Judi Dench Turns 88 with Partner Who Cares for Her — She Thought She’d Never Love Again after Spouse Died

Judi Dench is now 88 years old. When she lost her first husband, she thought love would never visit her again, but it did after she spent nine years as a widow. She met a man named David, and they have been dating but have no plans to get married.


Judi Dench recently clocked 88. The talented actress has lived a full life; her name is tied to projects on both stage and screen, and she found love not once but twice.

Her first husband was the actor Michael Williams. He was born in Liverpool and studied at RADA before starting his entertainment career. He secured his first movie role in 1962 at 25, after which he started transitioning into Television and cinema.

Williams enjoyed success as an actor, appearing in movies like “Elizabeth R,” “Educating Rita,” “Henry V,” and many more. In 1971, Williams crossed paths with Judi and fell deeply in love with her. The pair first met as co-stars in a stage production of John Webster’s “The Duchess of Malfi.”

The same year they met, Williams proposed to Dench; however, she refused. When she spoke about the rejection in a past interview, she revealed it was the wrong time and place. She said:

“Mike got a plane and flew out to see us all. It was a saving grace, really. Then he said, ‘Will you marry me?’ and I said, ‘Will you please ask me on a rainy day in Battersea?’ Then it would feel real. So that’s what happened.”

They married later that year, and the union lasted for about three decades until the actor passed away precisely three weeks before they celebrated their 30th anniversary. Dench attributed the longevity of their marriage to “luck.”

According to her, she and Wiliams never had to work at what was between them. Dench mentioned that Williams would sometimes have “black dog days,” but as far as she is concerned, he was the “most unselfish man.” Dench said he always made her howl, and they always had a great time together. She said:


“It was never a tricky time. I was lucky to meet Mike.”

The cause of Williams’ death was lung cancer. The date of his death is January 11, 2001, one day after he was appointed as a Knight of St Gregory by Pope John Paul II as a reward for his work for the Catholic ministry.

When they went on a dinner date, Mills had to help her cut up her food because she could not see it on her plate.

His marriage to Dench led to the birth of one daughter they named Tara Cressida Frances Williams, aka Finty. They gave birth to her in London, and she grew up with an affinity for acting just like her mother. She received training at the Central School of Speech and Drama and has made a name for herself.

Losing Williams Shook Her
Judi Dench was at the peaking of her acting career when she lost her husband, Michael Williams. At the time, she was in New York and had gotten information that he was doing well.

The next day, Dench tried to return to New York; however, it was impossible as the flight take-offs kept getting aborted. She tried another plane, but the same thing happened, so it took a long time for her to return.


Speaking about how it felt to lose Williams in the past, Dench confessed that she might never get over him. According to her, losing a loved one changes the survivor’s identity, leaving an immense chasm before them so that it seems like only an abyss waits for those who move forward.

Years after Williams’ demise, Dench admitted that living without him has not gotten easier with time. Talking about the experience, she said:

“Unexpected kinds of things happen. Suddenly, you’ll walk in somewhere, and there’s a photograph or something. I don’t expect you ever get used to it.”

Dench thought she was done with love after she lost her first husband to lung cancer. She spent about nine years as a widow, convinced she would remain alone for the rest of her life. Then she ran into David Mills, a conservationist, in 2010.

A New Blaze
Mills was able to change her mind even though that was not how things started out between them. They first met when he asked her to launch a new badger enclosure at Surrey zoo and have been inseparable ever since.

Like Williams, Mills also knows how to make Dench laugh, and their relationship has gone on for over a decade, even though they don’t live under the same roof. According to reports, at least four miles separate their homes, but they are okay with it.

Given how great their relationship is going, many have wondered if they will be tying the knot to consummate their love; however, it does not seem like that will be happening anytime soon, if ever.

They considered the idea during the lockdown but decided they preferred to have their own spaces. Rather than live together under one roof, they seem content to vacillate between both their homes.

When she was asked about the possibility of getting married to Mills, Dench looked horrified as she refused with a lot of nos’. She stated that they were pulling themselves together and acting their age.

Despite her strong opinions on marriage, Dench and Mills act like a married couple, traveling together and doing most things with one another. Mills said it had put him under the spotlight, but he doesn’t mind, especially since he got to be with Dench.

He takes care of her these days as her health has declined. She once revealed that when they went on a dinner date, Mills had to help her cut up her food because she could not see it on her plate.

Despite her declining health, Dench is determined to keep doing what she loves. She has said she has no plans to quit acting and has grown more active thanks to her grandson, Sam Williams, who taught her to dance on Tiktok.

There are now numerous dance videos of Dench on the Tiktok app, which are proof that the actress has no plans to bow out just yet.


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