Happy birthday Sir Ian McKellen!


Sir Ian McKellen (born May 25, 1939) is a British actor. He has had a prolific stage career, mostly as a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and has appeared in such films as The Lord of the Rings trilogy, X-Men, and The Hobbit trilogy. He is also an LGBT activist.

young-ian-mckellenYoung Ian McKellen, source

McKellen was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England to Denis Murray and Margery Lois McKellen. McKellen took an early interest in theater, and began his career while attending the Bolton School. His family had encouraged his interest in theater, giving him a toy theater and taking him to see Peter Pan when he was a child. He won a scholarship to attend Cambridge University, and it was there that he first appeared onstage in Henry IV and Doctor Faustus. In 1961, he appeared in A Man for All Seasons.


McKellen became fairly well-known regionally, but it wasn't until he landed a part in A Scent of Flowers in London's West End that he garnered substantial notoriety. He then went on to appear in many Shakespearean roles with the Royal Shakespeare Theater during the 1970s, including as the title character in MacBeth and as Iago in Othello.


In 1969, McKellen played George Matthews in A Touch of Love, his first film part. But his film career didn't become as important until the 1990s, when he appeared in Six Degrees of Separation (1993),


Richard III (1995),


Apt Pupil (1998),


Gods and Monsters (1998),

and later in X-Men (2000) and its sequels.

In 1993, he appeared in the television film And the Band Played On, about the AIDS epidemic. He was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie and he won a CableACE Award for Supporting Actor in a Movie or Miniseries.

Soon he was cast in Peter Jackson's three-film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings. His portrayal of Gandalf earned him a Screen Actors Guild Award for best supporting actor and an Academy Award nomination. He has reprised the role for the follow-up trilogy The Hobbit, the first film of which premiered in December 2012.


In 2006, he appeared in The Da Vinci Code as Sir Leigh Teabing.

McKellen is gay and an LGBT activist, and has particupated in a numerous pride parades.

He has earned many awards and recognitions for his work on the stage and on screen, including being knighted in 1991 for his contributions to theater.


Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Sunday, 25 May 2014
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