Judi Dench: I'm Not Going Blind

By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
By: CBS News (Posted by Melissa Brunner)
Actress Judi Dench says she does not want reports of her macular degeneration diagnosis to be overblown.


(CBS) Oscar-winning British actress Judi Dench, who has revealed she is suffering from a degenerative eye condition, played down concern over her sight on Monday, saying she was not going blind.

"In response to the numerous articles in the media concerning my eye condition - macular degeneration - I do not wish for this to be overblown," Dench said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

"This condition is something that thousands and thousands of people all over the world are having to contend with. It's something that I have learnt to cope with and adapt to - and it will not lead to blindness."

In an interview published on Saturday, Dench said the age-related condition meant she had lost part of her eyesight and struggled to read film scripts or see people sitting in front of her.

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."

The 10-time BAFTA winner has more than 100 films and TV shows to her credit, most recently in the movies "J. Edgar" and "My Week with Marilyn." She will next be seen in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," to be released in May.

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