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Sir Ian McKellen

Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CBE (born 25 May 1939) is an English stage and screen actor, the recipient of the Tony Award and two Oscar nominations. McKellen is best known to moviegoers in recent years for his roles as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and as Magneto in the X-Men trilogy. His work has spanned genres from serious Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He was made a CBE in 1979 and knighted in 1991 for his outstanding work and contributions to the theatre.

In 1988 McKellen came out as gay and became a founding member of Stonewall, one of the United Kingdom's most influential LGBT rights groups, of which he remains a prominent spokesman.

Biography

taken from wikipedia

Early life

McKellen was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England, though spent most of his early life in Wigan and later attended Bolton School. Born shortly before the outbreak of World War II, the experience had some lasting impact on him. In an interview with The Advocate magazine (December 25, 2001), when an interviewer remarked that he seemed quite calm in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack, he said: "Well, darling, you forget — I slept under a steel plate until I was four years old."

McKellen's father, Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer, was a lay preacher, and both of his grandfathers were preachers as well. 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. When he came out of the closet to his stepmother, Gladys McKellen, who was a Friend (Quaker): "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 any more."

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 theatre was encouraged by his parents, who took him on a family outing to Peter Pan at the Manchester Opera House 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 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 and with the role of Bottom played by Jean McKellen. (Until her recent death, Jean still acted, directed, and produced amateur theatre.)

He won a scholarship to St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge, when he was eighteen, where he developed an attraction to Derek Jacobi. He has characterized it as "a passion that was undeclared and unrequited". He and his first serious partner, Brian Taylor, a history teacher from Bolton, began their relationship in 1964. It was a relationship that was to last for eight years, ending in 1972. They lived in London, where McKellen continued to pursue his career as an actor. For over a decade he has lived in a five-story Victorian conversion in Narrow Street, Limehouse, London. In 1978 he met his second partner, Sean Mathias, at the Edinburgh Festival. According to Mathias, the ten-year love affair was tempestuous, with conflicts over McKellen's success in acting versus Mathias' somewhat less-successful career.

20 years ago McKellen lost his appetite for meat except for fish and became a pescetarian.

Theatrical career

McKellen made his stage début in Coventry in 1961 and his West End début in 1964. His first film role — in the unfinished The Bells of Hell Go Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling (1966) — produced a £4000 fee that helped fund his repertory work for a time, but the experience contributed to a focus on the stage, which remained the medium he was best known for well into the fourth decade of his career.

The role that made McKellen famous was his 1969 portrayal of King Edward II of England in the Prospect Theatre Company's touring production of Marlowe's Edward II. The production was controversial for its explicit torture scenes and implicit homosexuality. He later reprised the role for the BBC. In 1972, he founded the Actors' Company with his friend Edward Petherbridge, and this was the beginning of his reputation as a spokesman for actors and the British theatre in general. Between 1974 and 1978, he played leading roles in Royal Shakespeare Company productions such as Romeo and Juliet (in which he played opposite Francesca Annis); a legendary production of Macbeth (opposite Judi Dench); and Trevor Nunn's 1977 production of The Alchemist by Ben Jonson, in which he played Face.

McKellen starred on Broadway in Bent, a play about gay men in Nazi death camps, starting in 1979. Despite his role in the play, which brought to public view for the first time in a widespread way the persecution of gays in Nazi Germany, McKellen was not yet out publicly. At first, he was unsure whether he dared to take the role. "As impressed as I was by it, I thought 'My God! Do I dare be in this?' And [then-boyfriend] Sean read it and replied, 'Well you have to do it'." Since starring in the original Broadway production of Bent, he has been involved in two other productions of the play. In 1990, he starred in the revival at the National Theatre in London directed by Mathias, and also made a supporting appearance in the movie version, also directed by Mathias, which was released in 1997.

McKellen won more and more parts, until eventually in 1980 he won the role of Salieri in the Broadway production of Amadeus. He was awarded the Tony Award for his performance, an honor he was also nominated for in 1984 for his one-man Shakespeare recital Acting Shakespeare. His appearance as Walter, a mentally-handicapped adult adjusting to life on his own after the death of his mother, in a 1982 television play shown on the first night of Channel 4's broadcasting, won him a new following; but he was still a relative unknown to much of the U.S. public. In 1994 McKellen put together a one-man show, A Knight Out. The show was very successful, and he still performs it today, considering it a perpetual "work in progress". He is a benefactor of the Rose Theatre in London and in January 2006 unveiled a blue plaque on the outside of the building.

In 2007, he returned to the Royal Shakespeare Company, appearing in Trevor Nunn's productions of The Seagull (sharing the role of Sorin with William Gaunt) and in the title role of King Lear, to great acclaim. Germaine Greer, a Shakespeare scholar, famously commented on the disrobing scene which featured McKellen's "impressive genitalia" but critically panned the production, lamenting of McKellen's portrayal that "such virtuosic caricature makes sympathy impossible." The production of King Lear also featured appearances by Sylvester McCoy and Jonathan Hyde.

Popular success

McKellen had taken film roles throughout his career - beginning in 1969 with A Touch of Love, excluding the unreleased The Bells of Hell Go Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling (1966) – but it was not until the 1990s that he became more widely recognised in this medium, through several roles in blockbuster Hollywood movies.

In 1993, McKellen had a supporting role as a South African tycoon in the sleeper hit Six Degrees of Separation, in which he starred with Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland, and Will Smith. In the same year, he was also exposed to North American audiences in minor roles in the television miniseries Tales of the City (based on the novel by his friend Armistead Maupin) and the movie Last Action Hero, in which he played Death. Also in 1993, McKellen played a large role in the TV movie And the Band Played On, about the discovery of the AIDS virus.

In 1995, he played the title role in Richard III, a film he also co-wrote (adapting the play for the screen based on a stage production of Shakespeare's play directed by Richard Eyre for the Royal National Theatre) and co-produced. In McKellen's role as executive producer he returned his £50,000 fee in order to complete the filming of the final battle. His performance in the title role was critically acclaimed, and he was nominated for Golden Globe and BAFTA awards, and won the European Film Award for best actor.

His breakthrough role for mainstream American audiences came with the modestly acclaimed Apt Pupil, based on a story by Stephen King. McKellen portrayed an old Nazi officer, living under a false name in the U.S., who was befriended by a curious teenager (Brad Renfro) who threatened to expose him unless he told his story in detail. His casting was based partly on his performance in Cold Comfort Farm, seen by Apt Pupil-director Bryan Singer despite the BBFC's refusal to release it in cinemas. He was subsequently nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in the 1998 film Gods and Monsters, where he played James Whale, the gay director of Show Boat (1936) and Frankenstein.

McKellen has become a major global star by playing leading roles in blockbuster films. He reteamed with Apt Pupil director Bryan Singer to play the comic book character Magneto in X-Men and its sequels X2: X-Men United and X-Men: The Last Stand. It was while filming X-Men that he was cast as Gandalf in Peter Jackson's three-film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (consisting of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King). McKellen received honors from the Screen Actors Guild for Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture for his work in The Fellowship of the Ring and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the same role.

On March 16, 2002, he was the host on Saturday Night Live. 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 Tony Blair and J. K. Rowling. In April and May 2005, he played the role of Mel Hutchwright in Granada Television's long running soap opera, Coronation Street, fulfilling a lifelong ambition. He is also known for his voicework, having narrated Richard Bell's Eighteen, as a grandfather who leaves his WWII memoirs on audiocassette for his teenage grandson.

McKellen has also appeared in limited release films, like Emile (which was shot in a few days during the X2 shoot), Neverwas and Asylum. He appeared as Sir Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code. During a May 17, 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.[14] McKellen responded, "I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer in the front saying 'This is fiction.' I mean, walking on water? It takes. . . an act of faith. 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 continued, "And I think audiences are clever enough and bright enough to separate out fact and fiction, and discuss the thing when they've seen it". McKellen also appeared in the 2006 series of Ricky Gervais' comedy series Extras, where he played himself directing Gervais' character Andy Millman in a play about gay lovers. McKellen received a 2007 Emmy nomination for his performance.

Gay rights work

While McKellen had made his sexuality known to his 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 3. The context that prompted McKellen's decision — overriding concerns about a possible negative effect on his career — was that the controversial amendment known popularly as "Section 28" (see below) was under consideration in the United Kingdom Parliament.[6] By this time, McKellen's ten-year relationship with Mathias had ended, removing the additional concern of what effect his coming out would have on his partner's career. McKellen has stated that he was also influenced in his decision by the advice and support of his friends, among them noted gay author Armistead Maupin.

In 2003, during an appearance on Have I Got News For You, McKellen claimed that when he visited Michael Howard, the Conservative Environment Secretary (the Environment Secretary had the brief for local government at the time), in 1988 to lobby against Section 28, Howard refused to change his position but did ask him to leave an autograph for his children. McKellen agreed, but wrote "Fuck off, I'm gay."

The amendment in question, Section 28 of the Local Government Bill, proposed to prohibit local authorities from promoting homosexuality 'as a kind of pretended family relationship'. The drafting was open to several interpretations and the actual impact of the amendment was uncertain. McKellen became active in fighting the proposed law, and declared himself gay on a BBC Radio programme where he debated the subject of Section 28 with the conservative journalist Peregrine Worsthorne. He has said of this period: "My own participating in that campaign was a focus for people [to] take comfort that if Ian McKellen was on board for this, perhaps it would be all right for other people to be as well, gay and straight". Section 28 was, however, enacted and remained on the statute books until 2003. In the intervening period McKellen continued to fight for its repeal and criticised British Prime Minister Tony Blair for failing to concern himself with the issue.

McKellen has continued up to the present to be very active in gay rights efforts. He is a co-founder of Stonewall, a gay rights lobby group in the United Kingdom, named after the Stonewall riots. McKellen is also Patron of LGBT History Month, and GAY-GLOS, formerly known as Gay & Lesbian 'Friend' Helpline (Gloucestershire).

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, originally given to him by Stephen Fry, had been circulating within the gay community since McKellen's knighthood was conferred.) In 2002 he attended the Academy Awards with his then-boyfriend, New Zealander Nick Cuthell - possibly a first for a major nominee since Nigel Hawthorne, the first openly gay performer to be nominated for an Academy Award, who attended the ceremonies with his partner, Trevor Bentham, in 1995.

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, a personal friend. A video of his speech is available in the external links below. On the 5th January, 2007 McKellen became a patron of The Albert Kennedy Trust, an organisation that provides support to young, homeless and troubled Gay, Lesbian and Transgendered people.

In 2006 Sir Ian became a Patron of Oxford Pride. At the time he said "I have been to many Pride occasions across the World,from being Grand Marshall in San Francisco to the first ever gay march in Johannesburg in post-apartheid South Africa. Wherever gay people gather publicly to celebrate their sense of community, there are two important results. First, onlookers can be impressed by our confidence and determination to be ourselves and, second, gay people, of whatever age, can be comforted by the occasion to take first steps towards coming out and leaving the closet forever behind. I send my love to all member of Oxford Pride, their sponsors and supporters, of which I am proud to be one."

Awards

* 1981: New York Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play, for Amadeus

* 1983: London Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Revival, for Wild Honey

* 1984: London Evening Standard Award for Best Actor, for Coriolanus

* 1989: London Evening Standard Award for Best Actor, for Othello

* 1990: London Olivier Award for Best Actor, for Richard III

* 1996: European Film Award for Best Actor, for Richard III

* 1997: Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie, for Rasputin

* 1998: Back Stage West Garland Awards, for his one-man show A Knight Out in Los Angeles

* 1998: National Board of Review for Best Actor, for Gods and Monsters

* 1999: Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor, for Gods and Monsters

* 2001: Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Supporting Actor, for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

* 2004: Manila, Philippines Pride International Film Festival's Lifetime Achievement & Distinction Award

* 2007: Annie Award for Best Voice Acting in an Animated Feature Production, for Flushed Away

* In May 2007, he was named by the Independent on Sunday Pink List of the fifth most influential gay person in Britain, down from the 1st place the previous year.

Selected stage and screen credits

Theatre

* Much Ado About Nothing, Royal National Theatre, Old Vic, London, 1965

* Trelawney of the "Wells", National Theatre, London & Chichester Festival, 1965

* The Promise, West End; Broadway, 1967

* Edward II (in title role), Edinburgh Festival & West End, 1969

* Hamlet (title role), UK/European Tour, 1971

* 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, UK Tour, 1972

* Dr Faustus (title role), Royal Shakespeare Company, Edinburgh Festival & Aldwych Theatre (London), 1974

* King John, RSC, 1975

* Romeo and Juliet (as Romeo), RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon & London, 1976

* The Winter's Tale, RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon, 1976

* Macbeth (title role), RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon & Young Vic (London), 1976–1977

* The Alchemist, RSC, Stratford-upon-Avon & London, 1977

* Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, RSC, Barbican Arts Centre (London), 1977

* Three Sisters, RSC, UK Tour, 1978

* Bent, (as Uncle Freddie) West End, 1979

* Amadeus (as Salieri), Broadway, 1980

* Coriolanus (title role), National Theatre, 1984

* Wild Honey, National Theatre, 1984 (& Broadway, 1986)

* The Cherry Orchard (as Lopakhin), National Theatre, 1985

* The Duchess of Malfi, National Theatre, 1985

* The Real Inspector Hound, National Theatre, London & Paris, 1985

* Othello (as Iago), RSC, London & Stratford-upon-Avon, 1989

* Richard III (title role), National Theatre, world tour, 1990 & US tour, 1992

* Uncle Vanya (title role), National Theatre, 1992

* Peter Pan (as Mr. Darling/Captain Hook), National Theatre, 1997

* An Enemy of the People, National Theatre, 1997 & Ahmanson Theatre (Los Angeles), 1998

* Present Laughter, West Yorkshire Playhouse (Leeds, England), 1998

* Aladdin, (as Widow Twankie) Old Vic, 2004 & 2005

* The Cut, Donmar Warehouse, 2006

* King Lear by William Shakespeare, (as Lear), Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 2007

* The Seagull by Anton Chekov, (as Sorin), Courtyard Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 2007; Minneapolis, 2007

* King Lear by William Shakespeare, (as Lear), New Zealand, 2007; Minneapolis, 2007

Filmography

taken from imdb.com

Actor:

1. The Colossus (2008) (in production) .... Cecil Rhodes

... aka The Diamond Nightingale (UK)

2. The Golden Compass (2007) (voice) .... Iorek Byrnison

3. Stardust (2007) (voice) .... Narrator

4. For the Love of God (2007) .... Jackdaw

5. Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle Earth II - Rise of the Witch King (2006) (VG) (voice) .... Gandalf the Grey / Gandalf the White

6. Flushed Away (2006) (voice) .... The Toad

7. X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) .... Eric Lehnsherr / Magneto

... aka X-Men 3 (Singapore: English title) (USA: working title)

... aka X3 (International: English title: informal short title) (USA: promotional abbreviation)

8. The Da Vinci Code (2006) .... Sir Leigh Teabing

9. Doogal (2006) (voice) .... Zebedee

10. Displaced (2006) (voice)

11. Neverwas (2005) .... Gabriel Finch

12. "Coronation Street" .... Mel Hutchwright (10 episodes, 2005)

... aka Corrie (UK: informal title)

... aka The Street (UK: informal title)

- Episode #1.6032 (2005) TV episode .... Mel Hutchwright

- Episode #1.6031 (2005) TV episode .... Mel Hutchwright

- Episode #1.6030 (2005) TV episode .... Mel Hutchwright

- Episode #1.6028 (2005) TV episode .... Mel Hutchwright

- Episode #1.6029 (2005) TV episode .... Mel Hutchwright

(5 more)

13. Asylum (2005) .... Dr. Peter Cleave

14. The Magic Roundabout (2005) (voice: English version) .... Zebedee

... aka Doogal (USA)

... aka Pollux - Le manège enchanté (France)

... aka Sprung! The Magic Roundabout (USA)

... aka The Magic Roundabout (UK)

15. The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth (2004) (VG) (voice) .... Gandalf

16. Eighteen (2004/I) (voice) .... Jason Anders

17. The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (2004) (VG) (voice) .... Gandalf

18. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) .... Gandalf

... aka Herr der Ringe: Die Rückkehr des Königs, Der (Germany)

... aka The Return of the King (USA: short title)

19. Emile (2003) .... Emile

... aka Émile (Canada: French title)

20. X2 (2003) .... Eric Lensherr / Magneto

... aka X-Men 2 (Singapore: English title) (USA: working title)

... aka X-2 (USA: poster title)

... aka X-Men 2: X-Men United (USA: promotional title)

... aka X2: X-Men United (USA: promotional title)

21. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) .... Gandalf

... aka Herr der Ringe: Die zwei Türme, Der (Germany)

... aka The Two Towers (USA: short title)

22. "Saturday Night Live" .... Host (1 episode, 2002)

... aka NBC's Saturday Night (USA: first season title)

... aka SNL (USA: informal title)

... aka SNL 25 (USA: alternative title)

... aka Saturday Night (USA: second season title)

... aka Saturday Night Live '80 (USA: sixth season title)

- Ian McKellen/Kylie Minogue (2002) TV episode .... Host

23. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) .... Gandalf the Grey

... aka The Fellowship of the Ring (USA: short title)

... aka The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring: The Motion Picture (USA: promotional title)

24. X-Men (2000) .... Eric Lensherr / Magneto

... aka X-Men 1.5 (USA: DVD box title)

25. Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man (2000) (voice) .... Narrator

26. David Copperfield (1999) (TV) .... Creakle

27. Apt Pupil (1998) .... Kurt Dussander

... aka Élève doué, L' (Canada: French title)

... aka Un élève doué - Été de corruption (France)

28. Gods and Monsters (1998) .... James Whale

29. Swept from the Sea (1997) .... Dr. James Kennedy

... aka Amy Foster (UK)

... aka Balayé par la mer (Canada: French title)

30. Bent (1997) .... Uncle Freddie

31. Rasputin (1996) (TV) .... Tsar Nicholas II

... aka Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny (USA: video box title)

32. Restoration (1995) .... Will Gates

33. Richard III (1995) .... Richard III

34. Jack & Sarah (1995) .... William

35. Cold Comfort Farm (1995) (TV) .... Amos Starkadder

36. To Die For (1994) (voice) .... Quilt Documentary Narrator

... aka Heaven's a Drag

37. The Shadow (1994) .... Dr. Reinhardt Lane

38. I'll Do Anything (1994) .... John Earl McAlpine

39. Six Degrees of Separation (1993) .... Geoffrey Miller

40. And the Band Played On (1993) (TV) .... Bill Kraus

41. The Ballad of Little Jo (1993) .... Percy Corcoran

... aka Little Man Jo (New Zealand: English title: video title)

42. Last Action Hero (1993) .... Death

43. "Tales of the City" (1993) (mini) TV mini-series .... Archibald Anson Gidde

... aka Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City

44. Sleepers (1991) (TV) .... Andre Zorin

45. Othello (1990) (TV) .... Iago

46. Scandal (1989) .... John Profumo

47. Countdown to War (1989) (TV) .... Adolf Hitler

48. Windmills of the Gods (1988) (TV) .... Chairman

... aka Sidney Sheldon's Windmills of the Gods

49. Plenty (1985) .... Sir Andrew Charleson

50. Zina (1985) .... Kronfeld

51. The Keep (1983) .... Dr. Theodore Cuza

52. Walter and June (1983) (TV) .... Walter

... aka Loving Walter (USA: DVD title)

53. The Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) (TV) .... Chauvelin

54. Walter (1982) (TV) .... Walter

55. Priest of Love (1981) .... Lawrence

56. "Play for Today" (1 episode, 1980)

- The Vanishing Army (1980) TV episode

57. "Armchair Thriller" .... Anthony Skipling (1 episode, 1980)

- Dying Day (1980) TV episode .... Anthony Skipling

58. "BBC2 Playhouse" (1 episode, 1979)

- Every Good Boy Deserves Favour (1979) TV episode

59. A Performance of Macbeth (1979) (TV) .... Macbeth

... aka A Performance of Macbeth by William Shakespeare (UK: long title)

... aka Macbeth (UK: short title)

60. "Jackanory" .... Reader (1 episode, 1978)

- The Moon in the Cloud (1978) TV episode .... Reader

61. "Play of the Month" .... Captain Plume / ... (4 episodes, 1968-1973)

- The Recruiting Officer (1973) TV episode .... Captain Plume

- Hedda Gabler (1972) TV episode .... George Tesman

- Ross (1970) TV episode .... Ross / T.E. Lawrence

- Hay Fever (1968) TV episode .... Simon Bliss

62. "Country Matters" .... David Masterman (1 episode, 1972)

- Craven Arms (1972) TV episode .... David Masterman

63. Keith Michell at Her Majesty's Show of the Week (1972) (TV)

64. Hamlet (1970) (TV) .... Hamlet

65. Keats (1970) (TV) .... John Keats

... aka Solo: Keats (UK: series title)

66. The Tragedy of King Richard II (1970) (TV) .... Richard II

67. Edward II (1970) (TV) .... King Edward

68. The Promise (1969) .... Leonidik

69. Alfred the Great (1969) .... Roger

70. A Touch of Love (1969) .... George Matthews

... aka Thank You All Very Much (USA)

... aka The Millstone

71. "David Copperfield" (1966) TV series .... David Copperfield (unknown episodes)

72. "The Wednesday Play" .... Wolf (1 episode, 1965)

- The Trial and Torture of Sir John Rampayne (1965) TV episode .... Wolf

73. The Trial and Torture of Sir John Rampayne (1965) (TV) .... Wolf

74. Sunday Out of Season (1965) (TV) .... Victor Leech

75. "The Indian Tales of Rudyard Kipling" (1 episode, 1964)

- The Tomb of His Ancestors (1964) TV episode

Writer:

1. Richard III (1995)

2. Ian McKellen: Acting Shakespeare (1982) (TV) (concept)

Soundtrack:

1. Apt Pupil (1998) (performer: "Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)")

... aka Élève doué, L' (Canada: French title)

... aka Un élève doué - Été de corruption (France)

Producer:

1. Richard III (1995) (executive producer)

Trivia

Height: 5' 11" (1.80 m)

He was knighted in 1990.

He played the vampire in the video for "Heart" by Pet Shop Boys.

Originated the role of Antonio Salieri in the Broadway production of "Amadeus."

He had a tattoo of the Elvish character for 9 along with all the other members of the fellowship in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).

Is a vegetarian.

Was offered the part of Mission Commander Swanbeck in Mission: Impossible II (2000). He was not able to accept the role, due to a prior theatre engagement in London. The part eventually went to Anthony Hopkins.

Appointed CBE in 1979.

Played Maggie Smith in a "Weekend Update" skit on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" (1975) that he hosted.

While being a guest on Jay Leno (December 26, 2003), he said that he had not seen X2 (2003) when it opened in theaters, he only saw it when the DVD hit the stores. He then called up Bryan Singer and asked, "Is there going to be X-Men 3?" Singer replied, "Yes". In his excitement he got Singer six theater tickets to go see The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003). As it turned out, X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) would not be directed by Singer.

According to an interview, one of the last things Margaret Thatcher did as Prime Minister was recommending him for a knighthood.

The original Lord of the Rings books, and X-Men comics, both feature a character named Sauron, and a book entitled "The Return of the King." The X-Men graphic novel The Return of the King is, appropriately, about the return of Magneto.

He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1985 (1984 season) for Best Actor in a Revival for "Wild Honey".

He was awarded the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1991 (1990 season) for Best Actor in "Richard III" at the Royal National Theatre.

Before performing the role of Gandalf, he listened to a recording of J.R.R. Tolkien reading Gandalf lines from the novel. He used this as a base for creating the character, and imitated the accent used by Tolkien in the recording.

Began acting as a means of escape from mourning after his mother's death and constant bullying at school from fellow students.

He was awarded the 1989 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Othello".

He was awarded the 1984 London Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Actor for his performance in "Coriolanus".

He was awarded the 1989 London Critics Circle Theatre Award (Drama Theatre Award) for Best Actor for his performance in "Othello".

Graduated with a 2:2 in English from Cambridge University.

Studied at St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge, when he was 18, with Sir Derek Jacobi, and with whom he had been "desperately in love'", as he confessed on "Inside the Actors Studio" (1994). In an article in "The Advocate", issue dated December 11, 2001, he further explained that what he had felt for Jacobi in their youth was "a passion that was undeclared and unrequited.".

Originally aspired to be a journalist.

Shares his middle name, Murray, with both Michael Hordern (Michael Murray Hordern), his predecessor in the role of Gandalf, and F. Murray Abraham, his successor in the role of Antonio Salieri.

Was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford Upon Avon, England.

Wore a prosthetic nose to play Gandalf in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

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

Was set to play Antonio in Michael Radford's adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice (2004), but had to drop at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts.

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."

He used the phrase "old friend" in both the X-Men and The Lord of the Rings film series. In both cases (to Christopher Lee as Saruman in the Lord of the Rings and Patrick Stewart as Xavier in X-Men) it is said to an ally who has become a nemesis and "old friend" is said mockingly.

Has worked with two Faramirs. Prior to appearing in The Lord of the Rings films with David Wenham, he appeared in the film Plenty (1985), with Andrew Seear. Seear played Faramir in the BBC radio adaptation, opposite Ian Holm.

He said that appeal of the X-Men films to him was the concept of mutants being shunned, something he says he identifies with as he was repeatedly shunned as an open homosexual.

Was a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company at the same time as Patrick Stewart.

Like his The Da Vinci Code (2006) character, Sir Leigh Teabing, he has been knighted. As such, prior to being cast, he spotted two errors in the book's portrayal of Knighthood. Knights neither receive ID badges nor are granted any of the special privileges Teabing demands as a result of Knighthood.

Has appeared with Bruce Davison in four different films: Six Degrees of Separation (1993), Apt Pupil (1998), X-Men (2000) and X2 (2003). The first of these is the only one not directed by Bryan Singer.

Turned down the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

Only performer to receive an acting Academy Award nomination for Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

Appears in "The Lord of the Rings" and "X-Men", both of which required a lead character to be recast soon after production started. In "The Lord of the Rings", Stuart Townsend was replaced by Viggo Mortensen, and in X-Men (2000), Dougray Scott was replaced by Hugh Jackman.

Says the same line, "The war has begun", in the trailers of both the major, unrelated blockbusters X2 (2003) and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002).

In the Independent of Sunday 2006 Pink List - a list of the most influential gay men and women - he came no. 1, up from no. 2, knocking Elton John from top spot.

When he appeared on "Desert Island Disks" (the long-running BBC radio program that asks prominent people what eight pieces of music they would take to a deserted island), the pieces he chose were: 1. "Stars and Stripes Forever" (John Philip Sousa) performed by Vladimir Horowitz; 2. Part of "Adagio for Strings" (Barber) performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Geoffrey Simon; 3. Part of 2nd movement of Late Quartet No.13 in B flat Opus 130 (Ludwig van Beethoven) performed by the Lindsay String Quartet; 4. "Rose's Turn" (Jule Styne and Stephen Sondheim) performed by Ethel Merman; 5. "Stormy Weather" (Koehler/Arlen) performed by Lena Horne; 6. "Mississippi Goddam" (Nina Simone) performed by Simone; 7. "Harrison's Clocks (Birtwhistle) performed by Joanna McGregor; 8. "Dancing Queen" (B. Andersson/S.Andersson/Ulvaeus) performed by Abba; His one allowed book was "A Dictionary of Flora and Fauna", and his luxury was a grand piano.

He played both, a Holocaust victim (X-Men (2000)) and a Nazi (Apt Pupil (1998). Both movies were directed by Bryan Singer.

Personal Quotes

[on his first theatre experience, "Peter Pan"] I wasn't over-impressed. For one thing it wasn't a real crocodile and I could see the wires.

I think it's one thing to declare your sexuality, if you care about what that is. It's another thing to start talking in public about what you do in private and who you do it with. It's not that they [my significant others] don't want to be identified as gay, but that they don't want to be identified as ... with me.

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.

When I, as Gandalf, meet Bilbo or Frodo at home, I bump my head on the rafters. [J.R.R. Tolkien] didn't think to mention it.

I am encouraged by the theatricality of [J.R.R. Tolkien's] readings - full of rhythm and humor and characterization. Without question Gandalf is like Tolkien but then so, I suspected, are Frodo and Aragorn.

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.

I ... think of the Bible as great literature rather than great history; great imagination rather than reliable witness. Whatever, it is not as a law book that I respect the Bible.

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.

"The Lord of the Rings" is a mythology, it is a fairy tale, it's an adventure story. It never happened. Except somewhere in our hearts.

It wasn't exactly a mistake, but if there's anything I regret, it's probably having disguised my own native accent. Actors of my generation all tended to speak RP [received pronunciation]. Of course, it's all different now and drama students are encouraged to keep their regional accents and be able to do RP when required. Even at the BBC these days there's no standardised accent, and I rather think that's a good thing.

[12/5/03, about the cheering fans outside the InterContinentel Hotel, where he was staying in Wellington, New Zealand:] It's like several Christmases all come at once. They all love Gandalf, but I'm like Father Christmas in the shop. I'm not the real one.

[12/5/03, on initially thinking it crazy to release the LOTR trilogy 12 months apart] I thought people wouldn't remember what happened a year ago. But I hadn't factored that they would be so successful at the box office, and that so many people would buy the DVD and videos in between the release of each film. I had thought the whole enterprise was doomed, because of the release pattern. I'm very happy to have been proved wrong.

They'll let me play a gray-bearded wizard, but they still wouldn't cast a young gay actor - who was out - in a straight romantic lead.

They didn't call it marriage, although you can call it anything you want. The one thing you cannot mention is God, that is absolutely verboten. I suppose I'm a bit mean-spirited, but I really can't see why the government couldn't just say gay people can get married - that would have been true equality and so much simpler. But that hasn't been done because they couldn't face the furore. So they've passed a law that is not available to straight people - straight people cannot have a civil partnership, they have to get married - extraordinary.

If The Da Vinci Code (2006) had been filming in a place where it rains a lot, I probably wouldn't have done it. Quite low down in the list is "How much am I going to be paid?" I'd say I was quite cheap, but my main feeling about money is that I don't want to feel as though I'm being taken advantage of. Certainly, I'm cheaper than Anthony Hopkins. The other actors they asked to play Gandalf wouldn't go to New Zealand on that money for that length of time. I thought it would be a bit of an adventure. Tony Hopkins didn't think it would be an adventure. Tony is part of Hollywood. I'm an eccentric English actor, and there's a lot of us around.

If I was a star, it would be difficult to go off and do "Coronation Street" (1960). So I guess I'm not a star.

Nobody has ever looked to Hollywood for social advance. Hollywood is a dream factory. I love the way that conservatives think that Hollywood is a bed of radicalism - it couldn't be more staid and old-ladyship if it tried. The audience don't give a blind whatever about the sexuality of actors. Gay people fancy straight people and vice-versa. It's all in the head, so what does it matter? You're not going to meet 'Heath Ledger'. You're not going to find out . . . It's the image you're looking at and falling in love with. There will be girls who go and see those two unhappy gay cowboys and go home and have fantasy dreams about them. Lovely!

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.

I've often thought the Bible should have a disclaimer at the front saying, "This is fiction." I mean, walking on water? I mean, it takes an act of faith.

It is very, very, very difficult for an American actor who wants a film career to be open about his sexuality. And even more difficult for a woman if she's lesbian. It's very distressing to me that that should be the case. The film industry is very old fashioned in California.

My confidence only really peaked when I was 49 and said, "Yes, I'm gay."

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.

I looked down from my terrace hanging over the Thames one morning. It was low tide and there, stranded on the pebbles, was a four-legged corpse - hairless, white and bloated. Was it a calf or a sheep or a goat or a dog? I stared at it until the tide rose and washed it away. For 24 hours I was off my food. When I started eating again, I couldn't face meat - fresh or tinned. Overnight I was vegetarian and I have been for 15 years or more. I've seen the pictures of factory farming and followed the politics of mad cow disease and felt effortlessly superior. Yet it's not reason or conscience that keeps me off meat and fowl--and these days fish, too--just a memory of that unidentifiable, decomposing body on the beach.

Salary

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002): £ 5,000,000

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001): £ 4,000,000

All pics found via google & livejournal

ianew051906ian6aa3co.jpg ianLOTR_Gandalf_1.JPG ianLOTRgandalf.jpg ianLOTRgandalf_3.jpg ianLOTRgandalf_dvi.JPG ianLOTRstaelle_edoras.jpg
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:rofl:

he's gay,homo,

btw :ninja:

And? What's the deal? :idk:

He'd actually had his coming out about twenty years ago and was very active fighting for more rights for gays and lesbians.

You can read about it in the facts about him I posted above btw ... actually in the fifth sentence ... :whistle:

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