Jeffery Danny Dench
29 April 1928
|Died||27 March 2014 (aged 85)|
(m. 1953; died 2002)
|Children||3, including Emma Dench|
|Relatives||Judi Dench (sister)|
Finty Williams (niece)
Rebekah Elmaloglou (cousin)
Sebastian Elmaloglou (cousin)
Jeffery Dench was born in Tyldesley, Lancashire to Eleanora Olave (née Jones), a native of Dublin, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a physician who met his future wife while studying medicine at Trinity College, Dublin. Jeff lived in Tyldesley with his brother Peter; later the family moved to York where his sister, Judith, was born.
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. He moved to Clifford Chambers and joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1963, where he worked for many years.
With his wife Betty, Dench 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.
Betty died from a heart attack on 11 January 2002. Dench then married Ann Curtis, a costume designer for the RSC and a longtime family friend. They lived in Stratford-upon-Avon and in 2012 he became the President of Stratford-upon-Avon Choral Society.
When not playing grotesque old men, he brought humour, warmth and integrity to his parts. As a member of the audience, seeing Jeffery Dench's name on the cast list was a guarantee of quality. Shakespeare did write brilliant leading roles for Burbage and others, but he also wrote for a known company of talented professionals. The RSC has been fortunate to have among its regulars a number of high-quality actors, safe hands that could carry the plays along with distinction. Jeffery Dench was one of those, and if there were to be a late twentieth-century version of the page in the First Folio 'The Names of the Principal Actors in all These Plays', his name would be on the list.
The RSC's artistic director, Gregory Doran, said he was, "the kind of actor that made the RSC what it is: he did not necessarily always play the leading roles, but proved by his presence that the company’s vitality lies in its strength in depth".
|1955||BBC Sunday Night Theatre – The 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
|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|
|1971||Toad of Toad Hall by A. A. Milne||Ratty||Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon|
|2002||Henry V – The 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|
- "The Importance of Dame Judi". 6 September 2002.
- Profile Archived 8 November 2007 at Archive.today, WorcesterNews.co.uk; accessed 19 March 2016.
- Harvard University: Emma Dench, fas.harvard.edu; accessed 19 March 2016.
- Judi Dench and her brother Jeffery, timesonline.co.uk; accessed 19 March 2016.
- Jeffrey Dench, actor brother of Dame Judi Dench, dies, telegraph.co.uk; accessed 19 March 2016.
- Morris, Sylvia. "Veteran Shakespeare actor, Jeffery Dench". The Shakespeare Blog. Retrieved 27 March 2014.
- Quinn, Michael (14 April 2014). "Jeffery Dench". The Stage. London. Retrieved 22 August 2017.
- Twelfth Night, rscshakespeare.co.uk; accessed 19 March 2016.