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Jeffery Dench
Jeffery Danny Dench

(1928-04-29)29 April 1928
Tyldesley, England
Died 25 March 2014(2014-03-25) (aged 85)
Birmingham, England
Betty Martin
(m. 1953; died 2002)

Ann Curtis
(m. 2005)
Children 3, including Emma Dench
Relatives Judi Dench (sister)
Finty Williams (niece)
Rebekah Elmaloglou (cousin)
Sebastian Elmaloglou (cousin)
Oliver Dench (grandson)

Jeffery Danny Dench (29 April 1928 – 25 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, Lancashire to Eleanora Olive (née Jones), a native of Dublin, and Reginald Arthur Dench, a physician who met his future wife while studying medicine at Trinity College, Dublin. He 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 carried out 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, including Emma, a Roman historian.

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. In 2012 he became the President of Stratford-upon-Avon Choral Society.

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

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".

Selected acting credits


Year Title Role Notes
1995 First Knight Elder #1


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 of RSC production
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 1 episode, Surviving Christmas
2000 Empires: The Greeks - Crucible of Civilization Pericles Uncredited


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
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
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