Santa Barbara Film Fest: Judi Dench to Receive Kirk Douglas Award

The 82-year-old Oscar winner is currently promoting her latest film, 'Victoria and Abdul.'
Dave Benett/Getty Images for Duke of Edinburgh Award
Judi Dench

Dame Judi Dench, the legendary actress of stage and screen, has been chosen as the 12th recipient of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Kirk Douglas Award for Excellence in Film.

The honor will be presented to the 82-year-old on Nov. 30 — just nine days before her 83rd birthday — at a black-tie gala dinner at the Bacara Resort and Spa in Santa Barbara, with all proceeds going to SBIFF's free year-round educational programs.

“I am especially delighted to learn that Dame Judi Dench will accept the award that bears my name," Douglas, who turned 100 last Dec. 9, said Wednesday in a statement. "She is a consummate artist of stage and screen who is a particular favorite of mine. I wish I could have had the joy of working with her, but I am happy for the pleasure of seeing my name coupled with hers in support of the Santa Barbara Film Festival.”

Dench is best known for the seven films that have brought her Oscar attention — Mrs. Brown (1997), Shakespeare in Love (1998, resulting in her one win), Chocolat (2000), Iris (2001), Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005), Notes on a Scandal (2006) and Philomena (2003) — and for appearing as M in eight Bond films between 1995 and 2015.

Past recipients of SBIFF's Kirk Douglas Award, which goes "to a lifelong contributor to cinema through their work in front of the camera, behind, or both," include Douglas, John Travolta, Ed Harris, Quentin Tarantino, Harrison Ford, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Forest Whitaker, Jessica Lange, Jane Fonda and, last year, Warren Beatty.

The 33rd Santa Barbara International Film Festival is set to run Jan. 31-Feb. 10.