Dame Judi Dench has such a commanding presence as a film actress that it’s easy to forget that her big break came on stage in England with the Old Vic Company in 1957. In fact, she made her Broadway debut the very next year when the Old Vic Company performed Twelfth Night and Henry V at the Broadway Theatre. Her success on stage continued, and in the late 1960s she was cast in her first musical as Sally Bowles in Cabaret at the West End’s Palace Theatre despite her belief that she didn’t have a great voice.
Dench has done several other musicals in her long career, but one of her most memorable was her Olivier Award-winning performance in the revival of A Little Night Music in 1995. To promote the revival, footage from the performance aired on The South Bank Show featuring Dench singing “Send in the Clowns.”
Not bad for someone who didn’t have faith in her own singing voice, right?