Ian McKellen

(* 1939)

Ian McKellen: Biographical Sketch

Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE (born Burnley, Lancashire, England, May 25, 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.

A longstanding alumnus of the Royal Shakespeare Company and at home of the great stages of Britain, the U.S. and theatres around the world, as much as in Hollywood’s major film studios, McKellen’s work spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction; and his performances have long since guaranteed him a place in the canon of English actors both on stage and on film. His best-known film roles include Richard III in his own and Richard Loncraine’s 1995 adaptation of Shakespeare’s play (he had previoiusly also starred in the same role in an acclaimed 1990 National Theatre production and two world and US tours in 1990 and 1992, respectively), Gandalf in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and Magneto in Bryan Singer’s X-Men films.

McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1979, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991 for services to the performing arts, and was made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the Queen’s 2008 New Year Honours. He has been openly gay since 1988, and continues to be a champion for LGBT social movements worldwide. He was made a Freeman of the City of London in October 2014.

Read more about Ian McKellen on Wikipedia.

 

Major Awards and Honors

Titles of the British Empire
  • 1979: Commander of the British Empire
  • 1991: Knight Bachelor
Titles of the British Commonwealth
  • 2007: Order of the Companions of Honour – Companion of Honour
Golden Globe Awards
(Hollywood Foreign Press Association)
  • 1996: Best Supporting Actor, Television – “Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny”
Screen Actors’ Guild Awards (USA)
  • 2001: Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role – “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”
  • 2003: Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture – “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
National Board of Review Awards (USA)
  • 1998: Best Actor – “Gods and Monsters”
Critics’ Choice Awards (USA & Canada)
  • 1998: Best Actor – “Gods and Monsters”
  • 2003: Best Cast – “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
Tony Awards (Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre) (USA)
  • 1981: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play – “Amadeus”
Drama Desk Awards (USA)
  • 1974: Outstanding Performance – “King Lear”
  • 1974: Outstanding Performance – “The Wood Demon”
  • 1981: Outstanding Actor in a Play – “Amadeus”
  • 1984: Outstanding One-Person Show – “Acting Shakespeare”
  • 1987: Outstanding Actor in a Play – “Wild Honey”
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards (USA)
  • 1998: Best Actor – “Gods and Monsters”
Chicago Film Critics Association Awards (USA)
  • 1998: Best Actor – “Gods and Monsters”
Toronto Film Critics Association Awards (USA)
  • 1998: Best Actor – “Gods and Monsters”
Olivier Awards (Great Britain)
  • 1977: Best Actor in a Revival – “Pillars of the Community”
  • 1978: Best Comedy Performance – “The Alchemist”
  • 1979: Best Actor in a New Play – “Bent”
  • 1984: Best Actor in a Revival – “Wild Honey”
  • 1991: Best Actor – “Richard III”
  • 2006: Society of London Theatre Special Award
British Independent Film Awards
  • 1998: Best Actor – “Gods and Monsters”
Evening Standard Awards (Great Britain)
  • 1984: Best Actor – “Coriolanus”
  • 1989: Best Actor – “Othello”
  • 2009: Lebedev Special Award
Empire Awards (Great Britain)
  • 2010: Empire Icon Award
City of London
  • 2014: Freeman of the City of London
European Film Awards
  • 1995: Best Actor – “Richard III”
San Sebastián International Film Festival (Spain)
  • 1998: Best Actor – “Gods and Monsters”
Pride International Film Festival
  • 2004: Lifetime Achievement & Distinction Award
Online Film Critics Society Award
  • 1998: Best Actor – “Gods and Monsters”
Back Stage Garland Awards (USA)
  • 1998: Outstanding Solo Performance – “A Knight Out in Los Angeles”
Saturn Awards (USA)
  • 1998: Best Supporting Actor – “Apt Pupil”
  • 2001: Best Supporting Actor – “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring”
CableACE Awards (USA)
  • 1993: Best Supporting Actor, Miniseries / Movie – “And the Band Played On”
Annie Awards (USA)
  • 2006: Voice Acting in a Feature Production – “Flushed Away”

 

Filmography

Movies
  • The Promise (1969)
    Role: Leonidik
  • Alfred the Great (1969)
    Role: Roger
  • A Touch of Love (1969)
    Role: George Matthews
  • Priest of Love (1981)
    Role: D. H. Lawrence
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
    Role: Chauvelin
  • The Keep (1983)
    Role: Dr. Theodore Cuza
  • Plenty (1985)
    Role: Sir Andrew Charleson
  • Zina (1985)
    Role: Arthur Kronfeld
  • Scandal (1989)
    Role: John Profumo
  • Six Degrees of Separation (1993)
    Role: Geoffrey Miller
  • The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)
    Role: Percy Corcoran
  • Last Action Hero (1993)
    Role: Death  Cameo appearance
  • And the Band Played On (1993)
    Role: Bill Kraus
  • To Die For (1994)
    Role: Quilt Documentary Narrator (voice)
  • The Shadow (1994)
    Role: Dr. Reinhardt Lane
  • I’ll Do Anything (1994)
    Role: John Earl McAlpine
  • Restoration (1995)
    Role: Will Gates
  • Richard III (1995)
    Role: Richard III
  • Jack and Sarah (1995)
    Role: William
  • Swept from the Sea (1997)
    Role: Dr. James Kennedy
  • Bent (1997)
    Role: Uncle Freddie
  • Gods and Monsters (1998)
    Role: James Whale
  • Apt Pupil (1998)
    Role: Kurt Dussander
  • X-Men (2000)
    Role: Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
  • Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man (2000)
    Role: Narrator (voice)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
    Role: Gandalf the Grey
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
    Role: Gandalf the White
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
    Role: Gandalf the White
  • Emile (2003)
    Role: Emile
  • X2 (2003)
    Role: Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
  • Eighteen (2004)
    Role: Jason Anders (voice)
  • Neverwas (2005)
    Role: Gabriel Finch
  • Asylum (2005)
    Role: Dr. Peter Cleave
  • The Magic Roundabout (2005)
    Role: Zebedee (voice)
  • Flushed Away (2006)
    Role: The Toad (voice)
  • X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
    Role: Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto
  • The Da Vinci Code (2006)
    Role: Sir Leigh Teabing
  • Stardust (2007)
    Role: Narrator (voice)
  • The Golden Compass (2007)
    Role: Iorek Byrnison (voice)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
    Role: Gandalf the Grey
  • The Wolverine (2013)
    Role: Erik Lehnsherr / Magneto (uncredited cameo)
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
    Role: Gandalf the Grey
  • Miss in Her Teens (2014)
    Role: The Prologue
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)
    Role: Erik Lehnsherr/ Magneto
    Shared role with Michael Fassbender
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
    Role: Gandalf the Grey
  • Mr. Holmes (2015)
    Role: Sherlock Holmes
  • Animal Crackers (2017)
    Role: Horatio P. Huntington (voice)
  • Beauty and the Beast (2017)
    Role: Cogsworth
Television
  • The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling (1964)
    Role: Plowden
  • Sunday Out of Season (1965)
    Role: Victor Leech
  • The Wednesday Play (1965)
    Role: Wolf; episode The Trial and Torture of Sir John Rampayne
  • David Copperfield (1966)
    Role: David Copperfield
  • Solo (1970)
    Role: John Keats
  • Edward II (1970)
    Role: King Edward
  • Hamlet (1970)
    Role: Hamlet
  • Ross: The Reticent Hero (1970)
    Role: T.E. Lawrence
  • The Tragedy of King Richard II (1971)
    Role: King Richard II
  • Country Matters (1972)
    Role: David Masterman
  • Late Night Drama (1974)
  • Jackanory (1978)
    Role: Reader
  • Pillar of Fire (1981)
    Narrator; documentary.
  • The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982)
    Role: Paul Chauvelin
  • Walter (1982)
    Role: Walter
  • Countdown to War (1989)
    Role: Adolf Hitler
  • Cold Comfort Farm (1995)
    Role: Amos Starkadder; TV movie.
  • Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (1996)
    Role: Nicholas II
  • David Copperfield (1999)
    Role: Mr. Creakle
  • The Simpsons (2003)
    Role: Himself (voice); episode The Regina Monologues
  • Coronation Street (2005)
    Role: Mel Hutchwright/Lionel Hipkiss, 10 episodes.
  • Extras (2006)
    Role: Himself
  • King Lear (2008)
    Role: King Lear
  • The Prisoner (2009)
    Role: Number Two
  • Doctor Who (2012)
    Role: The Great Intelligence; Doctor Who “The Snowmen”
  • The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot (2013)
    Role: Himself; BBC Red Button webcast
  • Vicious (2013-16)
    Role: Freddie Thornhill, 14 episodes.
  • The Dresser (2015)
    Role: Norman; TV movie.

Notable Stage Appearances

  • Much Ado About Nothing (Royal National Theatre / Old Vic, London, 1965)
  • Trelawny of the ‘Wells’ (National Theatre, London & Chichester Festival, 1965)
  • The Promise (West End, London & Broadway, New York, 1967)
  • Edward II (Edinburgh Festival & West End, 1969)
    Role: Edward II
  • Hamlet ( UK / European Tour, 1971)
    Role: Hamlet
  • ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore (UK Tour, 1972)
  • Dr. Faustus (Royal Shakespeare Company, Edinburgh Festival & Aldwych Theatre, London, 1974)
    Role: Dr. Faustus
  • King John (Royal Shakespeare Company, 1975)
  • Romeo and Juliet (Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon & London, 1976)
    Role: Romeo
  • The Winter’s Tale (Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1976)
  • Macbeth (Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon & Young Vic, London, 1976-77)
    Role: Macbeth
  • The Alchemist (Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford-upon-Avon & London, 1977)
  • Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (Royal Shakespeare Company, Barbican Arts Centre, London, 1977)
  • Three Sisters (Royal Shakespeare Company, UK Tour, 1978)
  • Bent (Royal Court and Criterion, London, 1979)
    Role: Max
  • Acting Shakespeare (Copenhagen, 1980)
    Role: Himself
  • Amadeus (Broadway, New York, 1980)
    Role: Salieri
  • Coriolanus (National Theatre, London, 1984)
    Role: Coriolanus
  • Wild Honey (National Theatre, London, 1984 & Broadway, New York, 1986)
  • The Cherry Orchard (National Theatre, London, 1985)
    Role: Lopakhin
  • The Duchess of Malfi (National Theatre, London, 1985)
  • The Real Inspector Hound (National Theatre, London & Paris, 1985)
  • Othello (Royal Shakespeare Company, London & Stratford-upon-Avon, 1989)
    Role: Iago
  • Richard III (National Theatre, London & world tour, 1990 & US tour, 1992)
    Role: Richard III
  • Uncle Vanya (National Theatre, London, 1992)
    Role: Ivan Petrovich Voinitsky
  • Peter Pan (National Theatre, London, 1997)
    Role: Mr. Darling / Captain Hook
  • An Enemy of the People (National Theatre, London, 1997 & Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles, 1998)
  • Present Laughter (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, 1998)
  • Dance of Death (Broadhurst Theatre, New York, 2001 & Lyric Theatre, London, 2003)
  • Aladdin (Old Vic, London, 2004-05)
    Role: Widow Twankie
  • The Cut (Donmar Warehouse, London, 2006)
  • King Lear (Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 2007; New Zealand, 2007; Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, 2007; Minneapolis, 2007; New London Theatre, 2007–08)
    Role: King Lear
  • The Seagull (Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 2007; Brooklyn Academy of Music, New York, 2007; Minneapolis, 2007; New London Theatre, 2007–08)
    Role: Sorin
  • Waiting for Godot (Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, 2009-10; Comedy Theatre, Melbourne, Australia, 2010; Fugard Theatre, Cape Town, South Africa, 2010)
    Role: Estragon
  • The Syndicate (Chichester Festival, 2011)
  • No Man’s Land & Waiting for Godot (double bill) (Broadway, New York, 2013-14)
  • Letters Live (Freemasons Hall, 2015)
  • No Man’s Land (Wyndham’s, London, 2016)

 

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