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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.
Ian McKellen wanted to respect Richard Harris by turning down Harry Potter role.
Fans of both Harry Potter and Ian McKellen will be aggrieved to learn that the actor was actually considered for the role of Professor Dumbledore following the death of Richard Harris, but he turned it down because the latter didn't like him very much.
Ian McKellen waves at 'Beauty and the Beast' premiere
Despite the fact that we can't understand why anyone wouldn't adore Sir Ian McKellen, it seems that his late contemporary Richard Harris wasn't his biggest fan. In an interview on the BBC program 'HARDtalk', he spoke about the situation in front of an audience at the BBC Radio Theatre.
Continue reading: Why Did Ian McKellen Decline The Invitation To Play Dumbledore?
This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to give the story a photo-realistic sheen. The addition of more songs makes it feel much more like a big movie musical. And the use of real actors adds quite a lot of detail and subtext in the character interaction. But basically, this is still the same romantic fairy tale: lovely to look as it makes the audience swoon and sigh.
It's set in a French village, where Belle (Emma Watson) is looked at with suspicion by her neighbours for her empowered-female ways, reading books, expressing her opinions and running the farm where she lives with her single dad Maurice (Kevin Kline). It's no wonder that the vain soldier Gaston (Luke Evans) pursues her, since she's the only girl who isn't chasing him. Then one day Maurice and Belle have a fateful encounter with a castle hidden in a deep woods under a curse. Imprisoned by its beastly master (Dan Stevens), Belle befriends the staff, who have been transformed into household objects like a lampstand (Ewan McGregor), clock (Ian McKellen), teapot (Emma Thompson), harpsichord (Stanley Tucci) and feather duster (Gugu Mbatha-Raw). All of them conspire to help Belle fall in love with the Beast, which would break the spell.
Director Bill Condon (who made Dreamgirls and the final Twilight movies) makes the most of the live-action cast, allowing them to stir all kinds of undercurrents into their roles, which adds weight and interest to the rather predictable storyline. The film still looks largely animated thanks to an extensive use of digital backgrounds and characters, but the actors add an earthy tone that breaks the surface, bringing in some more textured emotions and sharper humour. The whole cast is excellent, with particular scene-stealing energy coming from Evans and Josh Gad (as his super-faithful sidekick LeFou), who are both funny and villainous at the same time. And Kline is also a standout for a surprisingly thoughtful performance.
Continue reading: Beauty And The Beast Review
The late singer just couldn’t commit to the trilogy.
There have always been rumours that David Bowie was nearly in Lord of the Rings, but now we have confirmation from one of the trilogy’s casting directors.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, casting director Amy Hubbard confirmed that it was David Bowie who director Peter Jackson originally wanted to play Gandalf, but the singer was sadly too busy.
David Bowie could have been Gandalf in LOTR
Continue reading: David Bowie Was Just Too Busy To Play Gandalf In 'Lord Of The Rings'
According to the actor “Gandalf doesn’t do weddings,” no matter how much is offered.
Lord Of The Rings star Sir Ian McKellen was once offered one million pounds to dress as Gandalf and officiate at a wedding. The actor, who conducted the civil wedding of best friend Sir Patrick Stewart and fiancée Sunny Ozell in 2013, says he turned down the generous offer because 'Gandalf doesn’t do weddings’.
Ian McKellen won’t officiate your wedding dressed as Gandalf, no matter how rich you are
Speaking to the Mail on Sunday, McKellen said: “I was offered one-and- a-half million dollars to marry a very famous couple in California, which I would perhaps have considered doing but I had to go dressed as Gandalf.
His work lives on 400 years after his death.
To commemorate the 400th anniversary of the death of the world's most renowned playwright William Shakespeare, we reflect on the best interpretations of his work that have ever hit the big screen. From all Kenneth Branagh's flawless performances to Baz Luhrmann's brave modern adaptation, these are simply the best moments of Shakespeare in cinema.
'Henry V' was Kenneth Branagh's directorial debut
1. Henry V (1989): Kenneth Branagh's directorial debut and a career he never looked back from since, 'Henry V' was followed by 'Much Ado About Nothing', 'Hamlet' and 'Love's Labour's Lost'. Branagh has starred in every Shakespeare film he's directed apart from 'As You Like It', and directed every Shakespearean film he's ever starred in apart from 'Othello'. 'Henry V' won Best Costume Design at the Oscars, with nominations for Best Director and Actor.
Smith took home the best original song award for 'Spectre' theme ‘Writings On The Wall’.
Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black gave Sam Smith a very public reminder that he’s not the first openly gay person to win an Oscar, after the singer made the faux pas during his acceptance speech at Sunday night’s ceremony. Black, who won an Oscar for best original screenplay in 2009 for Milk, tweeted Smith after his speech, also telling the singer to stop texting his fiancé, British diver Tom Daley.
Sam Smith and ‘Writings On The Wall’ co-writer Jimmy Napes.
“Hey @SamSmithWorld, if you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé,” Black tweeted, while also including a link to a video of his 2009 win.
They're all openly gay, but you might not know it with some of them.
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.
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:
The stage and screen legend urged other gay actors to reveal their sexuality to the world.
Sir Ian McKellen returned to his school in Bolton to spread the message of the gay rights organisation Stonewall, and to offer some words of encouragement to the pupils of his alma mater.
The 76 year old acting legend recalled how hard it could be at school for people singled out as being different. He remembered his own experience of being gay at school, with the added difficulty of homosexuality being illegal at that time. He added that absolutely anybody could be picked on for being different for any reason at all, and encouraged pupils to celebrate those differences.
Sir Ian McKellen returned to his former school to deliver a speech to the pupils
Continue reading: Sir Ian McKellen Talks Discrimination And LGBT Rights
Imelda Staunton received the UK Theatre Award for Best Musical Performance on Sunday (18th October).
Imelda Staunton has won a UK Theatre Award for her performance in Gypsy. Staunton received the award for Best Musical Performance at the UK Theatre Awards 2015 at London’s Guildhall on Sunday (18th October).
Imelda Staunton at the 2015 BAFTA Ceremony in London, February 2015.
Continue reading: Imelda Staunton Wins UK Theatre Award For Her Performance In ‘Gypsy’
McKellen was temporarily staying in Peter Jackson's NY apartment when Swift bought it last year.
He may recently have become a member of her squad along with Sir Patrick Stewart and was seen as part of a mash-up viral video of celebs miming along to 'Shake It Off'', but Sir Ian McKellen has suggested that there could be some bad blood between himself and Taylor Swift, after he said in a new interview that he was “thrown out” of a New York apartment in which he was staying.
Swift bought a property in the well-heeled Tribeca area in the Big Apple back in March 2014, from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson for $19.95 million. It turns out that the legendary actor was living there temporarily at the time and was unceremoniously turfed out!
Sir Ian McKellen
Date of birth
25th May, 1939
RT @ScottyMcGlynn: Fighting against #LGBT cyber-bullying ! Thank you for everyones support and messages, Lets spread the word #RT #News htt…
no comment https://t.co/cr5cE5y7Ko
Video highlights of my visit to Turkey: https://t.co/fHae5OtSBc
Still a few seats left for my Q&A: https://t.co/uLlbT9A2Oq https://t.co/zaTNgrTQ2F
RT @Variety: .@IanMcKellen, Jackie Stevenson, & Gary Reich discuss why brands are focusing on diversity issues #sponsor @PwC_TMT https://t.…
Full casting announced for King Lear with Ian McKellen - https://t.co/PXHqhQZ1O2 https://t.co/TvK54LENYa
RT @Miramax: #ThursdayThoughts @IanMcKellen stars in #MrHolmes. https://t.co/62zLH2H6JD
RT @EmmaWatson: Reward for information leading to return of rings lost Sunday 16th July at Mandarin Oriental spa, London: https://t.co/w9EH…
RT @mcashmanCBE: Please vote for me if you want LP conference to tackle the big issues facing our country. Check your email for your ballot…
RT @BFI: We welcome @IanMcKellen to BFI Southbank for a special screening of Edward II, featuring British TV’s first gay kiss https://t.co/…
Ian McKellen and Maggie Smith are Living Their Best Lives at Wimbledon https://t.co/3ukUtrhHbj via @people https://t.co/IozmEJ4Ncx
@chipondene Thanks, I've sent a DM. Please let me know if you did not get it.
RT @dkwinterfeldt: Epic one man show w/icon and fellow @AlbertKennedyTr patron @IanMcKellen "Shakespeare, Tolkien, Others & You" Great end…
RT @BritLGBTAwards: #LoveHappensHere 🏳️🌈 Thanks to @IanMcKellen, @mcashmanCBE & others for founding @stonewalluk in 1989 to help the figh…
RT @EmmaDixon_EU: This amazing speech, attributed to Shakespeare, was the moving finale of a wonderful night @ParkTheatre with @IanMcKellen…
Only a few seats left for Sunday night, last chance to see me (and a certain Glamdring) @ParkTheatre… https://t.co/oGtSRAYYzE
A rare item at auction; custom crew jacket for X-MEN 2. I signed it to support events honoring Stan Lee. Bid now!… https://t.co/pi94Qru2e5
Gallery: Ian McKellen at the Park Theatre https://t.co/fYXQWZqAOx
My first review: https://t.co/eZeq7FpDZN
EXTRA PERFORMANCE added and a few tix released for the previously sold out shows. See you at Park Theatre?… https://t.co/razNXKXOfi
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