THE GOOD LIAR
IAN McKELLEN (Roy) has been honored with more than 40
international awards for his
performances on screen and stage.
He was born in 1939 and raised in the industrial north of England of Northern
He started acting professionally in 1961. After reading English at Cambridge
completing a three-year apprenticeship with regional theatre companies in the
UK, he was soon
recognized in London as a prominent actor of his generation in Shakespeare and
His youthful performances as Shakespeare's "Richard II" and Marlowe's "Edward
stormed the 1969 Edinburgh Festival, played two seasons in London, toured Europe
televised. In pursuit of the ideal theatre ensemble, he was a founder-member of
Actors' Company. As leading man for the Royal Shakespeare Company, he has played
with Judi Dench and Iago with Willard White, both now DVD classics. He has
starred in a score
of modern plays in London, many for the National Theatre under its first
director Laurence Olivier
and his successors. McKellen delighted his fans by playing an outrageous Dame
running in the traditional pantomime "Aladdin" at the Old Vic Theatre in London.
He then toured
the world as King Lear in the final production for The Royal Shakespeare
Works Festival (2007), followed by a sell-out tour and two London seasons in
"Waiting for Godot."
He recently completed 100 performances of his second "King Lear" in London's
McKellen has worked extensively on television, including performances in Stephen
"Walter," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "And the Band Played On," "Rasputin," "Cold
and the ITV sit-com "Vicious." In 2005 he fulfilled his ambition to act in the
soap, "Coronation Street."
He has made more than 40 movies. In 1995, he executive produced, co-scripted
starred in the film adaptation of "Richard III." After Stephen King's "Apt
Pupil," he achieved his
first Oscar nomination as film director James Whale in "Gods and Monsters." A
of cinemagoers discovered him as the mutant Magneto in the "X-Men" films, and as
Gandalf, in his Oscar-nominated performance in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
Bill Condon's "Beauty and the Beast," lending his voice as Cogsworth alongside a
ensemble cast, including Emma Watson, Luke Evans and Emma Thompson. He will next
seen starring as Gus the Theatre Cat in the Tom Hooper movie of "Cats."
McKellen recently completed the tour of his one-man show, "Ian McKellen On
Tolkien, Shakespeare, Others and YOU," which started in the West End this
September at the
Harold Pinter Theatre, all proceeds of which are being donated towards theatre
He has been an eloquent advocate for gay rights since he came out in 1988 and
cofounded Stonewall, the UK charity which lobbies for legal and social equality
for gay people. The
following year, he was knighted for his contribution to the performing arts. In
2007, the Queen
appointed him Companion of Honour "for services to Drama and Equality." He lives
London's Docklands, close to The Grapes public-house where he is a lease-holder.
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