Dame Judi Dench has opened up about how her degenerative eye condition has led to eyesight loss.

In an appearance on The Graham Norton Show that aired Friday, the Oscar winner said her vision has made it difficult to remember her lines.


“It has become impossible and because I have a photographic memory, I need to find a machine that not only teaches me my lines but also tells me where they appear on the page,” Dench said.

The actress first announced her macular degeneration diagnosis in 2012, saying she struggled to read scripts and see other people’s faces.

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of severe eyesight loss among people over 50. Because only the center of vision is affected, people rarely go blind from it, instead only losing the ability to see small details. However, as it worsens, people lose the ability to drive, see faces and read small text.

Dench hasn’t let her condition prevent her from working.

She is currently promoting her new movie Allelujah, which is based on an Alan Bennett play set in a geriatric ward.

Dench said at a 2021 talk in support of the Vision Foundation that she has acting friends who repeat her lines over and over to her so that she can learn through repetition.

Until there is a device that can help tell her where her lines are on the page, she stated that she will have to rely on others to keep acting.

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