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Judi Dench bids goodbye to Bond films with Skyfall

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MUMBAI: With the death of M in Skyfall, Judi Dench‘s appearance in a James Bond film seems to have ended.

As the head of MI6, M, Dench has been the Bond matriarch:

The strong-willed, no-nonsense mainstay of feminine authority in a film franchise that has, more often than not, featured slightly more superficial womanly traits.

Skyfall 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.

"It‘s 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.

As 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.

So 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.

Dench 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.

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