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Judi Dench at the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin to receive her IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award. Peter Houlihan
IFTAs

Judi Dench presented with IFTA Lifetime Achievement Award at ceremony in Dublin

The Oscar-winning actress was presented with the award by Arts Minister Catherine Martin.

JUDI DENCH HAS been presented with the Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTA) Lifetime Achievement Award in Dublin this evening. 

The Oscar-winning actress received the award at a special ceremony at the Shelbourne Hotel, where she took part in a conversation with Deirdre O’Kane about her life and career in front of an audience of Irish Academy members and invited guests.

Dench was presented with her award by Arts Minister Catherine Martin.

Her career has spanned over six decades and has seen her play starring roles in stage, television and film productions. She is perhaps best known for playing M in the James Bond series. 

JudiDenchIFTAaward01 Judi Dench at the award's ceremony this evening. Peter Houlihan Peter Houlihan

In 1999, she won an Oscar for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love. She has been nominated for a further seven Academy Awards, including for her performance in Kenneth Branagh’s 2021 semi-autobiographical drama Belfast.

She was also nominated for her portrayal of Mother and Baby Homes survivor and campaigner Philomena Lee in the 2013 film Philomena, which documented her 50-year search for her forcibly adopted son, Anthony.

Though Dench was born in York, the 88-year-old’s parents both grew up in Dublin. Her mother was born in Ireland and her father was born in the UK, but grew up in Dublin.

Speaking about her return to Dublin, Dench joked: “Most of my relations are here, probably in this room.”

CEO of IFTA Aine Moriarty said: “We in the Irish Academy are so honoured to pay tribute to Judi Dench and to celebrate her extraordinary talent, work and career.

“Judi is a master of her craft; the breadth and variety of her work on stage and screen has solidified her as one of the most respected and iconic actors of her generation,” she said.

“We’re so proud to present her with this Irish Academy Lifetime Achievement Award here in Dublin, the city where her parents grew up”.

Dench’s Belfast co-star Ciaran Hinds congratulated her on the award this evening on behalf of the Irish Academy, saying: “We are thrilled not only that you’ve accepted it, but we feel very honoured to be able to offer it to you.”

Caitriona Balfe, who also starred in Belfast alongside Dench, added “Working with you has been one of the highlights of my career. I got to witness firsthand your kindness, your light, your incredible talent and, of course, your wicked sense of humour.

“From stage to television and film, you have inspired us, you have moved us and you are a true, true legend,” she said.

Previous recipients of the IFTA Lifetime Achievement Awards include Maureen O’Hara, Gabriel Byrne, Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan.

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