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Judi Dench Says Her Name Was Revealed To Her Parents By A Medium

The Oscar-winning star says a famous 1930s clairvoyant had a hand in naming her.

Judi Dench Says Her Name Was Revealed To Her Parents By A Medium

Dame Judi Dench was named by a medium.

The 78-year-old actress explained how her parents hadn't chosen a moniker for her immediately after she was born, but a chance meeting with a woman who claimed to communicate with spirits led to them settling on calling her Judith.

Speaking to The Guardian, she explained: "A very strange thing happened at the time that I was born. My father was a doctor, my mother was from Dublin, and they lived in York.

"There was a famous medium. My father met her a day after I was born. She said to him, ‘I’m very pleased to hear about Judith.’

"My parents had no idea what I would be called and so I was called Judith which — fortunately — now I’m never called.”

And the screen legend — who plays eccentric medium Madame Arcati in new movie Blithe Spirit — admitted she believes in the spirit world because of various experiences she's had.

She added: "There was great belief in the 1930s in mediums. They toured and people went to the shows. I think it’s difficult for us to say that there is nothing. There is a huge world that we don’t know about. I implicitly believe that, because all sorts of things have happened to me.”

And the Skyfall star joked she'd love to "haunt" people and the places she loved after she dies.

She joked: “I don’t know who I’d haunt. I might haunt places. I might drift a lot around in Scotland because I love it so much.”

Blithe Spirit is an adaptation of Noel Coward's play of the same name and Judi recalled how excited she was to meet the legendary writer early in her career after being introduced by her actor friends Joe Mitchenson and Raymond Mander.

She said: "As a young actress, they took me to see everything in London when I wasn’t playing at the Old Vic. One night we saw, at the Savoy theatre, an adaptation of a Coward play.

"Afterwards, they said we’re going round to see somebody… ‘Here’s Noël’. He shook hands with me. I will never forget the smell of his aftershave. I don’t think I washed for days. It was just magical.”

​​​​​​​— BANG

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