Dame Judi Dench saved her pet goldfish with mouth-to-mouth CPR

Compared to other common pets, fish don’t get a lot of love. While we do anything for our dogs and cats, goldfish are often viewed as disposable—cheap pets we give to young kids.

But one celebrity sees them differently—and has revealed the lengths she went to save the life of her pet goldfish.

Dame Judi Dench is one of the world’s most distinguished actors, with legendary roles on stage and screen, from Shakespeare to James Bond.

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But it turns out the Oscar-winner, who recently played a cat in Cats, is also a huge fan of animals.

In an interview on The Graham Norton Show in 2012, she revealed she had quite a menagerie of pets: “Four cats, one dog, two guinea pigs, two fish…” Dench listed, before adding this fascinating detail:

“…one of which I gave the breath of life to when he was dying.”

The actress explained that she found her little goldfish “dying,” floating near the top of its tank.

While many people would’ve accepted the loss and bought a new fish, Dench decided to try to resuscitate it using mouth-to-mouth CPR.

“I blew in his mouth,” Dench told Graham Norton. “I know I shouldn’t have, because he’s got gills, but nevertheless,” she joked.

But the actress’ maneuver ended up actually saving the fish, who continued living. After bringing him “back from the dead,” Dench named the fish “Lazarus.”


And this month, Judi Dench repeated the anecdote on Chris Evans’ podcast How to Wow. Sadly, she revealed that the fish—as well as the rest of her pets—have since passed away.

“This is the first time in my life I haven’t got a cat, a dog, and my goldfish died,” she told Evans. “It’s a very sad story.”

However, she says that thanks to her “kiss of life,” Lazarus had a good long life: after saving him when he was just a “very little goldfish,” he ended up growing to be about six inches long.

Even the smallest goldfish deserves to live a long happy life—thank you to Dame Judi Dench for doing so much to save this fish!

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