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LONDON (AP) -- Actress Judi Dench says she's battling to save her sight.

The James Bond star told the Daily Mirror newspaper that she had been diagnosed with a degenerative eye condition that can cause blindness.

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In an interview published Saturday she said that her sight was already so bad she couldn't read her scripts and even had difficultly distinguishing the people she was dining with.

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The 77-year-old actress 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.

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