MUMBAI: With the death of M in Skyfall, Judi Dench's
appearance in a James Bond film seems to have ended.
the head of MI6, M, Dench has been the Bond matriarch:
strong-willed, no-nonsense mainstay of feminine authority
in a film franchise that has, more often than not, featured
slightly more superficial womanly traits.
is Dench's seventh Bond film, an unimpeachable reign
that has encompassed both the Daniel Craig and Pierce
Brosnan eras of the British spy. For a number of reasons,
Skyfall is her most notable Bond film.
very nice to be out from behind the desk," Dench
has reportedly said in a recent interview. "It's
extremely nice to get a go in the field, as it were,
and get a bit of the action. It made me feel very grown-up.
It's not just the fellas who are spinning about and
shooting guns - I get a go," she added.
soon as Dench entered the world of Bond, she made it
clear she was a force to be reckoned with - certainly
not one that some gun-toting playboy would push around.
Introducing herself to Bond in 1995's Goldeneye, the
bourbon-drinking M promptly informs Brosnan's Bond that
she isn't a 'bean-counter', as Bond admits to thinking.
over seven films and 17 years, the 77-year-old Dench,
has, like other legendary stage actors from Alec Guinness
(Star Wars) to Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings), become
best known to many for a blockbuster movie franchise.
inherited the role of M from Robert Brown, who played
the character from 1983's Octopussy through 1989's License
to Kill. Bernard Lee whom Dench calls a hero of hers,
initiated Ian Fleming's secret service head, playing
him for 11 films.