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X-MEN 2

IAN McKELLEN (Magneto) reprises his role as the strongest and most powerful mutant. X2 reunites McKellen and director Bryan Singer, with whom he previously collaborated on the 1998 film "Apt Pupil," as well as on "X-Men."

Last year, McKellen was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Gandalf the Grey in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." In September of 2001 he celebrated his fortieth anniversary as an actor with a return to Broadway, starring opposite Helen Mirren in Richard

Greenburg's new adaptation of Strindberg's "Dance of Death," directed by Sean Mathias. Recently, he was a guest "voice" on "The Simpsons."

McKellen, who was knighted in 1991 for his services to the performing arts, has been honored with more than thirty international awards for his performances on stage and latterly on screen. He won the Tony Award as Salieri in Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus" (1981); and an Emmy Award as Best Supporting Actor in HBO's "Rasputin" (1996).

He was European Actor of the Year for his screen version of "Richard III" (1996); and received Academy Award, Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild Award and Golden Satellite nominations for Best Actor for his portrayal of Hollywood director James Whale in Bill Condon's "Gods and Monsters" (1999).

McKellen's numerous motion picture credits also include "Swept From the Sea," "Bent," "Thin Ice," "Restoration," "Jack and Sarah," "The Shadow," "Cold Comfort Farm," "And the Band Played On" (for which he won a CableACE Award and received an Emmy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor), "Six Degrees of Separation," "Last Action Hero," "I'll Do Anything," "The Ballad of Little Jo," "Scandal," "Plenty," "Zina," "The Keep," "Walter," "Priest of Love," "The Promise," "Alfred the Great," "A Touch of Love/Thank You All Very Much" and "The Bells of Hell Go Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling."

McKellen was born in the industrial north of England on May 25, 1939, the son of a civil engineer. He first acted at school and at Cambridge University, where he studied English Literature and appeared in twenty-one undergraduate productions. Without any formal dramatic training, he made his professional debut in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry. Then, for three seasons, he worked his apprenticeship with other regional companies, culminating with the opening of the Nottingham Playhouse, where he was directed by his childhood hero, Tyrone Guthrie.

His first London appearance in "A Scent of Flowers" (1964) won him the Clarence Derwent Award and an invitation from Laurence Olivier to join his new National Theatre Company at the Old Vic Theatre. This was followed by two seasons with the touring Prospect Theatre, storming the 1969 Edinburgh Festival as Shakespeare's Richard II and Marlowe's Edward II. These played for two sell-out seasons in London and were televised, as well. His "Hamlet" followed, and established McKellen as one of the leading classical actors of his generation. In 1972, he co-founded the democratically run Actors' Company, which visited the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1974.

His work with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) at Stratford-upon

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