Biographic by Steve McGarry for November 24, 2013
Biographic Steve McGarry Sir Ian McKellen Born in the northern England town of Burnley, Lancashire, on May 25, 1939, Ian McKellen was interested in acting from a very early age. He attended Cambridge University, where he was a member of the Marlowe Society Theatre Club, before working in repertory and then joining Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company. By the end of the 1960s, he had enjoyed U.K. TV success, most notably starring in the title role of "David Copperfield." H made his film debut in 1969's "A Touch of Love," and he had also established himself as one of the rising stars of British Theater, he went on to perform regularly at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, earning great acclaim for such roles a the lead in "Macbeth" and Iago in "Othello." Having earned a number of awards in the 1980s for his stage work, including a Tony for his role in "Amadeus," he won a Golden Globe for the 1996 TV movie "Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny." 1998's "Gods and Monsters" brought him an Oscar nomination, as did his portrayal of Gandalf in 2001's "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring." He has reprised the role of Gandalf in numerous movies, as well as portraying the villainous Magneto in several blockbusters based on the "X-men" franchise. Knighted in 1991, Sir Ian McKellen is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest actors Britain has ever produced.