Honorary graduates

Dame Judi Dench2010

Dame Judi Dench – Supremely gifted and versatile actor

Honorary degree of Doctor of Letters (HonDLitt) in recognition of her outstanding contribution and commitment to the art and profession of stage and screen performance.

In Britain the Arts are unique in producing men and women who gain the status of 'national treasure'. Dame Judi Dench is definitely among them. More formally, she is currently the only actress who is a Companion of Honour. Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Lady Macbeth, Queens Elizabeth and Victoria, Lady Bracknell, James Bond's boss M, the ageing novelist Iris Murdoch, – and more – represent an extraordinary range of roles in the theatre, films and television. Across five decades, she has captured them with tremendous but subtle emotional power, from bleak tragedy to light comedy.

In the 1960s Sir Peter Hall invited the young Judi Dench to be among the founding company of the Royal Shakespeare Company and she helped to inaugurate the new Nottingham Playhouse, under director John Neville.

She has won a score of awards for stage and screen performances, including an Oscar, a Tony, seven Oliviers and 10 BAFTAs. She is a Freeman of her native city of York.