Jeffery D. Dench

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Jeffery D. Dench

Birthplace: Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
Death: March 27, 2014 (85)
Immediate Family:

Son of Reginald Arthur Dench and Eleanora Olave Dench
Husband of Betty Dench (Martin) and Private
Father of Private; Private; Private and Private
Brother of Private and Dame Judi Dench, DBE

Occupation: Actor
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Jeffery D. Dench

Jeffery Dench

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  • Jeffery Dench
  • Born Jeffery Danny Dench
  • 29 April 1928
  • Tyldesley, Lancashire, England
  • Died 27 March 2014 (aged 85)
  • Birmingham, England
  • Spouse(s) Betty Martin
  • (m. 1953; d. 2002)
  • Ann Curtis
  • (m. 2005)
  • Children 3, including Emma Dench
  • Relatives Judi Dench (sister)
  • Finty Williams (niece)
  • Rebekah Elmaloglou (cousin)
  • Sebastian Elmaloglou (cousin)

Jeffery Danny 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

Jeffery Dench was born in Tyldesley, Manchester 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.

Dench attended St Peter's, York, where he began acting with the role of Cleopatra in George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra.

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.

On 27 March 2014 it was announced that Jeffery Dench had died.[where? Writing after his death, Sylvia Morris said:

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".


Year Film Role Notes

  • 1995 First Knight Elder

Television appearances

Year Programme Role Other notes

  • 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

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[8]
  • 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
view all

Jeffery D. Dench's Timeline

April 29, 1928
Tyldesley, Greater Manchester, England, United Kingdom
March 27, 2014
Age 85
St Peter's School, York, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Central School of Speech and Drama, London, London, United Kingdom