s not only fans who have recognized Dench’s work. The actress has won numerous accolades over the course of her career.
She won an Oscar in 1999 and has been nominated for the award on several other occasions. She’s also been recognized at the Golden Globes, Lawrence Olivier Awards and British Academy of Film and Television Awards.