Dame Judi Dench recalls being asked to play Ophelia
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Dame Judi Dench, 87, has spoken candidly about her regret over not having more children. The legendary actress was married to her husband Michael Williams from 1971 until his death in 2001. They share one daughter, Finty, 49, and a grandson, Sam, 24.
In a new interview with Saga Magazine, Judi revealed she longed to have six children.
The Oscar-winner confessed: “I wanted a house full of them.
“I would have loved to have had that. But it didn’t happen.
“I didn’t get married until I was 36, so I left it a bit late.
“I wouldn’t have minded not working, not at all.”
Judi added that she had become obsessed with Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm over lockdown.
She said she “just loved” following the life of shepherdess Amanda Owen and her nine children.
Judi has previously said that she and Michael looked into adoption when she was unable to fall pregnant again after they had Finty.
However, she says their request was denied because the couple were over 40.
She told Yours magazine in 2011: “I wish we’d had lots more children. That’s the only regret I have. But I was older, and it didn’t happen.
“We tried to adopt a child and they didn’t like it because we were over 40 – and Michael was a Catholic and I was a Quaker. It obviously wasn’t to be.”
Instead, Judi built an alternative extended family with her widowed mother, husband Michael, his parents and daughter Finty.
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She explained to Saga: “My first dream has always been a family community. All our parents jumped at it, so we bought a house as all lived together with Fint as a little girl.
“We had all our high days and holidays there, both our Mas died there. It was lovely.”
Judi became a widow in 2001 when Michael died of lung cancer.
Since 2010, she has been in a relationship with conservationist David Mills.
It comes as Judi’s latest film, Belfast, hits cinemas across the UK.
The comedy-drama is a semi-autobiographical story based on director Sir Kenneth Branagh’s childhood during The Troubles in the late 1960s.
Dench plays the grandmother of a young boy called Buddy (played by Jude Hill) and the film centres around life as a working-class protestant at that time.
Read the full interview in Saga Magazine, available this weekend to buy.
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