Ian Mckellen

Biography

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.

Ian McKellen: 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.

Ian McKellen: 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.

Ian McKellen: 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.
Read More

Film Franchises That Go On Forever

31st July 2014 -

 News

The Hobbit trilogy has been criticised by some viewers for having too little content spread too thinly over the course of too many films. Originally, the idea was to split the 1937 J. R. R....

Middle Earth is Ravaged By War in 'The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies' [Trailer + Pictures]

29th July 2014 -

 News

As promised by the release of Smaug from Eribor, war has descended upon Middle Earth and threatens to strip landscape of peace, serenity and beauty. The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies finally has...

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies

29th July 2014 -

 Video

Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the mini-army of dwarves led by Thorin are facing an evermore deadly path in their pursuit of the Lonely Mountain and its mound of treasure which was stolen from the dwarves...

'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies' Gets a Facebook Photo Tease

22nd July 2014 -

 News

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ won’t be out for another 6 months, which means it’s just the right time to start dripping teaser photos, trailer snippets and plot bytes to keep Tolkienites’...

Why Daniel Day-Lewis Deserves His Knighthood

23rd June 2014 -

 News

Few actors impart an intensity and dedication to the process of characterization as relentlessly as Daniel Day-Lewis. The 57 year-old occupies a position in the acting world that accumulates esteem akin to the likes of...

X-men: Days of Future Past

24th May 2014 -

 Movie Review

Continuing to be the most original and resonant of the Marvel superhero franchises, the X-men return in the capable hands of director Bryan Singer, who again stirs plenty of meaty subtext beneath the thrilling action....

With 95%, 'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Is The Best X-Men Movie. Period.

22nd May 2014 -

 News

The early reviews of X-Men: Days of Future Past were potentially damaging. There was talk of the narrative being far too complex for the average movie fan to enjoy and many were suggesting Bryan Singer...

'X-Men: Days of Future Past' Navigates Complicated Plot and Entertains, Say Critics

13th May 2014 -

 News

Professor X, Mystique, Magneto, Kitty Pryde and Wolverine are back, but this time the latter is trying to convince X-Men from the past to help stop a war that is going to occur in the...

X-Men: Days of Future Past

7th May 2014 -

 Video

The world is verging on an apocalyptic disaster as the mutants continue to engage in vicious battles with only one possible outcome - their extinction. Unfortunately, any chance of saving the world from its oncoming...

X-Men: Days Of Future Past

22nd April 2014 -

 Video

The mutants of the world are quickly dwindling in their numbers, tearing each other apart until they are almost wiped out. Two of the wisest X-Men of the universe, Charles Xavier and Magneto, must now...

Inside 'Days of Future Past', "Now I Really Feel I'm Making an X-Men Movie"

10th April 2014 -

 News

Fox has released the X-Men: Days of Future Past behind-the-scenes featurette as it prepares its promotional material ahead of the movie's release on May 23. Mainly featuring Bryan Singer explaining his reasons for getting back...

New 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' Poster Released: Are You Excited Yet? [Trailer]

7th April 2014 -

 News

Twentieth Century Fox has debuted a new poster for the upcoming comic book adaptation sequel, X-Men Days of Future Past. The dramatic new image features Ellen Page, Shawn Ashmore, Daniel Cudmore, and Fan Bingbing alongside...

What Would 'Harry Potter' Have Been Like With This Alternative Cast?

19th February 2014 -

 News

There’s a generation out there who have been practically weened on Harry Potter. The books and the films have become a religion for devout fans of the series, but would it have been the same...

Sir Ian McKellen Joins 27 Nobel Laureates In Open Letter To President Vladimir Putin Protesting Russia's Anti-Gay Law

15th January 2014 -

 News

Russia's anti-gay laws are not sitting well with some of the brightest minds in the world.27 Nobel laureates have joined British actor Sir Ian Mckellen in writing an open letter to President Vladimir Putin to...

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

12th December 2013 -

 Movie Review

With wittier action and a few more sharply defined characters, this second episode in Peter Jackson's trilogy is more engaging than the somewhat over-packed An Unexpected Journey. Once again, the key to enjoying the film...

Damian Lewis Apologises To Ian McKellen For Fruity Wizard Comments

12th December 2013 -

 News

Damian Lewis has been compelled to apologise to fellow actor Ian McKellen after comments he made saying he did not want to end up a "fruity actor" who is known for playing wizards.Damian Lewis Has...

Ian McKellen Warned Not To Visit Russia Over Gay Propaganda Laws

10th December 2013 -

 News

Sir Ian McKellen was told by the Foreign Office not to visit Russia over concerns that he may be subjected to scrutiny due to their anti-homosexuality laws.The country, which is ruled over by President Vladimir...

Can 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' Succeed Where It's Predecessor Failed? Review Round-Up

9th December 2013 -

 News

Having narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and an innumeral amount of orcs, Bilbo Baggins, still in the company of Gandalf and the Dwarves of Erebor, continues his adventure...

In 'Probably' His Last Outing, Sir Ian McKellen Stuns in Broadway's 'No Man's Land'

25th November 2013 -

 News

Ian McKellen has suggested that his current Broadway show - a double bill of Samuel Beckett'sWaiting for Godotand Harold Pinter'sNo Man's Landwith Patrick Stewart - could well be his last appearance on the famous stages...

Did 'Thor 2' Make Our Top 10 Best Marvel Movies?

6th November 2013 -

 News

With the release of Thor: The Dark World in the U.S. this week, we thought we'd take a look back into Marvel's movie history and put together a list of its Top 10 finest moments....

Should Hugh Jackman Adopt his Wolverine Guise Yet Again?

6th November 2013 -

 News

Many actors have roles that define their careers. So far, Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry Potter is still his most recognisable work; Roger Moore will always be known as James Bond and Christopher Reeve just is Superman....

Hobbit Fans Get Treat as Extra Long 'Desolation of Smaug' Trailer Hits

5th November 2013 -

 News

Ahead of the second film in Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy’s release, an extended, for-the-fans trailer has been released, giving us a better look at the Desolation of Smaug, which will hit cinemas this December.Martin Freeman...

'X-Men: Days of Future Past,' Different Generations of Superheroes Combine [Trailer + Pictures]

1st November 2013 -

 News

Following a nastily short, nevertheless exciting, six-second teaser trailer released last week, we finally have a longer trailer to whet our comic book appetites. The emotive, epic trailer for X-Men: Days of Future Past sets...

Patrick Stewart's Lobster Halloween Costume is THE BEST of 2013

31st October 2013 -

 News

Game over. Go home all you Walter Whites, all you Miley Cyrus's. The game is up. Patrick Stewart's Lobster costume for Halloween is the best celebrity outfit for 2013. Happy Halloween. pic.twitter.com/ugLBMzAeNF— Patrick Stewart (@SirPatStew)...

X-Men: Days of Future Past

31st October 2013 -

 Video

In a post-apocalyptic world where mutants are now scarce, Charles Xavier must convince Wolverine to travel back in time to warn Xavier's younger self about their impending disaster-struck world. Magneto is also united with his...

'X-Men: Day Of Future Past' Trailer Shows Sequel To Be A Time Travel Epic

30th October 2013 -

 News

The official trailer for the sequel to the 2011 'X-Men First Class' has been released online. 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past' sees the return of the film franchise's biggest characters and includes a few new...

First Official Trailer For 'X Men: Days Of Future Past' Hints At Herculean Heroism In What Could Be The Next Great Comic Book Movie [Trailer]

29th October 2013 -

 News

X-Men: Days of Future Past won't be out until May next year, but after you see the first trailer for it you'll wish that you could jump forward and dive right into it now. In...

'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' New Trailer - Ready For More? [Trailer + Pictures]

2nd October 2013 -

 News

The second film in The Hobbit franchise The Desolation of Smaug has a brand new trailer, which sees the Elves and the Dwarves reluctantly unite, Bilbo Baggins captured by The Ring's power and the terrifying...

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

2nd October 2013 -

 Video

Bilbo Baggins has narrowly escaped several deadly confrontations with the likes of trolls, stone giants and countless orcs alongside his faithful wizard partner Gandalf and the hardy Dwarves of Erebor as they passed through the...

"Yes, Married." Sir Patrick Stewart Ties The Knot With Sir Ian McKellan As The Minister

10th September 2013 -

 News

In news that will hopefully make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, Sir Patrick Stewart has just gotten married – in a ball pit, if the picture he tweeted along with the brief announcement...

Back to top

Ian McKellen Images

More Ian McKellen Pictures

Back to top

Ian McKellen Newsletter

Subscribe to this news alert service to receive news and reviews on Ian McKellen

Unsubscribe | Unsubscribe All

Advertisement

Editors Recommendations

Prince Just Released Two Albums In One Day, What Are You Doing With Your LIfe?

Any Prince fans out there? The artist formerly known as The Artist Formerly...

Prince Just Released Two Albums In One Day, What Are You Doing With Your LIfe?

We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling Album Review

After endless touring, We Were Promised Jetpacks have finally got together, put some...

We Were Promised Jetpacks - Unravelling Album Review

The Pierces - Creation Album Review

The Pierces' 'Creation' is the least druggy drug album possibly ever recorded. Sisters Catherine and Allison set to work...

The Pierces - Creation Album Review

Lionsgate Will Reboot The Twilight Saga With Five Short Films By Aspiring Female Filmmakers

The Twilight Saga is set to return with five short films this year. No, no, no...

Lionsgate Will Reboot The Twilight Saga With Five Short Films By Aspiring Female Filmmakers

Joaquin Phoenix Is Joined By A First-Rate Cast In Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' [Trailer + Pictures]

Joaquin Phoenix once again demonstrates his extraordinary versatility as a...

Joaquin Phoenix Is Joined By A First-Rate Cast In Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' [Trailer + Pictures]

The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers Album Review

"I never met the old ones" goes the (pretty rubbish) joke that references the The New Pornographers...

The New Pornographers - Brill Bruisers Album Review
Advertisement

Liam Neeson Is On The Lamb In "Taken 3" [Trailer + Pictures]

Liam Neeson is back doing what he does best – kicking a** and taking names – in...

Liam Neeson Is On The Lamb In

Jamie T - Carry On The Grudge Album Review

'Carry On The Grudge' is the long awaited third studio album from Jamie T and marks a more downbeat sound...

Jamie T - Carry On The Grudge Album Review

Aretha Puts Diva On Top Of Diva

Known as one of music’s great divas herself, Aretha Franklin’s newest album of covers puts diva on top of diva...

Aretha Puts Diva On Top Of Diva


More recommendations

Comments