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Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 17:28 GMT 18:28 UK
Honorary degree for Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench
Dame Judi Dench originally comes from York
Dame Judi Dench has collected an honorary degree from the University of Leeds.

One of the UK's best-loved actresses, Dame Judi returned to her Yorkshire roots to accept the degree on Wednesday.

The degree was conferred by university chancellor and TV presenter Lord Melvyn Bragg.

She was given an honorary Doctor of Letters for her lifelong dedication to the arts.

Dame Judi was born in York, where she first found her love of the stage thanks to her parents, who took her along to the theatre at the age of four.

Bond

She has been nominated for an Oscar four times, and picked up the Academy Award for best supporting actress in 1998 for Shakespeare In Love.

Her TV and film work has also earned her Bafta awards and nominations, most recently a best actress award for her portrayal of novelist Iris Murdoch in Iris.

Dame Judi has immersed herself in film projects since the death of her actor husband Michael Williams from cancer in January 2001.

She has worked on a number of movies including Iris, which landed her a best actress Oscar nomination, Therese Raquin and The Shipping News.

She is currently filming the 20th James Bond movie, Die Another Day.

But she said she would be taking a break from acting to give herself the opportunity to rest and finally face up to the death of her husband of 29 years.

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