Fast Facts

  • His interest in the theater was sparked by his parents, who took him to see Peter Pan at the Manchester Opera House when he was 3.
  • Originally wanted to become a journalist.
  • Made his professional stage debut in 1961 without any formal dramatic training in a production of A Man for All Seasons at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry; later made his TV acting debut in 1964 in an episode of the British series Kipling.
  • Knighted by Margaret Thatcher in 1991 and later quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying: "I think I get far more respect than I deserve in Hollywood, because of the 'Sir.' They think, 'Oh my God, who is this guy? Is he related to the Queen'?"
  • Claimed not to have read The Lord of the Rings books prior to acting in the film trilogy.
  • Turned down the role of Professor Albus Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
  • In addition to his knighthood, was made a Companion of Honour in the Queen's 2008 New Year's Honours for his contributions to drama and equality.

Awards

  • 2003, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2008, Olivier Awards — Best Actor: Nominee
  • 1999, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1994, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or Special: Nominee
  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Winner
  • 2001, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 1996, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Adapted Screenplay: Nominee
  • 1998, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1998, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1984, Tony — Actor (Play): Nominee
  • 1981, Tony — Actor (Play): Winner
  • 1996, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 2007, Emmy — Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series: Nominee
  • 2001, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2010, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2003, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Winner
  • 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie: Nominee
  • 2002, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2004, Genie Awards — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1996, Emmy — Outstanding Supporting Actor for a Miniseries or a Special: Nominee
  • 2001, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Actor in a Leading Role: Nominee
  • 1996, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Nominee
  • 1997, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television: Winner

Relationships

  • Margery Lois McKellen — Mother
  • Denis Murray McKellen — Father
  • Jean McKellen — Sister

College

  • University of Cambridge, St. Catharine's College, Cambridge, England (BA in English Literature, 1961)

Details

  • Birth Name: Ian Murray McKellen
  • Birth Place: Burnley, Lancashire, England
  • Birthday: May 25, 1939, Gemini
  • Profession: Actor
  • User Rating:4.9 out of 5 (21 ratings)
  • Your Rating:

Trending TonightSee all »