Burnley, Lancashire, England, UK
Actor/Actress, Writer, Soundtrack
Has Detailed Data (New)
Bolton School, Lancashire, UK
BA English, St Catharine`s College, University of Cambridge
Full Name at Birth
Ian Murray McKellen
Monica Lewinsky, Rachel Weisz
Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939) is an English actor. He is the recipient of six 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. He has also received two Academy Award nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nominations. McKellen's work spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. His most well known film roles include Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies and Magneto in the X-Men films.
Profile Bio Text
Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939) is an English actor. He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, two Academy Award nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nominations. McKellen's work spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. His notable film roles include Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Magneto in the X-Men films, and Sir Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code.
McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1979, was knighted in 1991 for services to the performing arts, and was made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality, in the 2008 New Year Honours.
McKellen was born in Burnley, Lancashire, and was raised in Wigan, when his family moved there when he was 4 months old. Some modern day reports suggest he was brought up in Bolton, yet he lived there only from the age of 13. Born shortly before the outbreak of World War II, the experience had some lasting impact on him. In response to an interview question when an interviewer remarked that he seemed quite calm in the aftermath of the 11 September attacks, he said: "Well, darling, you forget—I slept under a steel plate until I was four years old."
McKellen's father, Denis Murray McKellen, was a civil engineer and lay preacher, and was of Scots-Irish and Scottish descent. Both of McKellen's grandfathers were preachers, and his great-great-grandfather, James McKellen, was a "strict, evangelical Protestant minister" in Ballymena, County Antrim. At the time of Ian's birth, his parents already had a five-year-old daughter, Jean. His home environment was strongly Christian, but non-orthodox. "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." When he was 12, his mother, Margery Lois (née Sutcliffe), died; his father died when he was 24. Of his coming out of the closet to his stepmother, Gladys McKellen, who was a member of the Religious Society of Friends, he said, "Not only was she not fazed, but as a member of a society which declared its indifference to people's sexuality years back, I think she was just glad for my sake that I wasn't lying anymore."
McKellen attended Bolton School (Boys' Division), of which he is still a supporter, attending regularly to talk to pupils. McKellen's acting career started at Bolton Little Theatre, of which he is now the patron. An early fascination with the theatre was encouraged by his parents, who took him on a family outing to Peter Pan at the Opera House in Manchester when he was three. When he was nine, his main Christmas present was a wood and bakelite, fold-away Victorian theatre from Pollocks Toy Theatres, with cardboard scenery and wires to push on the cut-outs of Cinderella and of Laurence Olivier's Hamlet.
His sister took him to his first Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, by the amateurs of Wigan's Little Theatre, shortly followed by their Macbeth and Wigan High School for Girls' production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, with music by Mendelssohn, with the role of Bottom played by Jean McKellen, who continued to act, direct, and produce amateur theatre up to her death.
When he was 18 years old, McKellen won a scholarship to St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where he read English literature.
McKellen with actors Billy Crudup and Patrick Stewart, at a September 24, 2013 press junket at Sardi's restaurant for Waiting for Godot and No Man's Land.
While at Cambridge McKellen was a member of the Marlowe Society, appearing in Henry IV (as Shallow) alongside Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi (March 1959), Cymbeline (as Posthumus, opposite Margaret Drabble as Imogen) and Doctor Faustus. His first professional appearance was in 1961 at the Nottingham Playhouse, as Roper in A Man for All Seasons, although an audio recording of the Marlowe Society's Cymbeline had gone on commercial sale as part of the Argo Shakespeare series.
After four years in regional repertory theatres he made his first West End appearance, in A Scent of Flowers, regarded as a "notable success". In 1965 he was a member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company at the Old Vic, which led to rôles at the Chichester Festival. In the 1970s and 1980s McKellen became a well-known figure in British theatre, performing frequently at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, where he played several leading Shakespearean roles, including the titular part in Macbeth (which he had first assayed for Trevor Nunn in a "gripping...out of the ordinary" production, with Judi Dench, at Stratford in 1976), and Iag
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Actor, Writer, Voice Artist
www.mckellen.com/, twitter.com/IanMcKellen, www.facebook.com/pages/Ian-McKellen/149264868600
Christopher Lee, Patrick Stewart
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
Independent Talent Group Ltd. (London)
Has a tattoo of the Elvish character for 9 on his upper arm
Orlando Bloom, Peter Jackson
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