A distinguished talent widely recognized as one of Great Britain's greatest modern actresses, Dame Judi Dench spent much of her career concentrating on stage and television in her native England. From her early years with the Old Vic Theater Company in London, Dench proved a commanding stage performer in both classic drama and musical comedy, and at the same time, was known by non-theatergoers for starring roles on the British comedy series "As Time Goes By" (BBC, 1992-2005) and "A Fine Romance" (1981-84). It was not until Dench hit her fifties that she began finding film roles that enabled international audiences the opportunity to appreciate her commanding gifts. Dench was one of the most frequently nominated actresses in Academy Award history, earning a statue for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth I in "Shakespeare in Love" (1998) and nominations for a wide range of screen performances in "Chocolat" (2000), "Iris" (2001) and "Notes on a Scandal" (2006). A national treasure, Dench was honored by the British government with the title of Dame Commander of the British Army, and her homeland recognized her outstanding contributions to British Theater with a Laurence Olivier Award - officially proving that Dame Judi Dench was what critics had claimed for years: the modern, female equivalent of Sir Laurence Olivier, both onscreen and under the bright glare of the footlights.