AWARD-winning actress Dame Judi Dench is York's most famous face - and is still making movies at the grand age of 87.

Her latest film, Allelujah, premiered in London this month.

We've trawled our archives to bring you some of our photos of this genuine national treasure.

Judi grew up in Heworth with her parents, Eleanora and Reginald Arthur Dench, and brothers Peter and Jeffery. She attended The Mount School - where she revisited in 2000 to lay the foundation stone for a new school sports hall.

Judi, regarded as one of Britain's best actresses, has amassed a myriad of accolades over her lengthy career, including an Academy Award, a Tony Award, two Golden Globe Awards, four British Academy Television Awards, six British Academy Film Awards and seven Olivier Awards.

York Press: Dame Judi Dench at Jorvik Centre in York in 2002Dame Judi Dench at Jorvik Centre in York in 2002 (Image: Newsquest)

In the year 2000, the actress - who now lives down south - returned to York to receive the honour 'Millennium Person of the Present' award at the city's Mansion House.

In June of that year, Judi wrote to the City of York Council protesting at plans to cull 50 Canadian geese in Rowntree Park.

Two years later she returned to be made an Honorary Freeman of the City of York. During this visit, she visited the Jorvik Centre to meet its 13 millionth visitor, Nick Horner of Wigginton.

Some of our archive photos date from the 1950s when Judi cut her acting teeth in amateur dramatics by taking part in the York Mystery Plays.

In the 1954 Mystery Plays, Judi played an angel alongside Kenneth Parsons who played Adam and Jane Southern as Eve.

Three years later, she played the role of the Virgin Mary in the 1957 Mystery Plays.

In a national newspaper interview, Judi spoke about this time. She said her first taste of acting was when the family became involved in the York Mystery Plays. "The first couple of years we played angels and citizens; Mummy was the wardrobe mistress. And then Daddy was Joseph the year I played Mary. We had huge fun."

Judi made her first professional stage appearance in September of 1957.

She married fellow actor Michael Williams in 1971 - and our archive has a photo of the happy couple in York, outside the art gallery at Exhibition Square in 1973. They remained together until his death from cancer in 2001. She has one child, daughter Finty Williams, who was born in 1972 and also became an actress, and one grandson.

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