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Judi Dench says she has macular degeneration, but is not going blind

Judi Dench is trying to reel in speculation that she may be going blind.

The actress said in a statement that a published interview that ran over the weekend had gone too far in describing her eye condition.

"In response to the numerous articles in the media concerning my eye condition - macular degeneration - I do not wish for this to be overblown," Dench said in a statement to Reuters. "This condition is something that thousands and thousands of people all over the world are having to contend with. It's something that I have learnt to cope with and adapt to - and it will not lead to blindness."

The James Bond star had said in an interview published Saturday that she had been diagnosed with macular degeneration, and that her eyesight was already so bad that she couldn't even read her own scripts.

The 77-year-old told the Daily Mirror that she was relying on friends and family to keep her up to speed with her lines.

"It's usually my daughter or my agent or a friend and actually I like that, because I sit there and imagine the story in my mind," she told the newspaper during an interview at a London hotel. "The most distressing thing is in a restaurant in the evening I can't see the person I'm having dinner with."

Dench made her Shakespearean debut in 1957 at London's Old Vic and has since taken on a vast number of theater, film and television roles.

She won an Academy Award for her role as Queen Elizabeth I in "Shakespeare in Love" and is best known to international audiences as intelligence boss M in the James Bond series.

- The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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