Her romance and marriage with fellow actor Michael Williams ended tragically in January 2001 with his death from lung cancer. But, during the thirty year run of their marriage, it was an outstanding success in the entertainment world.
Judi Dench was born in 1934 in North Yorkshire, Michael Williams in 1935 in Liverpool.
They met in the 1960s but their romance didn't bloom immediately. He proposed to her shortly after the death of a close friend and she told him she wasn't ready at the moment but to propose to her again "on a rainy day in Battersea." He did, she accepted and they were married in February 1971. The wedding was held close enough to her home that they walked to the ceremony. The reception was held at a zoo.
They had one daughter, Tara Cressida Francis, known as Finty who also went into theatre. One tragedy in their life together was losing their home and all the mementos it contained. They lived in an 18th century Hampstead home which caught fire accidentally when Finty was staying home with a friend. Everything was destroyed.
About their marriage Judi said, "We were just happy to be in the same room together." Michael said "We revel in each other's company."
They both had varied careers in comedy, Shakespeare and drama, but starred together in the television comedy "A Fine Romance" between 1981 and 1984.
BBC News said about their romance with one another: "Michael Williams and Judi Dench lived up to their Fine Romance image. She called him "my spoony old thing"; he sent her a single red rose every Friday [no matter where she was in the world]."
Michael died at home January 11, 2001 surrounded by family and friends.
Almost immediately after the funeral, Judi went to Canada- to Nova Scotia- to work on "The Shipping News." Throwing herself back into work was a form of therapy for her.
Judi has not remarried but has been seen regularly with conservationist, David Mills.
Judi commented on their relationship "When you've been widowed a long time it's very, very nice to have the company of somebody.
"It doesn't have to be a great, passionate sexual affair but it's nice to have someone who says, 'I'll find your keys for you', or, 'Let's go to the theatre tonight'. Very nice."
Her thirty year long "Fine Romance" with Michael would be a hard act to follow.