Actress Judi Dench battling blindness

Academy Award winner Judi Dench said in an interview published Saturday that she had been diagnosed with macular degeneration, an eye condition which can cause blindness, and that her eyesight was already so bad that she couldn’t even read her own scripts.

The 77-year-old told the Daily Mirror that she was relying on friends and family to keep her up to speed with her lines.

“It’s usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind,” she told the newspaper during an interview at a London hotel. “The most distressing thing is in a restaurant in the evening I can’t see the person I’m having dinner with.”

She won an Academy Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in “Shakespeare in Love” and is best known to international audiences as intelligence boss M in the James Bond series.

However, my favorite performance is this one: a reprisal of her “Desiree” from A Little Night Music: