Judi Dench Wished She'd Had More Children, Gets Second Chance With Grandson

Dame Judi Dench is an English actress that is famous for her performances on screen as well as on stage. Her work spans a variety of genres and has been critically acclaimed. Dench has received several accolades throughout her six-decade-long caree She won an Academy Award, a Tony Award, two Golden Globe Awards and four British Academy Television Awards. She also took home six British Academy Film Awards and seven Olivier Awards.

Born Judith Olivia Dench on Dec. 9, 1934, in the Heworth area of York, the star gained contact to the theater through her dad. Her father was a doctor and became the general practitioner for the York Theatre Royal.

The legendary actress' career began on stage in 1957. Dench made her debut with the Old Vic Company, and she played Ophelia in "Hamlet." She performed Shakespearean plays with the company for the next few years. Later, she was a member of the National Theatre Company and the Royal Shakespeare Company.

has had an ever-lasting love affair with the theater ever since – so it's no surprise she met her first husband in one. The two first laid eyes upon one another in 1962, when the actress was cast in "Romeo and Juliet." Dench married her fellow actor, Michael Williams. They were together for 30 years before he passed away from lung cancer in 2001. Their daughter, Finty Williams, was born in 1972.

The Dame has enjoyed a long career of success since those early days and that heartbreak. However, in 2021, she became an internet sensation not for her acting, but for her grandson.
Before becoming unexpectedly known across the world wide web for her red-haired relative, Dench often spoke about her little family and their incredible story.

Dench met her husband while acting. While she and her fellow actors celebrated opening night at a local pub, the young star met Michael Williams. Williams was also celebrating opening night, having acted in "Celebration."

The young actors instantly had a spark and started a relationship, but wouldn't marry until nine years later. In an interview with Vogue, Dench revealed he actually had to propose to her twice. The first proposal came when the two were touring Australia. She declined, she says, because she did not trust a proposal in such good weather. "We had better wait for a rainy day in Battersea (London)," she recalled telling him.

And so Williams did just that. When the lovebirds finally arrived back home in the UK, the actor reiterated his desire to make Dench his partner for life. By then, Dench and Williams had become a power couple in the industry. They worked together on screen a few times, most notably on the sitcom "A Fine Romance." The two famously argued on set but would share even more laughs. "He used to cry when he laughed," Dench recounted with a smile. "The more he laughed the more he cried. Oh god, he made me laugh."

Williams had also become her biggest cheerleader. If it weren't for his unending encouragement, then we might have never got to know Dench as we do today.
Williams also gave Dench the opportunity to become a mother, one role which she later reflected on with unexpected regret.

"I wish we’d had lots more children,” she told reporters during a Yours interview. “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.”

Dench was 37 when the couple had their daughter, Finty Williams, and the actress even contemplated ending her career to look after the child. She recalled, “I’d had a daughter and having a family, I wanted to be at home." However, the support of her husband once again won out. Dench admitted, "Michael wouldn’t let me stop though."

As she continued to work, Dench did try to mold her busy career around her duties as a mother. She revealed, “In the beginning I tried to arrange things so that I was with her in the day and going to the theatre in the evening when she was in bed … I could do things like television during the day to be with her in the evening.”

Finty Williams had a son, Sam Williams, in 1997, who, as he grew, gave Dench a chance to dedicate some time to her family again. The three joined TikTok and have been delighting audiences since. It's wonderful to see the actress get to play the role she perhaps loves best: grandma.

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