London: Veteran actress Judi Dench has been hailed as the greatest stage star of all time, ahead of theatre legends Laurence Olivier and Ian McKellen.
The Bond star has worked in theatre since the 1950s and has received seven of Britain`s prestigious Olivier Awards - more than any other performer.
In a poll by acting publication The Stage, the 76-year-old actress saw off competition from the man her accolades are named after, to be crowned queen of the theatre, reported Contactmusic.
"I`m completely at a loss for words but it`s one hell of a thing to live up to," Dench said on hearing the news. In second place was Maggie Smith, Mark Rylance was in third and MCKellen came fourth.
Revered Olivier only made fifth on the list, followed by Paul Scofield, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Michael Gambon, Vanessa Redgrave and Sir Ralph Richardson.