Ian Mckellen

Ian Mckellen

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Sir Ian Murray McKellen (born 25.5.1939) Ian McKellen is an English, Laurence Olivier award winning actor, acknowledged for his work in theatre and film. He is most notable for his roles in Shakespearian plays and popular fantasy and science fiction films such as: The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, as well as playing Magneto in the recent X-Men films.

Childhood: McKellen was born shortly before World War II in Burnley, Lancashire to parents Dennis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer and Christian preacher and mother, Margery Lois (née Sutcliffe). The family moved to Wigan when Ian was just 4 months old where he claimed he 'slept under a steel plate until he was four years old' due the conflicts of World War II. Ian attended Bolton school and began his acting career at the registered charity organisation, Bolton Little Theatre of which he is now the Patron. His family encouraged his acting profession taking Ian to see multiple plays including: Peter Pan, Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night's Dream starring Ian's sister Jean, as Bottom. Ian won a scholarship to St. Catherine's College when he was 18.

Acting Career: While at Cambridge, McKellen was a member of the Marlowe Society appearing in Henry IV as Shallow, alongside fellow actors Trevor Nunn (who went on to direct McKellen on stage and in television) and Derek Jacobi. McKellen also starred in Cymbeline alongside Margaret Drabble in 1959. Mckellen received his first professional acting job at Nottingham Playhouse in 1961 as Roper, in A Man For All Seasons - a play by Robert Bolt. The play was later adapted into a multi academy award winning film starring Paul Scofield and Orson Welles. McKellen made his first television appearance in an episode of The Indian Tales of Rupyard Kipling before his first West End performance in a Scent of Flowers. The play achieved notable success and was considered a breakthrough after years of performing in regional theatre. In 1965 McKellen became a member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company at the Old Vic theatre, which led to McKellen appearing at the Chichester Festival. Mckellen was also cast alongside Lynn Redgrave in the television film Sunday out of Season in the same year. McKellen continued to star in theatre productions and obtained television roles before starring in television series, David Copperfield. McKellen played lead role David Copperfield for the single series it aired in 1966. In 1969 McKellen was cast in his first feature film starring alongside Sandy Dennis in A Touch of Love, nominated for a Golden Berlin Bear award. Throughout the early 1970's McKellen was cast in multiple television films based on theatrical plays including: Edward II, Hamlet and The Tragedy of King Richard II, McKellen was also becoming a well-known figure in British theatre, frequently performing at the Royal National Theatre and the Royal Shakespeare Company. McKellen was cast in lead roles including title-role Macbeth. McKellen acted in multiple television episodes and television films based on previous plays before achieving notable recognition for his role in Six Degrees of Separation. The film starred Will Smith and was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. In 1995 McKellen wrote his first screenplay of Richard III, an adaptation from original theatrical play by William Shakespeare. The film achieved notable success including two Academy Award nominations and two BAFTA nominations personally for McKellen. McKellen won a European Film Award for best actor as Richard III and achieved him further industry recognition. McKellen worked alongside previous co-star Lynn Redgrave in Gods and Monsters in 1998. The film was about the last days of critically acclaimed director James Whale, whom McKellen played. McKellen was nominated for an Academy Award for his role however lost out to Roberto Benigni for Life Is Beautiful. After returning to his role as David Copperfield in the 1999 television film, McKellen was cast as Magneto in Box Office hit, X-Men. The film earned $54,471,475 during its opening weekend at the US box office. McKellen reprised his role in X 2 and X-Men: The Last Stand. Whilst being involved in X-Men, McKellen was cast in Peter Jackson's the Lord of the Rings as Gandalf. McKellen earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor for his role in the Fellowship of the Ring. McKellen reprised his role as Gandalf for the Lord of the Rings in the Two Towers and the Return of the King both of which achieved critical and commercial success, obtaining McKellen with notable recognition. Despite being involved in major film roles, including animated hits, Flushed Away and the Magic Roundabout as well as starring in Stardust, The Da Vinci code and The Golden Compass, McKellen continued to act in the Royal Shakespeare Company productions of King Lear and the Seagull both directed by previous co-star Trevor Nunn. McKellen continues to act in film and theatre and is continuing his role as Gandalf in the Hobbit and Magneto in X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Personal Life: Ian's mother died from breast cancer when he was 12 and his father died when he was 24. McKellen came out gay to his step-mother who Ian stated "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." McKellen made his sexual orientation clear to his co-stars at an early age however it wasn't until 1988 that he came out publically. Since then he has actively fought against sexual discrimination, protesting against Section 28, which proposed top prohibit promoting homosexuality and McKellen launched charities to help homosexual individuals who felt lost. McKellen dated Bolton history teacher, Brian Taylor in 1964 for 8 years. McKellen then went on to date Sean Mathias whom he met at the Edinburgh festival. The couple dated for ten years however parted after stating they had conflicting careers. Mathias went on to direct McKellen in 2009's Waiting for Godot. McKellen has stated he was a good friend of fellow actor Ian Charleson, contributing an entire chapter to him in: 'For Ian Charleson: A Tribute.' McKellen lost his appetite for meat in the 1980's therefore mostly excludes it from his diet. McKellen is still known to eat fish. In 2006 McKellen was diagnosed with prostate Cancer.

Biography by Contactmusic.com

Ian Mckellen And Daniel Radcliffe Defend Bbc

Daniel Radcliffe Ian McKellen Judi Dench

The actors are among a group of celebrities who are backing The Great BBC Campaign to lobby on behalf of the public-funded organisation, which is facing a raft of cost-cutting measures from the U.K. government.

They have all filmed segments for a campaign video in which they share their fondness for the BBC. Fellow actors including Bond star Naomie Harris, Steve Coogan, and David Oyelowo, and directors Richard Curtis, Tom Hooper, and Danny Boyle also took part.

In the film, MCKellen credits the BBC with introducing him to acting via Saturday night radio dramas, adding, "My early education... on world drama came from Saturday night theatre... Sitting around the radio with the family... I might get a bit teary because those are some of the best moments of my childhood."

Continue reading: Ian Mckellen And Daniel Radcliffe Defend Bbc

From Ian McKellen To Ellen Page: 15 Gay Actors Who Usually Have Straight Roles

Ian McKellen Ellen Page Neil Patrick Harris Andrew Scott Matt Bomer

Ian McKellen has offered his own opinion about diversity in Hollywood following the #OscarsSoWhite controversy. He believes that it's not only black people who are being overlooked in the film industry, but gay actors too; especially since straight stars have indeed won Oscars for playing gay men (Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Sean Penn) but never the other way round. 

More: Ian McKellen talks LGBT rights

It is more frequent than one first might believe that gay people in the acting world are often playing straight roles - sometimes exclusively - and there are very few who have found themselves playing only gay characters. Here are just a few gay stars who've played gay roles in their careers:

Continue reading: From Ian McKellen To Ellen Page: 15 Gay Actors Who Usually Have Straight Roles

Sir Ian Mckellen Hosting Richard Iii Inspired Bus Tours

Ian McKellen William Shakespeare

The X-Men star will give tours of London locations featured in his 1995 film Richard III.

"I've always thought it might be fun to take a bus tour around the sites of Richard III," he says. "You would watch snippets of the film sitting in the coach and then arrive at the actual location and see it."

The bus tour will be part of the BFI Presents Shakespeare on Film project, which will run throughout April and May (16).

Continue reading: Sir Ian Mckellen Hosting Richard Iii Inspired Bus Tours

Sir Ian McKellen To Become A London Bus Tour Guide

Ian McKellen

Sir Ian McKellen is to become a bus tour guide – not for a new film, but in real life, as he is set to boost public tours of London locations seen in the film in which he portrayed Richard III more than two decades ago.

The 76 year old actor, a legend of both screen and stage, has agreed to host the guided tours as part of the British Film Institute’s Shakespeare film season, for which he is the ambassador.

Set in an alternative fascist version of 1930s England, McKellen portrayed the English king in the 1995 film Richard III, directed by Richard Loncraine. Speaking to reporters at the BFI on Monday (January 25th), he said that he always thought a bus tour of the locations seen in the movie “might be fun” and was pleased that he had the opportunity to realise it.

Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellen To Become A London Bus Tour Guide

Ian Mckellen: 'Gay Actors Are Shunned At Oscars Too'

Ian McKellen Will Smith

The Lord of the Rings star was asked during a TV interview about the recent furore over the 2016 Academy Awards after several stars criticised organisers because no black actors were nominated for the major honours.

He responded by admitting he has a lot of sympathy for any stars who feel they have been wrongly left off the shortlist, but he is adamant discrimination has long been a feature of Hollywood, with female stars and gay actors also shunned at awards ceremonies.

Sir Ian tells Sky News, "The Oscars have a very special place in the lives of American actors, even more so than here (in Britain). As a representation of the industry they are in, it's receiving complaints which I fully sympathise with. It's not only black people who have been disregarded by the film industry - it used to be women, it's certainly gay people to this day, and these are all legitimate complaints."

Continue reading: Ian Mckellen: 'Gay Actors Are Shunned At Oscars Too'

Press Launch Of BFI Presents Shakespeare On Film

Sir Ian McKellen - The press launch of BFI Presents Shakespeare on Film, with Ian McKellen at BFI Southbank. - London, United Kingdom - Monday 25th January 2016

Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen

British Stars To Honour William Shakespeare On Death Anniversary

David Tennant Judi Dench Ian McKellen William Shakespeare

David will host a live U.K. TV gala celebrating the life and work of Shakespeare in his hometown of Stratford-upon-Avon, England on 23 April (16), the day on which the Bard was born and died.

The Shakespeare-based variety show, organised by the BBC and The Royal Shakespeare Company, will feature stars including Dame Judi and Ian as David pays tribute.

Joseph Fiennes, who played the literature icon in the Oscar-winning film Shakespeare In Love, will also appear at the event alongside musicians and dance groups.

Continue reading: British Stars To Honour William Shakespeare On Death Anniversary

Ian Mckellen Starts Following Zac Efron On Twitter

Zac Efron Ian McKellen Leonardo Dicaprio

The High School Musical star is clearly in awe of the British film legend, who won legions of new fans as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit franchises. And it seems the feeling is mutual, as Ian, 76, has started following 28-year-old Zac on Twitter.

"Holy $#!% did @IanMCKellen just follow me?" an overjoyed Zac tweeted.

The pair is yet to interact via social media, but fans will no doubt be keeping their eyes peeled for a conversation between the two stars.

Continue reading: Ian Mckellen Starts Following Zac Efron On Twitter

'A Christmas Carol' At The Noël Coward Theatre

Sir Ian McKellen - Jim Broadbent leaving The Noël Coward Theatre after performing in 'A Christmas Carol' - London, United Kingdom - Tuesday 5th January 2016

Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen

Ian Mckellen Caught Recycling Christmas Gifts

Ian McKellen

The veteran actor had a habit of storing items given by friends until the next holiday season, when he would hand them on as his own presents.

However, the Lord of The Rings star stopped handing out second-hand gifts after an embarrassing incident in which he gave a notebook back to a writer friend who had gifted it to him the previous year.

"I do have a drawer at home that I put gifts in, that I know I'm not really going to get much use out of, and then around about this time of year, I take them out... (It) is alright as long as you remember who gave it to you in the first place," Sir Ian tells U.K. chat show host Jonathan Ross.

Continue reading: Ian Mckellen Caught Recycling Christmas Gifts

Ian Mckellen Spills Insects On Lily James

Ian McKellen Lily James

Sir Ian and Lily were appearing as guests on the Jonathan Ross Show Christmas Special when the host presented the pair with an insect-based feast of sago worms, black ants, locusts, grasshoppers and mealworm hummus.

The Lord of the Rings star tucked into the three course meal and likened the experience to that of contestants on U.K. reality TV show I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!, who are often asked to eat insects as part of gruesome challenges.

However, when sampling a dish of ants, he accidentally knocked the critters into the unfortunate actress's lap.

Continue reading: Ian Mckellen Spills Insects On Lily James

Ian Mckellen Reluctantly Studied Beekeeping For Mr. Holmes Role

Ian McKellen

The X-Men star portrays an ageing version of legendary fictional detective Sherlock Holmes in the movie, in which his retired character becomes a professional apiculturist.

The British actor reveals he flat out refused to work with the insects when director Bill Condon first told him about his character's hobby, but film finances quickly forced Ian to rethink his position.

Discussing the movie at a recent question-and-answer session at New York literary organisation the Lotos Club, Sir Ian admitted, "Then they explained that this is an independent movie, which means a cheap movie... You can't have all the CGI (computer-generated imagery)!

Continue reading: Ian Mckellen Reluctantly Studied Beekeeping For Mr. Holmes Role

Park Theatre Annual Gala Dinner

Ian McKellen - Park Theatre Annual Gala Dinner at Stoke Newington Town Hall - Arrivals - London, United Kingdom - Thursday 12th November 2015

Ian Mckellen
Ian Mckellen
Ian Mckellen
Ian Mckellen
Ian Mckellen

Bloomberg Charity Day

Sir Ian McKellen - Bloomberg Tradebook Charity Day held at Bloomberg HQ, Finsbury Square. - London, United Kingdom - Wednesday 4th November 2015

Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen

BFI London Film Festival - Awards Ceremony

Sir Ian McKellen - 59th British Film Institute London Film Festival - Awards Ceremony - London, United Kingdom - Saturday 17th October 2015

Sir Ian Mckellen
Sir Ian Mckellen and Guest
Sir Ian Mckellen and Guest
Sir Ian Mckellen and Guest
Sir Ian Mckellen
Ian Mckellen

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Ian McKellen

Date of birth

25th May, 1939







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