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Saturday, 9 March, 2002, 10:52 GMT
Dame Judi's time to rest
Dame Judi Dench and late husband Michael Williams
Dame Judi made three films in quick succession
Dame Judi Dench has said it is time to take a break after making a slew of films since the death of husband Michael Williams a year ago.

The Oscar-nominated star of Iris said she had not consciously immersed herself in acting since the death of her husband of 29 years in January 2001.

Dench said she would finally have to face up to his death and will rest and take stock.

I'm going to have a bit of a rest and come face-to-face with it all

Dame Judi Dench
The 68-year-old told interviewer Michael Parkinson how friends such as Kevin Spacey, her co-star in The Shipping News, had helped her through the low points.

After her husband's death from cancer, she worked on a number of film projects including Iris, which has landed her a best actress Oscar nomination, Therese Raquin and The Shipping News.

But the actress, who is working on the 20th Bond film, told Parkinson it was time for a break.

Actors' strike

Dench said she had not deliberately thrown herself into her work after Williams' death.

"Because of the supposed [Hollywood actors'] strike at the end of June, those three films had to be made and I took an enormously deep breath.

"My agent asked was I sure about it, with only one or two days between each thing, and crossing the Atlantic? And I said yes, absolutely.

"But now I'm going to have a bit of a rest and come face-to-face with it all.

"I think I must do it, and it's time for me to do it now."

'Tricky weeks'

Dench kept a low public profile in the months following Williams' death in January 2001 and barely spoke about her sadness.

The actress said "good friends", including Spacey who appears alongside her on Saturday's BBC One television show, got her "through the tricky weeks".

Dench also told how she would always leave it to Williams to read the scripts for her to decide whether she should take a role.

"He always knew. He would read the script and would say 'why don't you read this line?' And he would be right, he'd always be right."

See also:

14 Jan 02 | Film
Stars attend Iris première
02 Jan 02 | Film
Dame Judi tipped for Oscar
30 Nov 01 | Film
One great Dame plays another
05 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Oxford's star chamber
14 Jan 02 | Oscars 2002
Dench's touching elegy for Iris
01 Mar 02 | Reviews
Good forecast for Shipping News
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