Jeffery Dench

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Jeffery Dench
Born 29 April 1928
Manchester, Lancashire, England, UK
Died 27 March 2014(2014-03-27) (aged 85)
Spouse(s) Betty Martin (1953–2002)
Ann Curtis (2005–2014)
Relatives Judi Dench (sister)

Jeffery Dench (29 April 1928 – 27 March 2014) was an English actor, best known for his work with the Royal Shakespeare Company. He was the older brother of actress Judi Dench.

Personal life[edit]

Jeffery Dench was born in Tyldesley, Manchester to Eleanora Olave (née Jones), a native of Dublin, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a doctor who met Jeffery's mother while studying medicine at Trinity College, Dublin.[1] Jeff lived in Tyldesley, near Leigh, Lancashire, with his brother, Peter. Later, the family moved to York, where Judith was born.

Jeffery attended St Peter's, York, where he began acting with the role of Cleopatra in George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra.[2] He spent his national service at an army theatre in Catterick before attending the Central School of Speech and Drama. It was here that he met Betty, his first wife, who was working as a speech therapist. Jeffery moved to Clifford Chambers and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963, where he worked for many years.[2]

With his wife Betty, Jeffery had three daughters: Sarah, a teacher who lives in Brailes; Clare, who lives in Shiplake; and Emma, a Roman historian previously at Birkbeck, University of London, and currently at Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[3]

Betty died from a heart attack on 11 January 2002. Jeffery then married Ann Curtis, a costume designer for the RSC and a longtime family friend.[4] They lived in Stratford-upon-Avon. In 2012 Jeffery became the President of Stratford-upon-Avon Choral Society.

On 27 March 2014, it was announced that Jeffery had died.[5]


Year Film Role
1995 First Knight Elder

Television appearances[edit]

Year Programme Role Other notes
1955 BBC Sunday Night TheatreThe Merchant of Venice Launcelot Gobbo
1982 The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby Mr. Cutler/Landlord/Mr. Blightey/Arthur Gride Mini Series
1985 Cyrano de Bergerac Marquis 1
1986 What a Way to Run a Revolution
1987 Rumpole of the Bailey Denis Driscoll Appeared in one episode, entitled Rumpole and the Old, Old Story
1989 The Lady and the Highwayman Magistrate
1996 The Brittas Empire Warwick Newmark Appeared in one episode, entitled Surviving Christmas
2000 Empires: The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization Pericles Uncredited

Selected theatre appearances[edit]

Year Play Role Theatre
1964 Henry IV Part 1 by William Shakespeare Richard Scrope, Archbishop of York Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
1965 Hamlet by William Shakespeare Marcellus/Ambassador from England Aldwych Theatre, London
1969/71/72 Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Andrew Aguecheek Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon[6]
1971 Toad of Toad Hall by A. A. Milne Ratty Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon
2002 Henry VThe Battle of Agincourt by William Shakespeare, adapted by John Barton Chorus Various, including King Edward VI School
2006 Merry Wives – The Musical by William Shakespeare Robert Shallow Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon


  1. ^ "The Importance of Dame Judi". 6 September 2002. 
  2. ^ a b Worcester News
  3. ^ Harvard University – Emma Dench
  4. ^ Judi Dench and her brother Jeffery at
  5. ^ Morris, Sylvia. "Veteran Shakespeare actor, Jeffery Dench". The Shakespear Blog. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  6. ^ [1]

External links[edit]