M (Judi Dench)
"If you don't think I have the balls to send a man out to die, then your instincts are dead wrong."
Actor: Dame Judi Dench
Movie: GoldenEye - Skyfall
Appearance: Medium build and short stature. Tight, short grey hair and blue eyes. Usually wears modern cream or grey suits.
Date of Birth: 9th December 1934
Height: 5' 1" (1.55m)
Place of Birth: York, UK
Pleased To Meet You
M became James Bond's superior in the mid-1990s. She was quick to put Bond in his place and assert her authority, explaining to him that she would utilise the 00-section where required, despite not always condoning their methods. M joined the Intelligence community along with a series of other modernising changes - including relocating the headquarters from Regents Park to Vauxhall Cross on Thames-side.
The current M radiates stern efficiency and practicality. She is not afraid of sending agents to die, but on occasion, goes out of her way to help her colleagues and prevent a slaughter. She demonstrates confidence in her agents and slowly warms to the unorthodox efficiency of 007 and his colleagues in the 00-section. She is known to be a caring mother but refuses to let her compassion get in the way of performing her job and keeping Britain safe. She ably liaises with high-profile government officials and is able to stall the political backlash against MI6 and its processes and agents on many occasions. She will always stand by her decisions and her agents.
"It'd be a pretty cold bastard who didn't want revenge for someone he loved."
GoldenEye - Bond is summoned to M's office where he is briefed on the whereabouts of rogue Russian General Ourumov, urging 007 in the strongest terms to refrain from making this mission personally after he witnessed the execution of his ally, Alec Trevelyan, at the hands of Ourumov. M makes it clear to Bond that she regards him as little more than a "relic of the Cold War" and is cautious of sending him after the General.
Tomorrow Never Dies - M liaises with the Navy and the stern Admiral Roebuck as Bond provides the authorities with first-hand coverage of a terrorist's arms bizarre in the Khyber Pass. The pushy Navy officer authorises a missile strike, against M's advice, and it is left to Bond pick up the pieces - namely a Russian MIG fighter, armed with a nuclear weapon. Later, M fights for her department's rights to investigate the politically connected media baron Elliot Carver and the missing HMS Devonshire that others believe was a simple, brutal attack by the Chinese air force.
The World Is Not Enough - The MI6 chief sends her agent, 009, to assassinate the terrorist Renard, whilst he held the daughter of M's close friend from Oxford, Sir Robert King. His daughter, Elektra, escaped the clutches of the villain but by a fluke accident, the bullet fired by 009 was lodged in Renard's skull and instead of a swift assassination, Renard won a slow and painless death. After the assassination of Sir Robert, M assigns 007 to protect Elektra. When Bond follows a lead to Kazakhstan, Elektra plays on M's relationship with her late father and M flies to Baku to investigate for herself. Here Bond informs her that things are not what they seem and before Bond can prevent it, M is kidnapped by Elektra and taken to Maiden's Tower in the Bosphorus strait. Bond is eventually captured as well, but with the help of Zukovsky frees M and peruses Renard into the depths.
Die Another Day - Six months after 007 is captured and tortured in North Korea, M flies to Hong Kong to speak with her recently recovered agent. She has no regrets for the time he spent in North Korean torture camps and indeed, if she had her way, Bond would still be there. Bond was in fact swapped for terrorist Zao in a political power play that overruled the MI6 chief. After Bond escapes and rustles up some fresh evidence as to the whereabouts of Zao, M concedes that it is useful to have her 00 back. They meet in a disused subway station under central London where it is rumoured agents are sent before they are blacklisted and burned. Instead, Bond is given a new lease on life and sent into the field once more. Later, M authorises an excursion into North Korea in the hopes of stopping the villainous Graves/Moon from violently uniting Korea under the North.
Casino Royale - M supports James Bond even after he is compromised on an early mission, taking flack from politicians who only care what MI6 does when they make mistakes - and when the newspapers notice. On the Casino Royale mission, M is reluctant to assign fledgling 007 to such a critical assignment - the Le Chiffre bankrupting caper - yet recognises his talent as a gambler and potential as a ruthless killer. She meets her semi-rogue 00 Agent in the Bahamas personally, to have an under-skin tracking device attached to James Bond. Her real name is almost revealed by 007 when he breaks in to her London penthouse.
"Any thug can kill. I need you to take your ego out of the equation."
Quantum of Solace - Present at the interrogation of Mr. White, a key player in a mysterious terrorist organisation, M is almost assassinated by rogue MI6 agent Craig Mitchell (who is in the pay of Quantum). M tries to reign in her 00 agent, cautioning him against getting revenge for the unfortunate death of his lover, Vesper Lynd. Eventually, M has to put a warrant for 007's arrest out after he was involved in the death of a British security officer, who was protecting a high-ranking government official. Bond alludes M and the MI6 agents tasked to bring him in until M visits Boliviaherself and discovers the truth about the sticky situation in which Bond has found himself. She allows 007 to get on with his job and finally, in Russia, M and Bond work closely together to interrogate the man who blackmailed Vesper.
Bond: Construction's not exactly my specialty.
M: Quite the opposite, in fact.
M: You don't like me, Bond. You don't like my methods. You think I'm an accountant, a bean counter more interested in my numbers than your instincts.
Bond: The thought had occurred to me.
M: Well, I think you're a sexist, misogynist dinosaur. A relic of the Cold War, whose boyish charms, though wasted on me, obviously appealed to that young woman I sent out to evaluate you.
Bond: I always thought M was a randomly assigned letter. I had no idea it stood for -
M: [quickly interrupting] Utter one more syllable and I'll have you killed.
M: You don't trust anyone, do you?
M: Then you've learned your lesson.
M: Who the hell do they think they are? I report to the Prime Minister and even he's smart enough not to ask me what we do. Have you ever seen such a bunch of self-righteous, ass-covering prigs? They don't care what we do; they care what we get photographed doing..
M: After Elektra King was kidnapped, her father tried to deal with it on his own, with no success. So he came to me. As you are aware, we do not negotiate with terrorists. And against every instinct in my heart, every... emotion as a mother, I told him not to pay the ransom.
M: We will not be terrorised by cowards who would murder, and use us as the tool. We'll find these people. We'll follow them to the farthest ends of the earth if needs be and we will bring them to justice.
Born in York in 1934, the daughter of a doctor, Judith Olivia Dench attended The Mount School - a Quaker boarding school - and a Quaker public secondary school. After high-school Dench studied to work behind-the-scenes in theatre, designing sets, before finding a passion for on-stage performance. She first played on stage in the 1950s before joining the Royal Shakespeare Company for a 1961 production of "The Cherry Orchard".
As a graduate of the Central School for Speech and Drama, today Dench is a five-time BAFTA winner and worldwide star. A veteran of the Bond franchise as well as the theatre and screen - "Quantum of Solace" marked the Judi Dench's sixth appearance in a Bond picture, after her 007-debut in 1995's "GoldenEye". She will go on to reprise her role in Bond 23, due out in 2011.
As well as the BAFTAs, Dench has also been rewarded with an Academy Award for her role in "Shakespeare in Love", in which she portrayed Queen Elizabeth I. Widely regarded as one of the finest actors of stage and screen in anyone's lifetime, Dench was honoured with an OBE and the title of Dame Judi Dench in 1988.
Dame Judi has appeared in a string of successful British dramas and comedies, including, "Mrs. Brown", "Chocolat", "Iris", "The Shipping News", "Therese Raquin" and "The Importance of Being Earnest". More recently she has earned Oscar nods for "Mrs Henderson Presents" (2005) and "Notes on a Scandal" (2006).
She has continued her on-stage career despite immense success in film and television throughout the 21st century. Dench appeared in "Madame de Sade" in 2009 and she will return to "A Midsummer's Nights Dream" in 2010. In the 1980s and early '90s, Dench directed several prominent stage productions, including "Romeo and Juliet" at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in 1993.
Dame Judi was married to the actor Michel Williams (whom she acted opposite on numerous occasions) for 30 years until his death in 2001.