Actress Judi Dench Voted Best Stage Actor Of All Time
Judi Dench, now 76, declared for The Stage that she’s “at a loss of words” and said that “it’s one hell of a thing to live up to”.
The second actress in the top was Maggie Smith, while Mark Rylance came in third, as the youngest actor on the list. The fourth place was taken up by Sir Ian McKellen, followed right by Sir Laurence Olivier and Paul Scofield. As for number seven, John Gielgud was chosen, after which there were Sir Michael Gambon in eight place, Vanessa Redgrave for number nine and, at last, Ralph Richardson on the tenth.
The poll was created with the help of a bunch of experts in this industry, who chose their favourite ten actors of all time. The results were also influenced by the public, who was invited to vote as well, on the shortlist.
Judi Dench, born Judith Olivia, started her acting career with the role of Ophelia, at the Old Vic Company in Liverpool, after which she made several appearances into musicals, stage plays and films. She won a total of six Olivier awards during her entire career, the first one being won for her exquisite performance in Macbeth, in 1977. The Olivier award is annually given out by the Society of London Theatre for recognizing excellence in professional theatre act – and has been named after Sir Laurence Olivier. The award is recognized internationally as the greatest honor in British theatre.
In 1996, Judi Dench was the first to achieve two Olivier awards – for best actress in a play and best actress in a musical – both in the same year, which brought her even greater success. Only three years after, she accomplished winning an Academy Award, for the part of Queen Elisabeth in Shakespeare In Love.11