Ian McKellen

Born May 25, 1939

Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE is an English actor. He has won multiple Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Academy Award nominations, and five Emmy Award nominations. His work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He has appeared as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, as Magneto in the X-Men films, and as Sir Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code.… Read More

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Browse recent news and stories about Ian McKellen.

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    Orlando Bloom Throws It Back To That Time The 'lord Of The Rings' Cast Got Matching Tattoos
    Huffington Post - 9 days ago
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    Stephen Colbert Breaks Down Exactly Why Gandalf Doesn't Do Weddings
    Huffington Post - Aug 27, 2016
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    Jared Leto In 'suicide Squad' Is The Worst Kind Of Movie Villain
    Huffington Post - Aug 04, 2016
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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Ian McKellen.


McKellen was born on 25 May 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, the son of Margery Lois (née Sutcliffe) and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer. … Read More


1951 12 Years Old They relocated to Bolton in 1951, after his father had been promoted. … Read More


1961 22 Years Old …  His first professional appearance was in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre, as Roper in A Man for All Seasons, although an audio recording of the Marlowe Society's Cymbeline had gone on commercial sale as part of the Argo Shakespeare series.
1964 25 Years Old McKellen and his first partner, Brian Taylor, a history teacher from Bolton, began their relationship in 1964. Their relationship lasted for eight years, ending in 1972. … Read More
1965 26 Years Old After four years in regional repertory theatres he made his first West End appearance, in A Scent of Flowers, regarded as a "notable success". In 1965 he was a member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, which led to roles at the Chichester Festival.


1969 30 Years Old 1 More Event
With the Prospect Theatre Company, McKellen made his breakthrough performances of Richard II (directed by Richard Cottrell) and Marlowe's Edward II (directed by Toby Robertson) at the Edinburgh festival in 1969, the latter causing a storm of protest over the enactment of the homosexual Edward's lurid death. … Read More


1988 49 Years Old This relationship lasted until 1988. … Read More


1993 54 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1993 he had a supporting role as a South African tycoon in the critically acclaimed Six Degrees of Separation, in which he starred with Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland, and Will Smith. … Read More
1994 55 Years Old In 1994, at the closing ceremony of the Gay Games, he briefly took the stage to address the crowd, saying, "I'm Sir Ian McKellen, but you can call me Serena": This nickname, given to him by Stephen Fry, had been circulating within the gay community since McKellen's knighthood was conferred. … Read More
1995 56 Years Old In 1995, he played the title role in Richard III, which transported the setting into an alternative 1930s in which England is ruled by fascists. … Read More
1998 59 Years Old He was subsequently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1998 film Gods and Monsters, wherein he played James Whale, the director of Show Boat (1936) and Frankenstein.


1999 - 2005 4 More Events
McKellen appeared in the 2006 series of Ricky Gervais' comedy series Extras, where he played himself directing Gervais' character Andy Millman in a play about gay lovers. … Read More
2008 69 Years Old In December 2008, he was named in Out's annual Out 100 list.
2010 71 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2010, McKellen extended his support for Liverpool's Homotopia festival in which a group of gay and lesbian Merseyside teenagers helped to produce an anti-homophobia campaign pack for schools and youth centres across the city.
2011 72 Years Old In May 2011, he called Sergey Sobyanin, Moscow's mayor, a "coward" for refusing to allow gay parades in the city.
In late August 2012, he took part in the opening ceremony of the London Paralympics, portraying Prospero from The Tempest.
In 2013, McKellen co-starred in the ITV sitcom Vicious as Freddie Thornhill, alongside Derek Jacobi. … Read More
He reprised his role as Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past, released in May 2014; he shared the role with Michael Fassbender, who played a younger version of the character in 2011's X-Men: First Class.
2015 76 Years Old In October 2015, McKellen appeared as Norman to Anthony Hopkins' Sir in a BBC Two production of Ronald Harwood's The Dresser, alongside Edward Fox and Emily Watson. … Read More
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