Bolton School, Chorley New Rd, Bolton BL1, Regno Unito
University Of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2, Regno Unito
The Grapes, 76 Narrow St, Poplar, London E14 8BP, UK
Sir Ian Murray McKellen CH CBE (born 25 May 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 Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nominations.
McKellen's career spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. The BBC states his "performances have guaranteed him a place in the canon of English stage and film actors". A recipient of every major theatrical award in the UK, McKellen is regarded as a British cultural icon. He started his professional career in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of their highly regarded repertory company. In 1965, McKellen 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, and he firmly established himself as one of the country's foremost classical actors. In the 1970s, McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain. He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including the titular King in Richard III (1995), James Whale in Gods and Monsters (1998) (from a novel by Christopher Bram), Magneto in the X-Men films, and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies.
McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 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.
McKellen and his first partner, Brian Taylor, a history teacher from Bolton, began their relationship in 1964. Their relationship lasted 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-storey Victorian conversion in Narrow Street, Limehouse. In 1978 he met his second partner, Sean Mathias, at the Edinburgh Festival. This relationship lasted until 1988, and according to Mathias, was tempestuous, with conflicts over McKellen's success in acting versus Mathias's somewhat less-successful career. Mathias later directed McKellen in Waiting for Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2009. The pair entered into a business partnership with Evgeny Lebedev, purchasing the lease on The Grapes public house in Narrow Street.
MMcKellen is an atheist. In the late 1980s, McKellen lost his appetite for meat except for fish, and has since followed a mainly pescetarian diet. In 2001, Ian McKellen received the Artist Citizen of the World Award (France).
HHe has a tattoo of the Elvish number nine, written using J. R. R Tolkien's Constructed script of Tengwar, on his shoulder in reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings and the fact that his character was one of the original nine companions of the Fellowship of the Ring. The other actors of "The Fellowship" (Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Billy Boyd, Sean Bean, Dominic Monaghan and Viggo Mortensen) have the same tattoo. John Rhys-Davies, whose character was also one of the original nine companions, arranged for his stunt double to get the tattoo instead.
HHe was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2006. In 2012, McKellen stated on his blog that "There is no cause for alarm. I am examined regularly and the cancer is contained. I've not needed any treatment."
HHe became an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church in early 2013 in order to preside over the marriage of his friend and X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart to the singer Sunny Ozell.
MMcKellen was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Letters by Cambridge University on 18 June 2014. He was made a Freeman of the city of London on Thursday 30 October 2014. The ceremony took place at Guildhall in London. McKellen was nominated by London's Lord Mayor Fiona Woolf, who said he was chosen as he was an "exceptional actor" and "tireless campaigner for equality". He is also a Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford.
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