Whether you know him best as Gandalf, Magneto, or one of the many other prolific characters he has portrayed, Sir Ian McKellen is widely considered one of the leading British actors of his generation. He has had a rich and varied career encompassing the stage, screen, and TV, and he has been a LGBT rights activist since coming out to the public himself in 1988. He is also known for being besties with fellow twinkly-eyed English actor Sir Patrick Stewart, and for triumphing in an epic showdown against the Balrog.
Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939) is an English actor. He has won multiple Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, two Academy Award nominations, and five Emmy Award nominations. His work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He is known for film roles such as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, Magneto in the X-Men films, and as Sir Leigh Teabing in The Da Vinci Code. McKellen was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1979, was knighted in 1991 for services to the performing arts, and was made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality, in the 2008 New Year Honours. McKellen was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England, though he spent most of his early life in Wigan. Born shortly before the outbreak of World War II, the experience had some lasting impact on him.
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