Judi Dench is now the most decorated actor in Olivier Awards history

By Lindsay Kimble
Updated April 04, 2016 11:15 AM
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Credit: Luca Teuchmann/WireImage

Dame Judi Dench is an Olivier Award winner, yet again. And she notched a new record with her victory.

The veteran British actress, 81, took home the best supporting actress trophy during the Sunday ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House – her eighth win.

Dench is the most decorated actor in Olivier history, with the Sunday nod only solidifying her dominance. The Awards are presented once a year by the Society of London Theatre, and recognize excellence in the city’s professional theatre. Audra McDonald is the only stage star to come near Dench’s record, with six Tonys – the Olivier Awards’ American equivalent – to her name.

Recognized for her turn as Paulina in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s production of The Winter’s Tale at the Garrick Theatre, Dench told the BBC backstage that she was “rather overcome.”

“I didn’t expect it … It feels terrific,” she said of the award.

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Dench first won an Olivier in 1977 for her role in Macbeth, and followed it with trophies in 1980, 1983, 1987, 1995 and 1996. She also received a special recognition in 2004.

Other big Olivier winners on Sunday included Cyndi Lauper’s Kinky Boots, which nabbed best new musical, and Gypsy‘s Imelda Staunton (Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter) for best actress in a musical.