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Ian McKellen

Mostly Credited As: Ian McKellen
Sometimes Credited As: Sir Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellan

Birth Name: Ian Murray McKellen
Date Of Birth: May 25, 1939 (Age 75)
Country Of Birth: United Kingdom
Birth Place: Burnley, Lancashire, England
Height: 5' 11" (1.8 m)

Ian McKellen


On May 25th, 1939, in the small town of Burnley in northern England, Ian Murray McKellen was born. His parents, Denis and Margery, soon moved with Ian and his sister Jean to the coal mining town of Wigan. It was in this small town that young Ian would ride out World War II. He soon developed a fascination with acting and the theater, which was encouraged by his parents. They would all bring him to plays, those by William Shakespeare in particular. The amateur school productions fostered Ian's growing passion for theatre. When Ian was of age to begin attending school, he made sure to get roles in all of the productions. At Bolton School in particular, he developed his skills early on. Indeed, his first role in a Shakespearian play was at Bolton, as Malvolio in Twelfth Night. Ian soon began attending Stratford-upon-Avon theater festivals, where he saw the greats perform: Olivier, Hiller, Gielgud, Richardson and Robeson. He continued his education in English Drama, but soon it fell by the wayside as he concentrated more and more on performing. He eventually obtained his Bachelor of Arts in 1961, and began his career in earnest. McKellen began working in theatre over the next few years. Very few people knew of Ian's homosexuality; he saw no reason to go public, nor had he told his family. They did not seem interested in the subject and so he saw no reason to bring it up. In 1988, Ian publicly came out of the closet on the BBC Radio 4 program, while discussing Margaret Thatcher's "section 28" legislation which would make the "public promotion of homosexuality" a crime. It was reason enough for McKellen to take a stand, and he has been active in the Gay Rights movement ever since.

Ian currently resides in Limehouse, where he lives with his partner, Sean Mathias. The two worked together on the film Bent (1997). To this day, McKellen works mostly in theater, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1990 for his efforts in the arts. However, he has managed to make several quite successful forays into film. He has appeared in several productions of Shakespeare's works including his well received Richard III (1995), and in a variety of other movies. However it has only been recently that his star has finally begun to shine in the eyes of North American audiences. Roles in various films: Cold Comfort Farm (1995) (TV), Apt Pupil (1998) and Gods and Monsters (1998), riveted audiences. The latter in particular created a sensation in Hollywood, and McKellen's role garnered him several of awards and nominations,including a Golden Globe and an Oscar nod. McKellen Continues to work extensively on stage... solidifying his role as Laurence Olivier's worthy successor, having recently scored hits in the London productions of Peter Pan and Noel Coward's Present Laughter.

Ian McKellen Ian McKellen Ian McKellen
TV Appearances

Main cast 
Vicious (2013)As: Freddie Thornhill
The Prisoner (2009) (2009)As: 2
Churchill (2003)As: Narrator -- [Voice]
David Copperfield (1999) (1999)As: Carkle
David Copperfield (1966) (1966)As: David Copperfield (as an adult)
Episode Cast Credits 

Sesame Street (1969) 
  Waiting for the Present 45x13: (Dec/16/2014) As Himself 

BBC Breakfast (2000) 
  December 3, 2014 15x337: (Dec/03/2014) As Himself 
  August 22, 2011 12x234: (Aug/22/2011) As Himself 

My Shakespeare (2014) 
  Christopher Plummer on King Lear 01x06: (Oct/27/2014) As Himself 

The British Soap Awards (1999) 
  2014 Soap Awards 01x16: (May/25/2014) As Himself 

The One Show (2006) 
  May 21, 2014 08x197: (May/21/2014) As Himself 
  April 15, 2010 04x189: (Apr/15/2010) As Himself 
  April 7, 2010 04x183: (Apr/07/2010) As Himself 
  December 18, 2008 03x107: (Dec/18/2008) As Himself 

The Paul O'Grady Show (2013) (2013) 
  Series 2, Episode 18 02x18: (May/21/2014) As Himself 

Alan Carr: Chatty Man (2009) 
  Ian McKellen, Nick Grimshaw, Kylie Minogue 12x08: (May/16/2014) As Himself 
  Gordon Ramsay, Ian McKellen, Miranda Hart, Kylie Minogue 09x14: (Dec/21/2012) As Himself 

X-Men: Days of Future Past Interview Special (2014) 
  Episode 1 01x01: (May/14/2014) As Himself, [Interviewees]

Lorraine (2010) 
  Series 4, Show 178 04x178: (May/13/2014) As Himself 
  Series 3, Show 141 03x141: (Mar/27/2013) As Himself 

Good Morning Britain (2014) 
  May 13, 2014 01x12: (May/13/2014) As Himself 

Late Night with Seth Meyers (2014) 
  Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Sophia Bush, Michael Che 01x05: (Feb/28/2014) As Himself, [Interviewees]

Live with Kelly & Michael (1983) 
  Ian McKellen, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje 32x120: (Feb/14/2014) As Himself, [Interviewees]

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (1996) 
  Ian McKellan 19x29: (Dec/02/2013) As Himself, [Interviewees]
  Ian McKellen 07x05: (Jan/15/2002) As Himself, [Interviewees]
  Ian McKellen 04x28: (Mar/08/1999) As Himself, [Interviewees]

Doctor Who (1963) (1963) 
  The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot (Nov/23/2013) As Himself 

Arena (UK) (1975) 
  The National Theatre (Part 2: War and Peace) 38x15: (Oct/31/2013) As Himself 

Muse of Fire: A Shakespearean Road Movie (2013) 
  Muse of Fire: A Shakesperean Road Movie 01x01: (Oct/24/2013) As Himself, [Interviewees]

Daybreak (2010) 
  March 27, 2013 03x141: (Mar/27/2013) As Himself 
  December 12, 2012 03x73: (Dec/12/2012) As Himself 

The Jonathan Ross Show (2011) 
  Ian McKellen, Matt Smith, Ruth Jones, Game Of Thrones, Stereophonics 04x11: (Mar/16/2013) As Himself 

The BAFTA Film Awards (1948) 
  The 66th BAFTA Film Awards 66x01: (Feb/10/2013) As Himself 

Doctor Who (2005) 
  The Snowmen (Dec/25/2012) Voiced  Great Intelligence 

Anderson Live (2011) 
  Co-Host Challenge Winner | Frugal Friday | Cast of The Hobbit 02x67: (Dec/14/2012) As Himself, [Interviewees]

This Morning (1988) 
  December 13, 2012 25x74: (Dec/13/2012) As Himself 
  April 13, 2010 22x152: (Apr/13/2010) As Himself 

The Colbert Report (2005) 
  Peter Jackson 08x152: (Dec/05/2012) As Himself 
  Ian McKellen 08x150: (Dec/03/2012) As Himself, [Interviewees]

Loose Women (1999) 
  Series 17, Show 63 17x63: (Nov/28/2012) As Himself, [Interviewees]
  Series 14, Show 112 14x112: (Feb/12/2010) As Himself, [Featuring]
  Series 14, Show 109 14x109: (Feb/09/2010) As Himself, [Interviewees]

Paralympic Games 2012 (2012) 
  Opening Ceremony 01x01: (Aug/29/2012) As Prospero, [Starring Roles]

The New Paul O'Grady Show (2006) 
  Series 8, Show 17 08x17: (Oct/13/2009) As Himself 

Parkinson (2004) (2004) 
  Lewis Hamilton, Sir Ian McKellen, James Blunt 07x08: (Nov/10/2007) As Himself, [Interviewees]

Extras (2005) 
  Sir Ian McKellen 02x05: (Oct/12/2006) As Himself 

Attack Of The Show! (2005) 
  Ian McKellen, The Colour 02x89: (May/18/2006) As Himself 

Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (2001) 
  Uma Thurman, Ian McKellen, Graham Coxon, Russell Brand 10x07: (May/12/2006) As Himself, [Interviewees]
  Victoria Beckham, Ian McKellen, Johnny Vegas, Gary Jules, Michael Andrews, The Raveonettes 05x14: (Dec/19/2003) As Himself, [Interviewees]

Jimmy Kimmel Live (2003) 
  Sir Ian McKellen, Jared Leto, Franz Ferdinand 04x70: (May/02/2006) As Himself 

Real Time With Bill Maher (2003) 
  Episode 410 04x10: (Apr/28/2006) As Himself 
  Episode 17 01x17: (Sep/05/2003) As Himself 

The Paul O'Grady Show (2004) 
  Series 3, Show 70 03x70: (Dec/16/2005) As Himself 

Coronation Street (1960) 
  Sun 22 May, 2005 46x104: (May/22/2005) As Mel Hutchwright 
  Fri 20 May, 2005 46x103: (May/20/2005) As Mel Hutchwright 
  Wed 18 May, 2005 46x102: (May/18/2005) As Mel Hutchwright 
  Mon 16 May, 2005 [Episode 2] 46x101: (May/16/2005) As Mel Hutchwright 

The Academy Awards (1953) 
  The 76th Annual Academy Awards 52x01: (Feb/29/2004) As Presenter, [Featuring]
  The 74th Annual Academy Awards 50x01: (Mar/24/2002) As Nominee: Best Supporting Actor, [Co-Guest Stars]
  The 71st Annual Academy Awards 47x01: (Mar/21/1999) As Nominee: Best Actor, [Co-Guest Stars]

Parkinson (1998) (1998) 
  Ian McKellen, Johnny Vegas, Rhona Cameron, Katie Melua, Alicia Keys 11x01: (Feb/21/2004) As Himself, [Interviewees]
  Jerome Flynn, Gloria Gaynor, Ian McKellen, Paul Merton 09x06: (Apr/12/2003) As Himself, [Interviewees]
  Joanna Lumley, Neil Morrissey, Ian McKellen 02x11: (Mar/26/1999) As Himself, [Interviewees]

Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993) 
  Ian McKellen, Petra Nemcova, The Stills 11x53: (Dec/26/2003) As Himself 

The View (1997) 
  Season 7, Episode 80 07x80: (Dec/22/2003) As Himself 
  Season 5, Episode 51 05x51: (Mar/12/2002) As Himself 

The Simpsons (1989) 
  The Regina Monologues 15x04: (Nov/23/2003) Voiced  Himself 

Have I Got News for You (1990) 
  Jimmy Carr, Ross Noble, Ian McKellen 26x04: (Nov/07/2003) As Himself 

Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway (2002) 
  Series 2, Episode 8 02x08: (Mar/01/2003) As Himself 

Inside the Actors Studio (1994) 
  Ian McKellen 09x05: (Dec/08/2002) As Himself 

Saturday Night Live (1975) 
  Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue 27x15: (Mar/16/2002) As Himself (Host) 

The Screen Actors Guild Awards (1995) 
  8th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 08x01: (Mar/10/2002) As Winner: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (for 'The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the) 

The Golden Globes (1944) 
  The 54th Annual Golden Globe Awards 54x01: (Jan/19/1997) As Winner: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture made for Television (for 'Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny') 

TFI Friday (1996) 
  15th March 1996 01x06: (Mar/15/1996) As Himself 

Mystery! (1980) 
  Dying Day: (Episode 1) 03x02: (Oct/19/1982) As Anthony Skipling 

Play of the Month (1965) 
  The Recruiting Officer 09x03: (Oct/18/1973) As Captain Plume 
  Ross 06x02: (Oct/18/1970) As Ross / T.E. Lawrence 

Omnibus (1967) 
  What If It's Just Green Cheese? 03x17: (Jul/20/1969) As Himself 
Trivia

Ian is a vegetarian.

Sir Ian has honours from Nottingham, Leeds, Oxford and Aberdeen Universities.

Ian was elected to Council of British Actors' Equity (1971).

Ian was the president of the Marlowe Society (1960-61).

In 2005, Ian fulfilled his lifelong ambition of playing 'King Lear,' arguably Shakespeare's greatest role, on the London stage.

Ian played 'Widow Twanky' in Kevin Spacey's production of the traditional pantomime Aladdin at the London Old Vic Theatre (Christmas 2004).

Ian is the only performer to receive an acting Academy Award nomination for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings Trilogy.

Ian is said to have turned down the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Ian won Broadway's 1981 Tony Award as Best Actor (Play) for originating the role of Antonio Salieri in Amadeus. He was nominated in the same category in 1984 for "Ian McKellen Acting Shakespeare."

Ian has played characters in two of the biggest cult franchises: he played Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Magneto in the X-Men series.

More Trivia
Ian McKellen Quotes
Many unthinking people just don't like the idea of gays joining in their games, nor in the military and, it would seem, in the movies.

I've had enough of being a gay icon! I've had enough of all this hard work, because, since I came out, I keep getting all these parts, and my career's taken off. I want a quiet life. I'm going back into the closet. But I can't get back into the closet, because it's absolutely jam-packed full of other actors.

Acting is no longer about lying. It's now about revealing the truth. People are at ease with me now. Honesty is the best policy.

In theatre, I have been able to take parts I didn't think I could do - you have time to rehearse and learn. In movies, they want you to do what they know you can do - there isn't the time.

It may be my rather puritanical upbringing at odds with my inborn laziness that makes me feel guilty at the end of the day, unless I am able to point at some achievement. But this need be no more impressive than cooking a meal or going for a long walk.

I don't make much distinction between being a stand-up comic and acting Shakespeare - in fact, unless you're a good comedian, you're never going to be able to play Hamlet properly.

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