British actress, winner of a Best Supporting Actress Oscar and a Tony award for the title role in "Iris." Known for great classical roles, she is equally adept at comedy in TV sitcoms. In 1999, she was made Dame Judi by Queen Elizabeth II.
The daughter of a doctor, she had two older brothers, raised in a Quaker household. On February 5, 1971, she married actor Michael Williams, a 30-year relationship that lasted until his death of lung cancer in January 2001. Though she has been a headliner from the beginning of her career, she is a team player, both in her marriage and her work. She shares her London home with her daughter Tara Cressida Frances (aka Finty) and her three-year-old grandson and she cared for both her own mother and in-laws in their older years. Talkative and energetic, 5' 1", she is known for a robust sense of humor. She has old-fashioned diversions; embroidery and letter writing with pen and paper.
Judi began her work in classical theater, the Old Vic, in 1957 doing Shakespeare. She and Michael were in love for nine years before they married in 1971, both establishing their craft. Gradually film and TV took precedence over the stage, though she did character roles for years before moving, as a mature adult, into starring roles.
She has been winning awards and honorary degrees since 1965. In 1970, she was awarded the OBE and in 1988 the DBE. In 1996, she won two Laurence Olivier awards for best actress and best actress in a musical, both for "A Little Night Music" as well as the Laurence Olivier Award for best actress, for "Absolute Hell." She won an Oscar and a Tony award in 1999 for "Shakespeare in Love" and the play "Amy's View" respectively. On October 26, 2005, she received a "Companion of Honor" award from Queen Elizabeth in a ceremony at Buckingham Palace, London.