The Society of London Theatre handed out the annual Laurence Olivier Awards on Sunday night, and it was a big night for Dame Judi Dench. The veteran actress scooped a record eighth win, taking home the award for Best Supporting Actress as Paulina in Kenneth Branagh's production of The Winter's Tale. As she was collecting the award, she joked that she was livid for winning because she had lost a bet with her grandson. "I'm rather overcome," she said backstage. "I didn't expect it... it feels terrific."
In the Best Actor category, heavyweight names including Kenneth Branagh, Benedict Cumberbatch and Mark Rylance lost out to Kenneth Cranham for his portrayal of a man struggling with dementia in The Father. Cranham is well-known in Britain but little recognized outside the U.K. He himself was surprised he won. Speaking of the other nominees, he said "They are like brand names. I felt like a little old cornershop."
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