Ian McKellen

Sir Ian Murray McKellen (born 25 May 1939) is an English actor. With a career spanning more than seven decades, he is noted for his roles on the screen and stage in genres ranging from Shakespearean dramas and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He is regarded as a British cultural icon and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991. He has received numerous accolades, including a Tony Award, six Olivier Awards, and a Golden Globe Award as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, five BAFTA Awards and five Emmy Awards. McKellen made his stage debut in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of its repertory company, and in 1965 made his first West End appearance. 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. In the 1970s McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain. He has earned five Olivier Awards for his roles in Pillars of the Community (1977), The Alchemist (1978), Bent (1979), Wild Honey (1984), and Richard III (1995). McKellen made his Broadway debut in The Promise (1965). He went on to receive the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his role as Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (1980). He was further nominated for Ian McKellen: Acting Shakespeare (1984). He returned to Broadway in Wild Honey (1986), Dance of Death (1990), No Man's Land (2013), and Waiting for Godot (2013), the latter being a joint production with Patrick Stewart.McKellen 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 (2001–2003) and The Hobbit (2012–2014) trilogies. Other notable film roles include A Touch of Love (1969), Plenty (1985), Six Degrees of Separation (1993), Restoration (1995), Mr. Holmes (2015), and The Good Liar (2019). McKellen came out as gay in 1988, and has since championed LGBT social movements worldwide. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in October 2014. McKellen is a co-founder of Stonewall, an LGBT rights lobby group in the United Kingdom, named after the Stonewall riots. He is also patron of LGBT History Month, Pride London, Oxford Pride, GAY-GLOS, LGBT Foundation and FFLAG.