Ian McKellen
English actor
Ian McKellen
Biography
View basic information about Ian McKellen.
Birthday
25 May 1939
home town
Lancashire
Career Highlights
Some highlights of Ian McKellens career
Label
Ian mckellen
Homepage
Http://www.mckellen.com/
Birth name
Ian Murray McKellen
Residence
State of New York (York)
City of New York
Alma mater
St Catharine’s College
Universitas Cantabrigiensis
Cambridge University
Relationships
View family, career and love interests for Ian McKellen
Denis Murray McKellen
Parent
1939/05/25
Margery Lois
Parent
1939/05/25
Brian Taylor
Married
1964 - 1972
Sean Mathias
Married
1978 - 1988
Jean McKellen
Sibling
Greg Nickels
Dated
Rupert Everett
Dated
Sean Mathias
Dated
1978 - 1987
Brian Taylor
Dated
1964 - 1972
News
News abour Ian McKellen from around the web
Before Honoring Jude Law, Stars at Only Make Believe Talk "Sesame Street" and "Fraggle Rock"
Huffington Post - 18 days
Only Make Believe, a non-profit organization that creates and performs interactive theatre for children in hospitals and care facilities, honored Academy Award nominee Jude Law and Gregory Lee, President & CEO of Samsung Electronics N.A. at its annual gala, "Make Believe On Broadway," November 14th at the St. James Theatre in New York. Hosted by by Emmy winner John Oliver, the evening featured performances by stars of the stage and screen, including Josh Lucas, Julie Halston, Lesli Margherita, Adam Kantor and Montego Glover. On the red carpet, I asked the performers what their go-to feel-good entertainment was when they would stay home from school, sick. After each revisited their own childhood, they also shared the most meaningful thing a child has said after seeing them perform. Adam Kantor (Fiddler on the Roof, The Last Five Years) I remember reruns of "Bewitched" and "I Dream of Genie." Nick at Night. "All That." Talk about characters that inspire hope. Just a ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Orlando Bloom Throws It Back To That Time The 'Lord Of The Rings' Cast Got Matching Tattoos
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Orlando Bloom is nostalgic for the good old days. The ones when the world was unaware of his preferred paddleboarding regalia, his ears were pointy, and his hair was more majestic than Katy Perry’s ever will be.  That’s why Bloom threw it back to the time he spent filming the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy on Thursday, with an Instagram of his co-stars and their matching Elvish tattoos.  Filming a fantasy epic for more than a year straight and reuniting every year for weeks of additional filming apparently bonds a cast for life. To commemorate the experience, Bloom and other members of the “fellowship,” including Sir Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd, got tattoos of the Elvish number nine.  “tbt to when we all got tats cos we loved so much,” he captioned the photo where they all look like LITERAL BABIES. tbt to when we all got tats cos we loved so much A photo posted by orlandobloom (@orlandobloom) on Oct 13, 2016 at 1 ...
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Huffington Post article
Stephen Colbert Breaks Down Exactly Why Gandalf Doesn't Do Weddings
Huffington Post - 3 months
Stephen Colbert channeled his inner Sauron to explain exactly why Gandalf doesn’t officiate weddings. “The Late Show” host and “Lord of the Rings” superfan broke it down after it emerged English actor Sir Ian McKellen, who played the character in the movie trilogy, turned down an offer to wed Napster founder Sean Parker and his now-wife, Alexandra Lenas, at their Tolkien-esque nuptials in 2013.   “Damn right, Gandalf doesn’t have time to marry you, Sean Parker!” Colbert began by saying on Friday. In case you didn't catch all that. #LSSC pic.twitter.com/RIJf6s7etY — The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) August 27, 2016 “He is the servant of the secret fire, wielder of the flame or Anor,” he continued, before ramping up the rhetoric. “He killed the mother truckin’ Balrog, after chasing the ancient immortal demon through the tunnels of Khazad Dum until they climbed to the peak of Zirakzigil where he smote the demon’s ruin on the mountain side.” S ...
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Huffington Post article
Ian McKellen refused to officiate Sean Parker's wedding
CBS News - 3 months
Article Link:
CBS News article
Jared Leto In 'Suicide Squad' Is The Worst Kind Of Movie Villain
Huffington Post - 4 months
Somewhere along the way, Hollywood decided that villainy is synonymous with camp. Evil, in its most uninspired cinematic forms, is coated in showy extravagance. While a little outsize depravity can be fun, this weekend’s “Suicide Squad” proves we have hit a plateau where bigger is almost certainly not better.  Of course, I am referring primarily to Jared Leto, he of the insufferable rat-gifting, always-in-character method acting that led to an obnoxiously calculated take on the psychopathic Joker. Leto is proud of his performance ― the self-inflation radiates off of him every time he’s onscreen, which is far less frequent than one would assume, given how extensively he has teased this role for the better part of the past year. (Good move, Warner Bros.) Leto said he prepped for the project by watching footage of violent crimes on YouTube, but his works seems more like a the result of a checklist than a study in delinquency. His mantra must have been, “Wide eyes, empty hearts, can’t ...
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Huffington Post article
TV This Week, June 19-25: 'Queen of the South' and more
LATimes - 6 months
  SUNDAY Freddie and Stuart, we hardly knew ye: “Vicious,” the Britcom starring Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi as an elderly gay couple, ends its run with a one-off special. 8 p.m. KOCE You name it, you’ll likely find it deep-fried at the Minnesota State Fair on the sixth-season premiere of “Food...
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LATimes article
Ian McKellen tackles the many layers of the complicated title role in 'The Dresser'
LATimes - 6 months
In the Starz-BBC co-production of “The Dresser,” Anthony Hopkins plays a past-his-prime Shakespearean actor known only as Sir who is on the way to mental breakdown. Ian McKellen costars as Norman, the faithful assistant of the title whose own career and identity depend entirely on Sir.  One of...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Ian McKellen tackles the many layers of the complicated title role in 'The Dresser'
LATimes - 6 months
In the Starz-BBC co-production of “The Dresser,” Anthony Hopkins plays a past-his-prime Shakespearean actor known only as Sir who is on the way to mental breakdown. Ian McKellen costars as Norman, the faithful assistant of the title whose own career and identity depend entirely on Sir.  One of...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Ian McKellen tackles the many layers of the complicated title role in 'The Dresser'
LATimes - 6 months
In the Starz-BBC co-production of “The Dresser,” Anthony Hopkins plays a past-his-prime Shakespearean actor known only as Sir who is on the way to mental breakdown. Ian McKellen costars as Norman, the faithful assistant of the title whose own career and identity depend entirely on Sir.  One of...
Article Link:
LATimes article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Ian McKellen
1939
Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, his family moved to Wigan.
They lived there through the war and his early childhood.
McKellen was born on 25 May 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, the son of Margery Lois (née Sutcliffe) and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer.
He was their second child, with a sister, Jean, five years his senior.
1951
They relocated to Bolton in 1951, after his father had been promoted.
The experience of living through the war as a young child had a lasting impact on him, and he later claimed that "only after peace resumed... did I realise that war wasn't normal." When an interviewer remarked that he seemed quite calm in the aftermath of 11 September attacks, McKellen said: "Well, darling, you forget—I slept under a steel plate until I was four years old." McKellen's father was a civil engineer and lay preacher, and was of Protestant Irish and Scottish descent. Both of McKellen's grandfathers were preachers, and his great-great-grandfather, James McKellen, was a "strict, evangelical Protestant minister" in Ballymena, County Antrim. His home environment was strongly Christian, but non-orthodox. "My upbringing was of low nonconformist Christians who felt that you led the Christian life in part by behaving in a Christian manner to everybody you met." When he was 12, his mother died; his father died when he was 24. Of his coming out of the closet to his stepmother, Gladys McKellen, who was a member of the Religious Society of Friends, he said, "Not only was she not fazed, but as a member of a society which declared its indifference to people's sexuality years back, I think she was just glad for my sake that I wasn't lying anymore."
1961
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
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.
They lived in London, where McKellen continued to pursue his career as an actor. For over a decade, he has lived in a five-story Victorian conversion in Narrow Street, Limehouse. In 1978 he met his second partner, Sean Mathias, at the Edinburgh Festival.
1965
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
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.
In the 1970s and 1980s McKellen became a well-known figure in British theatre, performing frequently at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, where he played several leading Shakespearean roles, including the title role in Macbeth (which he had first played for Trevor Nunn in a "gripping out of the ordinary" production, with Judi Dench, at Stratford in 1976), and Iago in Othello, in award-winning productions directed by Nunn. Both of these productions were adapted into television films, also directed by Nunn. In 2007 he returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company, in productions of King Lear and The Seagull, both directed by Trevor Nunn. In 2009 he appeared in a very popular revival of Waiting for Godot at London's Haymarket Theatre, directed by Sean Mathias, and playing opposite Patrick Stewart. He is Patron of English Touring Theatre and also President and Patron of the Little Theatre Guild of Great Britain, an association of amateur theatre organisations throughout the UK.
McKellen had taken film roles throughout his career—beginning in 1969 with his role of George Matthews in A Touch of Love, and his first leading role was in 1980 as D. H. Lawrence in Priest of Love, but it was not until the 1990s that he became more widely recognised in this medium after several roles in blockbuster Hollywood films.
1988
This relationship lasted until 1988.
According to Mathias, the ten-year love affair was tempestuous, with conflicts over McKellen's success in acting versus Mathias's somewhat less-successful career. Mathias later directed McKellen in Waiting For Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2009. The pair entered into a business partnership with Evgeny Lebedev, purchasing the lease on The Grapes public house in Narrow Street. McKellen is an atheist. In the late 1980s, McKellen lost his appetite for meat except for fish, and so mostly excludes it from his diet. In 2001, Ian McKellen received the Artist Citizen of the World Award (France). He has a tattoo of the Elvish number nine, written using J. R. R Tolkien's artificial script of Tengwar, on his shoulder in reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings and the fact that his character was one of the original nine companions of the Fellowship of the Ring. The other actors of "The Fellowship" (Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Sean Bean, Dominic Monaghan and Viggo Mortensen) have the same tattoo. John Rhys-Davies, whose character was also one of the original nine companions, arranged for his stunt double to get the tattoo instead.
1993
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.
In the same year, he appeared in minor roles in the television miniseries Tales of the City, based on the novel by his friend Armistead Maupin, and the film Last Action Hero, in which he played Death.
Later in 1993, McKellan appeared in the television film And the Band Played On, about the discovery of the AIDS virus, for which McKellen won a CableACE Award for Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries and was nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie.
1994
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.
In 2002, he was the Celebrity Grand Marshal of the San Francisco Pride Parade and he attended the Academy Awards with his then-boyfriend, New Zealander Nick Cuthell.
1995
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.
The film was a critical success. McKellen co-produced and co-wrote the film, adapting the play for the screen based on a stage production of Shakespeare's play directed by Richard Eyre for the Royal National Theatre, in which McKellen had appeared. As executive producer he returned his £50,000 fee to complete the filming of the final battle. In his review of the film, Washington Post film critic Hal Hinson, called McKellen's performance a "lethally flamboyant incarnation", and said his "florid mastery... dominates everything". His performance in the title role garnered BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor, and won the European Film Award for Best Actor. His screenplay was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. He appeared in the modestly acclaimed film Apt Pupil, which was directed by Bryan Singer and based on a story by Stephen King. McKellen portrayed a fugitive Nazi officer, living under a false name in the US, who is befriended by a curious teenager (Brad Renfro) who threatens to expose him unless he tells his story in detail.
1998
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
In 1999 McKellen was cast, again under the direction of Bryan Singer, to play the comic book supervillain Magneto in the 2000 film X-Men and its sequels X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand.
While filming X-Men McKellen was cast as the wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson's three-film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (consisting of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King). He received honors from the Screen Actors Guild for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his work in The Fellowship of the Ring, and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the same role. He also provided the voice of Gandalf for several video game adaptations of the films. On 10 January 2011 it was officially confirmed that Mckellen would reprise the role of Gandalf in the three-part film adaptation of The Hobbit.
2002
On 16 March 2002, he hosted Saturday Night Live.
2003
In 2003, McKellen made a guest appearance as himself on the American cartoon show The Simpsons, in a special British-themed episode entitled "The Regina Monologues", along with the then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and author J. K. Rowling.
2005
In April and May 2005, he played the role of Mel Hutchwright in Granada Television's long running soap opera, Coronation Street, fulfilling a lifelong ambition.
He narrated Richard Bell's film Eighteen, as a grandfather who leaves his World War II memoirs on audio-cassette for his teenage grandson. McKellen has appeared in limited release films, such as Emile (which was shot in three weeks following the X2 shoot), Neverwas and Asylum. He appeared as Sir Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code. During a 17 May 2006 interview on The Today Show with the Da Vinci Code cast and director, Matt Lauer posed a question to the group about how they would have felt if the film had borne a prominent disclaimer that it is a work of fiction, as some religious groups wanted. McKellen responded, "I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying 'This is fiction.' I mean, walking on water? It takes... an act of faith. And I have faith in this movie – not that it's true, not that it's factual, but that it's a jolly good story." He continued, "And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing when they've seen it".
2006
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.
McKellen received a 2007 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor - Comedy Series nomination for his performance. In 2009 he portrayed Number Two in The Prisoner, a remake of the 1967 cult series The Prisoner.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006.
In 2006, McKellen spoke at the pre-launch of the 2007 LGBT History Month in the UK, lending his support to the organisation and its founder, Sue Sanders.
In 2007, he became a patron of The Albert Kennedy Trust, an organisation that provides support to young, homeless and troubled LGBT people.
In 2006, he became a patron of Oxford Pride, stating: I send my love to all members of Oxford Pride, their sponsors and supporters, of which I am proud to be one...
Onlookers can be impressed by our confidence and determination to be ourselves and gay people, of whatever age, can be comforted by the occasion to take the first steps towards coming out and leaving the closet forever behind. McKellen has taken his activism internationally, and caused a major stir in Singapore, where he was invited to do an interview on a morning show and shocked the interviewer by asking if they could recommend him a gay bar; the programme immediately ended.
2008
In December 2008, he was named in Out's annual Out 100 list.
2010
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.
In April 2010, along with actors Brian Cox and Eleanor Bron, McKellen appeared in a series of TV advertisements to support Age UK, the charity recently formed from the merger of Age Concern and Help the Aged.
All three actors gave their time free of charge. A cricket fan since childhood, McKellen umpired in March 2011 for a charity cricket match in New Zealand to support earthquake victims of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
2011
In May 2011, he called Sergey Sobyanin, Moscow's mayor, a "coward" for refusing to allow gay parades in the city.
2012
In late August 2012, he took part in the opening ceremony of the London Paralympics, portraying Prospero from The Tempest.
In 2012, McKellen stated on his blog that "There is no cause for alarm.
I am examined regularly and the cancer is contained. I've not needed any treatment."
McKellen is an honorary board member for the New York and Washington, DC based organization Only Make Believe. Only Make Believe creates and performs interactive plays in children's hospitals and care facilities. He was honoured by the organisation in 2012 and hosted their annual Make Believe on Broadway Gala in November 2013.
He garnered publicity for the organisation by stripping down to his Lord of the Rings underwear on stage.
While in New Zealand filming The Hobbit in 2012, McKellen announced a special New Zealand tour "Shakespeare, Tolkien, and You!", with proceeds from the shows going to help save the Isaac Theatre Royal, which suffered extensive damage during the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.
McKellen said he opted to help save the building as it was the last theatre he played in New Zealand (Waiting for Godot in 2010) and the locals' love for it made it a place worth supporting. A friend of Ian Charleson and an admirer of his work, McKellen contributed an entire chapter to For Ian Charleson: A Tribute. A recording of McKellen's voice is heard before performances at the Royal Festival Hall, reminding patrons to ensure their mobile phones and watch alarms are switched off and to keep coughing to a minimum.
He also took part in the 2012 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony as Prospero.
Notes
2013
In 2013, McKellen co-starred in the ITV sitcom Vicious as Freddie Thornhill, alongside Derek Jacobi.
The series revolves around an elderly gay couple who have been together for 50 years. On 23 August 2013 the show was renewed for a six-episode second series which began airing in June 2015.
In November 2013, McKellen appeared in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.
He became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church in early 2013 in order to preside over the marriage of his X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart to his then fiancée Sunny Ozell.
2014
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.
McKellen was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by Cambridge University on 18 June 2014.
He was made a Freeman of the city of London on Thursday 30 October 2014.
The ceremony took place at Guildhall in London. McKellen was nominated by London's Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf, who said he was chosen as he was an "exceptional actor" and "tireless campaigner for equality". He is also a Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford. While McKellen had made his sexual orientation known to fellow actors early on in his stage career, it was not until 1988 that he came out to the general public, in a programme on BBC Radio. The context that prompted McKellen's decision – overriding any concerns about a possible negative effect on his career – was that the controversial Section 28 of the Local Government Bill, known simply as Section 28, was then under consideration in the British Parliament. Section 28 proposed prohibiting local authorities from promoting homosexuality "... as a kind of pretended family relationship". McKellen became active in fighting the proposed law, and, during a BBC Radio 3 programme where he debated Section 28 with the conservative journalist Peregrine Worsthorne, declared himself gay. McKellen has stated that he was influenced in his decision by the advice and support of his friends, among them noted gay author Armistead Maupin. In a 1998 interview that discusses the 29th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, McKellen commented, I have many regrets about not having come out earlier, but one of them might be that I didn't engage myself in the politicking. He has said of this period: My own participating in that campaign was a focus for people to take comfort that if Ian McKellen was on board for this, perhaps it would be all right for other people to be as well, gay and straight.
He was made a Freeman of the City of London in October 2014.
In 2014, he was named in the top 10 on the World Pride Power list.
2015
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.
In 2017, McKellen will voice Cogsworth, the Beast's loyal butler, who was cursed into a pendulum clock, in a live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
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