IAN McKELLEN (Magneto) has been honored with over 50 international acting awards
during his half-century on stage and screen. He is treasured worldwide for his
roles as Magneto in the "X-Men" films and Gandalf in "The Lord of the Rings"
In "The Hobbit" he again plays Gandalf the Grey, which earned him an Academy
Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a Screen Actors' Guild Award in
Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." As Gandalf
the White, in the other two LOTR films, he shared the Screen Actors' Guild Award
for Best Motion Picture Cast.
For his role as the gay film director James Whale, in Bill Condon's "Gods and
Monsters" (1998), McKellen received his first Academy Award nomination, for Best
Actor, plus an Independent Spirit Award and a British Independent Film Award.
The same year, top critics' groups elected him Best Actor, as the Nazi-in-hiding
in Bryan Singer's "Apt Pupil." For McKellen's classic performance in Richard
Loncraine's "Richard III," which he produced and co-wrote, he was named 1996
European Actor of the Year.
McKellen's long list of film successes include "The Keep" (1983); "Plenty"
(1985); "Scandal" (1988); "Six Degrees of Separation" (1993); "Restoration"
(1995); "Bent" (1997); "Cold Comfort Farm" (1995) and "The Da Vinci Code"
McKellen is a five-time Emmy nominee, most recently for the PBS presentation of
his monumental "King Lear" (2008); the British miniseries "The Prisoner" (2009),
and his comic guest spot on "Extras" (2006), remembered for the viral
catch-phrase: "How do I act so well?" He earlier received a Golden Globe award
for his Tsar Nicholas II in the telefilm "Rasputin" (1996). McKellen is most
proud of his work as the mentally- handicapped "Walter" (1982 Royal Television
Award) in the "And the Band Played On" (1993 Cable Ace Award), about the origins
of AIDS, and a short spell in UK's longest-running soap "Coronation Street"
Born and raised in the north of England, McKellen attended Cambridge University
and since 1961 has worked non-stop in the British theatre. He has been leading
man and produced plays, modern and classic, for the Royal Shakespeare Company
and the National Theatre of Great Britain and in the West End of London. He has
won Olivier Awards for "Macbeth"(1976-78); "The Alchemist"(1977); "Bent" (1979);
"Wild Honey"(1984) and "Richard III"(1990): plus Evening Standard Awards for his
performances in "Coriolanus"(1984) and "Othello" (1989) and for Outstanding
Contribution to British Theatre (2009).
In 1981, McKellen won every available award, including a Tony for Best Actor, as
Salieri in the Broadway production of Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus." He appeared on
the New York stage in "Dance of Death" (2001) with Helen Mirren. For over a
decade, he toured his solo entertainment "Ian McKellen: Acting Shakespeare"
throughout four continents; the DVD of the show is widely viewed in schools and
McKellen astonished his fans as Widow Twankey in the Christmas pantomime at the
Old Vic in London (2004 and 2005) and in "Waiting for Godot" (2009), with
Patrick Stewart, he broke all box-office records in London and on UK and world
tours. McKellen and Stewart recently reunited for their Broadway repertory
productions of Harold Pinter's "No Man's Land" and "Waiting for Godot."
In 1991 McKellen was knighted, for his outstanding contribution to theatre. He
is co-founder of Stonewall UK, which lobbies for legal and social equality for
gay people. In 2008, the Queen personally appointed him Companion of Honour for
his services to drama and to equality.
Complete professional credits and personal writings are on