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      Ian McKellen

      Ian McKellen

      Highest Rated: 100% And the Band Played On (1993)

      Lowest Rated: 8% Doogal (2006)

      Birthday: May 25, 1939

      Birthplace: Burnley, Lancashire, England, UK

      While he remained best known for his starring roles in the "Lord of the Rings" and "X-Men" franchises, Ian McKellen's list of accomplishments went beyond the Hollywood blockbusters that made him a star in the U.S. Born in Lancashire, England in 1939, McKellen took an interest in theater at the age of three when his family attended a performance of "Peter Pan." He performed in plays at school and even at home using a fold-away toy theater made of wood and Bakelite that his parents gave him for Christmas. Eventually, McKellen received a scholarship to attend St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Marlowe Society, appearing in 23 plays during his three years there. After graduating, he moved on to professional theater, making his debut in 1961 in a production of "A Man for All Seasons" at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre. He spent the next few years gaining experience in repertory theater before landing his first West End role in "A Scent of Flowers." In 1965, he became a member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company at the Old Vic and was soon acting with the Prospect Theatre Company as well, where his performances in Shakespeare's "Richard III" and Christopher Marlowe's "Edward II" quickly became legendary. McKellen became a star of England's theater scene, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, all while simultaneously pursuing roles on screen as well. In 1966, he starred in a BBC mini-series adaptation of "David Copperfield" (BBC, 1966-1966), shortly before crossing the Atlantic to make his Broadway debut as Leonidik in "The Promise." In 1969, he made his waves in film, co-starring in the drama "A Touch of Love" (1969 and then reprising the role of Leodinik for a film adaptation of "The Promise" (1969). This oscillation between stage and screen would remain a pattern for McKellen's career, always with a strong focus on Shakespeare and other classics, with roles like Salieri in Broadway's "Amadeus" and D.H. Lawrence in the big screen's "Priest of Love" (1981) standing out amongst his more notable roles. As the '90s began, McKellen transitioned into more popular media, playing one of the villains in the action blockbuster "The Last Action Hero" (1993), and standing up for increased visibility for the LGBTQ community with his roles in "And the Band Played On" (HBO, 1993) and "Bent" (1997). In 1998, McKellen garnered particular praise and attention for his role in the James Whale biopic "Gods and Monsters" (1998), which earned him a number of awards nominations to boot. Within two years, McKellen was expanding into international pop culture as never before when he took on the role of the powerful villain Magneto in "X-Men" (2000) opposite fellow legend of the Shakespearean stage Patrick Stewart. McKellen would return for two more "X-Men" sequels while he simultaneously co-starred as the wizard Gandalf in the massively popular "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. By the time he had concluded both series in 2006, McKellen was a massive star, but he continued to choose his roles carefully, co-starring on a reboot of the classic surrealistic TV series "The Prisoner" (ITV, 2009) and reuniting with Patrick Stewart for an acclaimed Broadway revival of "Waiting for Godot" in 2013. McKellen reprised the role of Gandalf for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (2012) and its two sequels, and earned accolades for his performance on the comedy series "Vicious" (ITV, 2013-16) with fellow Royal Shakespeare Company alumn Derek Jacobi. McKellen also delighted audiences with a turn as Cogsworth in the live action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" (2017), but his Shakespearean leanings were never far behind as he co-starred with Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench in Branagh's biopic of the playwright, "All is True" (2018).

      Highest rated movies

      The Dresser
      And the Band Played On
      Gods and Monsters
      Richard III
      The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring X-Men: Days of Future Past

      Photos

      Ian McKellen RICHARD III, Ian McKellen, 1995, (c) United Artists / THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, Ian McKellen, 2003, (c) New Line THE DA VINCI CODE, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, 2006, (c) Columbia APT PUPIL, Brad Renfro, director Bryan Singer, Ian McKellen on the set, 1998 THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, from left: Ian McKellen, Sylvester McCoy, 2013. ©Warner Bros. Pictures X-MEN: THE LAST STAND, (aka X-MEN 3), Ian McKellen, 2006, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. EMILE, Ian McKellen, 2003, (c) Castle Hill PLENTY, from left: Meryl Streep, Ian McKellen, 1985, TM & © 20th Century Fox Film Corp. APT PUPIL, Ian McKellen, 1998. ©TriStar Pictures SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, Stockard Channing, Donald Sutherland, Ian McKellen, 1993, (c)MGM SCANDAL, Ian McKellen, Joanne Whalley, 1989 ASYLUM, Natasha Richardson, Ian McKellen, 2005, ©Paramount Classics APT PUPIL, Brad Renfro, Ian McKellen, 1998 GODS AND MONSTERS, Ian McKellen, 1998, sketch BENT, from left: Clive Owen, Ian McKellen, 1997. ©MGM THE SHADOW, Tim Curry, Ian McKellen, 1994, (c)Universal Pictures X-MEN 2, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Ian McKellen, 2003, TM & Copyright (c) 20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved. THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING, Ian McKellen, 2003, (c) New Line APT PUPIL, Ian McKellen, 1998. ©TriStar Pictures

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Hamlet Hamlet (Character) - 2024
      47% No Score Yet The Critic Jimmy Erskine (Character) - 2023
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Quintessentially British Self - 2022
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Hamlet Within The Ghost (Character) - 2022
      75% 88% Infinitum: Subject Unknown Dr Charles Marland-White (Character) - 2021
      100% 86% Hating Peter Tatchell Self - 2021
      76% 73% On Broadway Self $82.3K 2019
      19% 53% Cats Gus (Character) $27.2M 2019
      63% 85% The Good Liar Roy Courtnay (Character) $17.1M 2019
      72% 66% All Is True Henry Wriothesley (Character) $1.2M 2018
      64% 76% Animal Crackers Horatio P. Huntington (Voice) - 2017
      100% 81% McKellen: Playing the Part Self - 2017
      71% 80% Beauty and the Beast Cogsworth (Character) $504.0M 2017
      100% 59% The Dresser Norman (Character) - 2015
      88% 70% Mr. Holmes Sherlock Holmes (Character) $17.7M 2015
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Miss in Her Teens The Prologue (Character) - 2014
      90% 91% X-Men: Days of Future Past Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Character) $233.9M 2014
      59% 74% The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Gandalf (Character) $255.1M 2014
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Muse of Fire Unknown (Character) - 2013
      75% 85% The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Gandalf (Character) $258.4M 2013
      64% 83% The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Gandalf (Character) $303.0M 2012
      No Score Yet No Score Yet A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation Narrator - 2010
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Acting Shakespeare Unknown (Character) - 2010
      No Score Yet 71% King Lear King Lear (Character) - 2008
      42% 51% The Golden Compass Iorek Byrnison (Voice) $70.1M 2007
      77% 86% Stardust Narrator $38.3M 2007
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Displaced Unknown (Voice) - 2006
      73% 65% Flushed Away Toad (Voice) $64.5M 2006
      88% 79% Saint of 9/11 Narrator $4.9K 2006
      57% 61% X-Men: The Last Stand Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Character) $234.4M 2006
      25% 57% The Da Vinci Code Sir Leigh Teabing (Character) $217.5M 2006
      8% 22% Doogal Zebedee (Voice) $7.6M 2006
      No Score Yet 47% Eighteen Jason Anders (Voice) - 2005
      14% 65% Neverwas Gabriel Finch (Character) - 2005
      36% 42% Asylum Peter Cleave (Character) $374.9K 2005
      60% 51% The Magic Roundabout Zebedee (Voice) - 2005
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Hobart Shakespeareans Self - 2005
      57% 62% Emile Emile (Character) - 2003
      94% 86% The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Gandalf (Character) $377.8M 2003
      85% 85% X2 Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Character) $214.9M 2003
      95% 95% The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Gandalf (Character) $342.6M 2002
      91% 95% The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Gandalf (Character) $315.5M 2001
      45% 70% Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man Narrator $15.6M 2000
      82% 83% X-Men Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Character) $157.3M 2000
      96% 83% Gods and Monsters James Whale (Character) $6.4M 1998
      54% 56% Apt Pupil Kurt Dussander (Character) $8.8M 1998
      72% 77% Bent Uncle Freddie (Character) $418.2K 1997
      28% 76% Swept From the Sea Dr. James Kennedy (Character) $283.1K 1997
      No Score Yet No Score Yet A Bit of Scarlet Narrator - 1997
      No Score Yet 79% Rasputin Tsar Nicholas II (Character) - 1996
      83% 81% Cold Comfort Farm Amos Starkadder (Character) $5.6M 1995
      96% 85% Richard III Richard III (Character),
      Executive Producer
      $2.4M 1995
      71% 58% Restoration Will Gates (Character) $3.5M 1995
      74% 79% Jack & Sarah William (Character) $114.8K 1995
      35% 44% The Shadow Dr. Reinhardt Lane (Character) $32.0M 1994
      No Score Yet No Score Yet To Die For Quilt Documentary Narrator (Voice) $8.6K 1994
      77% 62% The Ballad of Little Jo Percy Corcoran (Character) $459.3K 1993
      100% 88% And the Band Played On Bill Kraus (Character) - 1993
      88% 71% Six Degrees of Separation Geoffrey (Character) $6.3M 1993
      40% 48% Last Action Hero Death (Character) - 1993
      88% 61% Scandal John Profumo (Character) $7.8M 1989
      No Score Yet 43% Windmills of the Gods Chairman (Character) - 1988
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Zina Kronfeld (Character) - 1985
      39% 43% The Keep Dr. Theodore Cuza (Character) - 1983
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Walter and June Walter (Character) - 1983
      No Score Yet 89% The Scarlet Pimpernel Chauvelin (Character) - 1982
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Walter Walter (Character) - 1982
      No Score Yet 57% Priest of Love D.H. Lawrence (Character) - 1981
      No Score Yet 69% A Performance of Macbeth Unknown (Character) - 1978
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Edward II King Edward (Character) - 1970
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Thank You All Very Much George Matthews (Character) - 1969
      No Score Yet 64% Alfred the Great Roger (Character) - 1969
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Promise Leonidik (Character) - 1969

      TV

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Graham Norton Show Guest 2014 2017-2019 2021-2022 2024
      No Score Yet 48% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Guest 2019
      No Score Yet 19% The Late Late Show With James Corden Guest 2015 2019
      No Score Yet 65% Family Guy Dr. Cecil Pritchfield (Guest Voice) 2018
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Who Do You Think You Are? Guest 2017
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Tavis Smiley Guest 2015
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Variety Studio: Actors on Actors Guest 2015
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Talk Guest 2015
      No Score Yet 10% The View Guest 2013 2015
      No Score Yet 44% The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Guest 2015
      No Score Yet 96% Vicious Freddie (Character) 2013 2015
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Shakespeare Uncovered Guest 2015
      No Score Yet 61% Late Night With Seth Meyers Guest 2014
      100% 90% Late Show With David Letterman Guest 2013
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Guest 1999 2002 2013
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Colbert Report Guest 2012
      17% 40% The Prisoner Two (Character) 2009
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Guest 2009
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Churchill Narrator 2003 2008
      88% 94% Extras Unknown (Guest Star) 2006
      85% 76% The Simpsons Himself (Guest Voice) 2003
      No Score Yet 58% Saturday Night Live Host 2002
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Masterpiece Theatre Unknown (Character) 2000