[34], In October 2017, McKellen played King Lear at Chichester Festival Theatre, a role which he said was likely to be his "last big Shakespearean part". — Ian McKellen (@IanMcKellen) December 17, 2020. Widely regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors both in his native Great Britain and internationally, twice nominated for the Oscar and recipient of every major theatrical award in the UK and US, Ian Murray McKellen was born on May 25, 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire, England, to Margery Lois (Sutcliffe) and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer and lay preacher. During a 17 May 2006 interview on The Today Show with the Da Vinci Code cast and director, Matt Lauer posed a question to the group about how they would have felt if the film had borne a prominent disclaimer that it is a work of fiction, as some religious groups wanted. [94], A cricket fan since childhood, McKellen umpired in March 2011 for a charity cricket match in New Zealand to support earthquake victims of the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.[95][96]. With the Prospect Theatre Company, McKellen made his breakthrough performances of Richard II (directed by Richard Cottrell) and Marlowe's Edward II (directed by Toby Robertson) at the Edinburgh festival in 1969, the latter causing a storm of protest over the enactment of the homosexual Edward's lurid death.[30]. Ian McKellen, however, who previously worked with Page on X-Men: The Last Stand, has now admitted disappointment in himself for not realizing they were struggling with their identity at … [73] He is also an Emeritus Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford. McKellen's acting career started at Bolton Little Theatre, of which he is now the patron. In 2006, he became a patron of Oxford Pride, stating: I send my love to all members of Oxford Pride, their sponsors and supporters, of which I am proud to be one... Onlookers can be impressed by our confidence and determination to be ourselves and gay people, of whatever age, can be comforted by the occasion to take the first steps towards coming out and leaving the closet forever behind. McKellen agreed, but wrote, "Fuck off, I'm gay. [26][43] As executive producer he returned his £50,000 fee to complete the filming of the final battle. [60], McKellen and his first partner, Brian Taylor, a history teacher from Bolton, began their relationship in 1964. If you don’t recall, Ian and Elliot starred together in X … Section 28 was, however, enacted and remained on the statute books until 2000 in Scotland and 2003 in England and Wales. Ian McKellen Prostate Cancer (2008) Ian McKellen Dead, the death of Lord of the Rings actor. He left the group in 1974 to join the Royal Shakespeare Company at the invitation of Barton. [83] McKellen is also patron of LGBT History Month,[84] Pride London, Oxford Pride, GAY-GLOS, LGBT Foundation,[85] and FFLAG where he appears in their video "Parents Talking". McKellen’s other movie credits included the X-Men series (2000, 2003, 2006, 2014), in which he was cast as supervillain Magneto, and The Da Vinci Code (2006). [64] In the late 1980s, he lost his appetite for every kind of meat but fish, and has since followed a mainly pescetarian diet. In a new interview with … He received Laurence Olivier Awards for his work in the London stagings of such plays as Bent (1979), Wild Honey (1984), and Richard III (1991). The celebrated British … Ian McKellen stars as D.H. Lawrence, the controversial British writer, and Janet Suzman is his wife in Filmways Pictures dramatic and remarkable love story, "Priest of Love. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). McKellen attended St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where as a student actor he was often directed by John Barton, later of the Royal Shakespeare Company. [51] McKellen responded, "I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying 'This is fiction.' Sir Ian Murray McKellen CH CBE (born 25 May 1939) is an English actor. A versatile actor, McKellen played a range of characters from Shakespearean to contemporary, and many roles (in plays by such authors as Anton Chekhov, Frank Wedekind, and others) in between. While McKellen had made his sexual orientation known to fellow actors early on in his stage career, it was not until 1988 that he came out to the general public, in a programme on BBC Radio. I mean, walking on water? [68] In 2012, he stated on his blog that "There is no cause for alarm. [86], In 1994, at the closing ceremony of the Gay Games, he briefly took the stage to address the crowd, saying, "I'm Sir Ian McKellen, but you can call me Serena": This nickname, given to him by Stephen Fry, had been circulating within the gay community since McKellen's knighthood was conferred. The BBC states that his "performances have guaranteed him a place in the canon of English stage and film actors". Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, 8.7.2010", "Ian Mckellen reads 'Falling Out of Reach, "Scissor Sisters collaborate with Ian McKellen: Lord of the Rings actor appears on final track of Scissor Sisters' long-awaited third album, Night Work", "Sir Ian McKellen totally outshines George Ezra in Listen to the Man video", Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production, British Independent Film Award for Best Actor, Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, San Sebastián International Film Festival, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play, Drama League's Distinguished Performance Award, Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor, Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Television, Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead, Laurence Olivier Award for Best Comedy Performance, London Film Critics' Circle Award for British Actor of the Year, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, National Board of Review Award for Best Actor, Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor, San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role, Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ian_McKellen&oldid=1001831636, 2012 Summer Olympics cultural ambassadors, Alumni of St Catharine's College, Cambridge, Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe (television) winners, Commanders of the Order of the British Empire, English people of Ulster-Scottish descent, European Film Award for Best Actor winners, Fellows of St Catherine's College, Oxford, Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead winners, LGBT rights activists from the United Kingdom, Members of the Order of the Companions of Honour, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Screen Actors Guild Award winners, Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role Screen Actors Guild Award winners, Pages containing London Gazette template with parameter supp set to y, CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown, Wikipedia articles with BIBSYS identifiers, Wikipedia articles with CINII identifiers, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with PLWABN identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, In 1987, McKellen appeared reciting Shakespeare while rock group, The man who's "falling out of reach" in the music video ", This page was last edited on 21 January 2021, at 15:41. "[14] When an interviewer remarked that he seemed quite calm in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks, McKellen said: "Well, darling, you forget—I slept under a steel plate until I was four years old.”[15], McKellen's father was a civil engineer[16] and lay preacher, and was of Protestant Irish and Scottish descent. While every effort has been made to follow citation style rules, there may be some discrepancies. McKellen was nominated by London's Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf, who said he was chosen as he was an "exceptional actor" and "tireless campaigner for equality". He was honoured by the organisation in 2012[98] and hosted their annual Make Believe on Broadway Gala in November 2013. In 2006, McKellen spoke at the pre-launch of the 2007 LGBT History Month in the UK, lending his support to the organisation and its founder, Sue Sanders. [26] He later reprised his role of Magneto in 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past, sharing the role with Michael Fassbender, who played a younger version of the character in 2011's X-Men: First Class. All three actors gave their time free of charge. Ian McKellen looks shorter then Fassbender and doesn't look 3 inches taller then Patrick Stewart. In November 2013, McKellen appeared in the Doctor Who 50th anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot. McKellen later reprised the role of Gandalf in a series of films (2012, 2013, 2014) based on Tolkien’s The Hobbit (1937). [102], A friend of Ian Charleson and an admirer of his work, McKellen contributed an entire chapter to For Ian Charleson: A Tribute. Ian McKellen is an English stage and screen actor. They lived in London, where McKellen continued to pursue his career as an actor. [4][5] He started his professional career in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of their highly regarded repertory company. They lived there until Ian was twelve years old, before relocating to Bolton in 1951, after his father had been promoted. McKellen received a 2007 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor – Comedy Series nomination for his performance. The 81 … Omissions? In 1965, McKellen made his first West End appearance. [104][105] He also took part in the 2012 Summer Paralympics opening ceremony in London as Prospero from Shakespeare's The Tempest. [99] He garnered publicity for the organisation by stripping down to his Lord of the Rings underwear on stage. In 1969, he was invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company to play the lead parts in Shakespeare's Richard II and Marlowe's Edward II, and he firmly established himself as one of the country's foremost classical actors. [97] Only Make Believe creates and performs interactive plays in children's hospitals and care facilities. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Ian McKellen as Magneto. While in New Zealand filming The Hobbit in 2012, he announced a special New Zealand tour "Shakespeare, Tolkien, and You! The film was a critical success. At that young age he was already giving performances that have since become legendary such as his Justice Shallow in Henry IV alongside Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi (March 1959), Cymbeline (as Posthumus, opposite Margaret Drabble as Imogen) and Doctor Faustus. [51] McKellen appeared in the 2006 BBC series of Ricky Gervais' comedy series Extras, where he played himself directing Gervais' character Andy Millman in a play about gay lovers. [27] In 1965 he was a member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, which led to roles at the Chichester Festival. And I have faith in this movie—not that it's true, not that it's factual, but that it's a jolly good story." He is the recipient of seven Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and two Critics' Choice Awards. From Sidney Poitier to Star Trek, pack your bags and journey to Hollywood in this study of movie stars. "My upbringing was of low nonconformist Christians who felt that you led the Christian life in part by behaving in a Christian manner to everybody you met. A six-episode second series began airing in June 2015.[53][54]. "Photo measures 8 x 10.5inches. The two remained friends, with Mathias later directing McKellen in Waiting for Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2009. [47], While filming the first X-Men film in 1999, McKellen was cast as the wizard Gandalf in Peter Jackson's three-film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (consisting of The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003) ). After receiving a bachelor’s degree in 1961, McKellen made his professional debut in Robert Bolt’s A Man for All Seasons. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. Through Charity", "Ian McKellen Strips To His Undies at the Only Make Believe Gala", "Sir Ian McKellen on fundraising for the Isaac Theatre Royal", "Ian McKellen at Park Theatre review: the secret of his success is not lofty knightliness but spry mateyness", “Actor Josh Gad reunites stars of "Lord of the Rings" while raising money for kids in need”, "How to deal with the very worst concert nuisances", "Verdi, La traviata: Soloists, chorus and orchestra of the Royal Opera House. The documentary explores McKellen's life and career as an actor. [13] Shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, his family moved to Wigan. He earned another Oscar nomination (for supporting actor) for his work in the 2001 film. [10], McKellen was born on 25 May 1939 in Burnley, Lancashire,[11][12] the son of Margery Lois (née Sutcliffe) and Denis Murray McKellen. "[80] McKellen described Howard's junior ministers, Conservatives David Wilshire and Dame Jill Knight, who were the architects of Section 28, as the 'ugly sisters' of a political pantomime.[81]. In 1958, McKellen, at the age of 18, won a scholarship to St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where he read English literature. Ian McKellen full list of movies and tv shows in theaters, in production and upcoming films. ", with proceeds going to help save the Isaac Theatre Royal, which suffered extensive damage during the 2011 Christchurch earthquake. Ian McKellen Says He Is ‘So Happy’ Elliot Page Came out as Transgender. He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including the titular King in Richard III (1995), James Whale in Gods and Monsters (1998), Magneto in the X-Men films, and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. Ian McKellen is an English Actor well known for his stage acting roles in Shakespeare’s plays, science fiction, and fantasy movies. Though his interpretations were frequently controversial, his immense talent for acting was unquestionable. Corrections? [63], McKellen is an atheist. [61] Their relationship lasted for eight years, ending in 1972. Greg said on 9/Sep/13 If Patrick stewart is listed at 5'8", which seems about right, probably no less, McKellen must be about 5'11" at least, probably closer to … He later played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002, 2003), a film trilogy based on J.R.R. In 2003, McKellen made a guest appearance as himself on the American cartoon show The Simpsons in a special British-themed episode entitled "The Regina Monologues", along with the then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and author J. K. Rowling. In 2003, during an appearance on Have I Got News For You, McKellen claimed when he visited Michael Howard, then Environment Secretary (responsible for local government), in 1988 to lobby against Section 28, Howard refused to change his position but did ask him to leave an autograph for his children. He has also received nominations for two Academy Awards, five Primetime Emmy Awards, and four BAFTAs. McKellen, who was homosexual, was a noted gay rights activist. [26][78] McKellen has stated that he was influenced in his decision by the advice and support of his friends, among them noted gay author Armistead Maupin. "[20] His great-great-grandfather Robert J. Lowes was an activist and campaigner in the ultimately successful campaign for a Saturday half-holiday in Manchester, the forerunner to the modern five-day work week, thus making Lowes a "grandfather of the modern weekend". [84] In 2007, he became a patron of The Albert Kennedy Trust, an organisation that provides support to young, homeless and troubled LGBT people.[83]. In addition to his stage work, McKellen appeared in a number of motion pictures, notably a film version of David Hare’s Plenty (1985) and Richard III (1995), an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play that is set in a fictionalized version of England in the 1930s; McKellen also cowrote the screenplay. McKellen has continued to be very active in LGBT rights efforts. Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart's Relationship Explained Garry O'Connor explores the fascinating friendship in his new book, Ian McKellen: A Biography . Page, who recently came out as transgender, worked alongside McKellen in ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ and ‘X-Men: Days of Future Past.’. Tolkien’s epic fantasy (1954–55). [101], Together with a number of his Lord of the Rings co-stars (plus writer Philippa Boyens and director Peter Jackson), on 1 June 2020 McKellen joined Josh Gad's YouTube series Reunited Apart which reunites the cast of popular movies through video-conferencing, and promotes donations to non-profit charities. Sir Ian McKellen is one of the most high-profile gay public figures in Britain. [67], McKellen was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006. Ian McKellen further added that he is very happy for his X-Men co-star Elliot Page and is disappointed in himself that he wasn’t able to detect what Elliot Page’s difficulty was with communicating, back in the days. He was their second child, with a sister, Jean, five years his senior. He narrated Richard Bell's film Eighteen as a grandfather who leaves his World War II memoirs on audio-cassette for his teenage grandson. This article was most recently revised and updated by, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ian-McKellen, Ian McKellen - Student Encyclopedia (Ages 11 and up). Page, the Oscar-nominated star of films such as Juno and Inception, had in December 2020 came out as a transgender in a statement posted on Twitter.. McKellen was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours. [66], McKellen has a tattoo of the Elvish number nine, written using J. R. R. Tolkien's constructed script of Tengwar, on his shoulder in reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings and the fact that his character was one of the original nine companions of the Fellowship of the Ring. He achieved wor… [71], McKellen was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by Cambridge University on 18 June 2014. [88], McKellen has taken his activism internationally, and caused a major stir in Singapore, where he was invited to do an interview on a morning show and shocked the interviewer by asking if they could recommend him a gay bar; the programme immediately ended. He also directed several plays and wrote and performed a one-man show called Acting Shakespeare. The 81-year-old actor states he is “so happy” for his fellow “X-Men” star who in December revealed they are transgender. Britannica now has a site just for parents! NHS England said in a press release that McKellen, 81, formed one of the first "eligible groups" for the vaccine, which is being rolled out to people over the age 80, health care workers and care home residents. 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