IAN McKELLEN (Gandalf the Grey), born and raised in the
north of England, has been
honored with over 50 international acting awards during his more than half a
century on stage and
screen. He is beloved by fans worldwide as Magneto in the "X-Men" films and
Gandalf in "The
Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit" trilogies.
McKellen's performance as Gandalf the Grey in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of
The Fellowship of the Ring" brought him an Academy Award nomination for Best
Actor and a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Award.
He received his first Academy Award nomination, for Best Actor, for his
of gay film director James Whale, in Bill Condon's 1998 classic "Gods and
In 1995, McKellen starred to acclaim as Richard III, in his own
Shakespeare's play, which he also produced. Other film credits include Michael
Mann's "The Keep,"
Fred Schepisi' "Plenty" and "Six Degrees of Separation," John Schlesinger's
Farm," Sean Mathias' "Bent" and Ron Howard's "The Da Vinci Code." Next, he will
play a 93 year
old Sherlock Holmes in "A Slight Trick of the Mind" again with director Bill
McKellen has also been honored for his extensive television work, from the
Prisoner" to his monumental performance in "King Lear": from his reincarnation
of Tsar Nicholas
II in the telefilm "Rasputin", to his classic guesting as himself in HBO's
On the first night of Channel 4 in UK, McKellen played a mentally handicapped
Stephen Frears' "Walter." He surprised everyone with his 10 episodes in UK's
soap, "Coronation Street," and in the new British/PBS sitcom "Vicious.", with
McKellen attended Cambridge University and, since 1961, has worked non-stop
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 his performances in "Macbeth" (1976-78), "The
"Bent" (1979), "Wild Honey" (1984), and "Richard III" (1990), as well as Evening
for his work in "Coriolanus" (1984) and "Othello" (1989), and for Outstanding
British Theatre (2009).
In 1981, he swept the Best Actor Awards, including the Tony, for his
portrayal of Salieri in
the Broadway production of Peter Shaffer's "Amadeus." For over a decade, he
toured his one-man
show, "Ian McKellen: Acting Shakespeare," through four continents, including
twice on Broadway.
In 2001 he returned to the New York stage in "Dance of Death," with Helen Mirren.
He is now
back with Patrick Stewart, and raves all round, jn a repertory of Pinter's "No
Man's Land" and
Beckett's "Waiting for Godot", at the Cort Theatre.
In 1991, Sir Ian was knighted for services to theatre in UK. He is a
co-founder of Stonewall
UK, which lobbies for legal and social equality for gay people. In 2008, the
appointed him Companion of Honour, for his services to drama and to equality.