Ian McKellen - Rotten Tomatoes

Ian McKellen

Highest Rated:   100% The Dresser (2015)
Lowest Rated:   8% Doogal (2006)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Burnley, Lancashire, England, UK
Widely considered one of the leading British actors of his generation, Ian McKellen has had a rich and varied career encompassing the stage, screen, and television. A renowned stage actor in his native Britain for decades, McKellen was not familiar to most American audiences until the '90s, when he began popping up in a number of well-received films. One of these, Gods and Monsters, elevated the actor into the international spotlight when he earned an Oscar nomination for his portrayal of Frankenstein director James Whale.Born May 25, 1939, in the northern English mill town of Burnley, McKellen was the son of a civil engineer. Encouraged by his parents, he developed an early fascination with the theatre. This interest continued when his family moved to the mining town of Wigan, where McKellen began acting in school plays. At the age of 13, he performed in his first Shakespeare play, as Malvolio in a production of Twelfth Night. He gained an additional appreciation for Shakespeare during his summer vacations, when he attended camp in Stratford-upon-Avon and spent the evenings watching the likes of Laurence Olivier, Vivien Leigh, John Gielgud, and Paul Robeson give life to the playwright's work.Shakespeare played a continuing role in McKellen's life when he went to Cambridge University, where he was offered a place to study English at Saint Catherine's College. This offer was withdrawn two years later, when McKellen's involvement in theatre almost completely eclipsed his studies. His work in student theatre proved invaluable, however, allowing him to work with Derek Jacobi, David Frost, and Trevor Nunn, with whom he would go on to form a lasting professional relationship. McKellen's acting pursuits were also important for another reason: as he would later explain to numerous interviewers, the theatre introduced him to other gay men, something that eased his acceptance of his own homosexuality. McKellen's identity as a gay man would prove almost as defining a characteristic of his public persona as his identity as an actor: a vocal activist, he became one of a handful of openly gay knights when he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1991.After leaving Cambridge in 1961, McKellen began his professional career at Coventry's Belgrave Theatre, where he acted in a production of A Man for All Seasons. Three years later, he was living in London and working steadily on the stage. He acted in countless productions, a number of which he also directed, and co-founded the progressive Actors' Company in 1972. He earned a score of awards and honors for his work and in 1979 was made a Commander of the British Empire. Two years later, he won international theatrical acclaim with his Tony Award-winning portrayal of Salieri in the Broadway production of Amadeus.McKellen made his film debut in 1969 with a small role in The Promise, the same year that he caused a sensation on the stage with his portrayal of Edward II, which required him to kiss another man. It was not until 20 years later that McKellen became recognizable to international film audiences with his starring role as John Profumo in Michael Caton-Jones's Scandal (1989). Somewhat ironically, a year before gaining fame for playing one of the most infamously heterosexual public figures of the 20th century, McKellen came out to the public as a gay man during a BBC radio program. In 1993, he became recognizable to American television audiences playing gay men in And the Band Played On and Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, two acclaimed TV miniseries; McKellen earned an Emmy nomination for his work in the former. In 1996, he earned another Emmy nomination for his supporting role in Rasputin.That same year, the actor gained more visibility on the big screen, appearing in Six Degrees of Separation and The Ballad of Little Jo. He continued to turn in strong performances in such films as Cold Comfort Form (1995) and Jack a

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Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
71% Beauty and the Beast
  • Cogsworth
$319.1M 2017
No Score Yet Animal Crackers
  • Horatio P. Huntington
2016
100% The Dresser
  • Norman
2015
88% Mr. Holmes
  • Sherlock Holmes
$14.2M 2015
No Score Yet X-Men: Days of Future Past: Mutant Vs. Machine
  • Actor
2015
No Score Yet The Hobbit Trilogy
  • Gandalf
2015
59% The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  • Gandalf
$187.8M 2014
91% X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Erik Lensherr/Magneto
$199.4M 2014
No Score Yet X-Men: Days of Future Past (Rogue Cut)
  • Erik Lensherr/Magneto
2014
74% The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  • Gandalf
$180.5M 2013
64% The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  • Gandalf
$303.1M 2012
No Score Yet Acting Shakespeare
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet E'gad, Zombies!
  • Actor
2010
No Score Yet The Prisoner
  • Two
2009
No Score Yet King Lear
  • Actor
2008
No Score Yet Country Matters
  • Actor
2008
43% The Golden Compass
  • Iorek Byrnison
$70.2M 2007
No Score Yet Displaced
  • Voice Artist
2007
76% Stardust
  • Narrator
$38.3M 2007
72% Flushed Away
  • Toad
$64.5M 2006
No Score Yet The Secret Policeman's Ball
  • Actor
2006
84% Saint of 9/11
  • Narrator
2006
58% X-Men: The Last Stand
  • Eric Lensherr/Magneto
$234.3M 2006
25% The Da Vinci Code
  • Sir Leigh Teabing
$217.6M 2006
8% Doogal
  • Zebedee
$7.4M 2006
No Score Yet Luciano Pavarotti: The Last Tenor
  • Narrator
2005
14% Neverwas
  • Gabriel Finch
2005
36% Asylum
  • Dr. Peter Cleave
$0.3M 2005
57% Emile
  • Emile
2005
60% The Magic Roundabout (Doogal)
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet Ringers - Lord of the Fans
  • Actor
2005
No Score Yet The Hobart Shakespeareans
  • Actor
2004
No Score Yet Eighteen
  • Jason Anders
2004
No Score Yet Ringers: Lord of the Fans
  • Actor
2004
95% The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
  • Gandalf
$364.1M 2003
86% X2: X-Men United
  • Magneto
$214.9M 2003
96% The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Gandalf
$339.8M 2002
No Score Yet National Geographic: Beyond the Movie - The Lord of the Rings
  • Actor
2002
91% The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Gandalf
$314.1M 2001
81% X-Men
  • Magneto
$156.2M 2000
45% Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man
  • Narrator
$13.5M 2000
No Score Yet David Copperfield
  • Mr. Creakle
1999
95% Gods and Monsters
  • James Whale
1998
53% Apt Pupil (Un Élève Doué)
  • Kurt Dussander
1998
28% Swept from the Sea
  • Dr. James Kennedy
1998
67% Bent
  • Uncle Freddie
1997
No Score Yet Rasputin
  • Tsar Nicholas II
1996
83% Cold Comfort Farm
  • Amos Starkadder
1996
74% Jack & Sarah
  • William, The Tramp
1996
69% Restoration
  • Will Gates
1996
94% Richard III
  • Richard III
  • Screenwriter
  • Executive Producer
1995
No Score Yet Thin Ice
  • Himself
1995
35% The Shadow
  • Reinhardt Lane
1994
61% I'll Do Anything
  • John Earl McAlpine
1994
No Score Yet Stonewall 25: Voices of Pride and Protest
  • Actor
1994
88% Six Degrees of Separation
  • Geoffrey
1993
100% And the Band Played On
  • Kraus
1993
73% The Ballad of Little Jo
  • Percy Corcoran
1993
37% Last Action Hero
  • Death
1993
No Score Yet Charles Dickens' Ghost Stories
  • Actor
1990
91% Scandal
  • John Profumo
1989
No Score Yet Countdown to War
  • Adolf Hitler
1989
No Score Yet Sidney Sheldon's 'Windmills of the Gods'
  • Chairman
1988
No Score Yet Suleyman the Magnificent
  • Narrator
1987
No Score Yet Loving Walter
  • Walter
1986
57% Plenty
  • Sir Andrew Charleson
1985
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live - The Best of Jon Lovitz
  • Actor
1985
36% The Keep
  • Dr. Cuza
1983
No Score Yet The Scarlet Pimpernel
  • Chauvelin
1982
No Score Yet Loving Walter
  • Walter
1982
No Score Yet Priest Of Love
  • D.H. Lawrence
1981
No Score Yet A Performance of Macbeth
  • Macbeth
1978
No Score Yet Country Matters
  • Actor
1972
No Score Yet Edward II
  • Actor
1970
No Score Yet Alfred the Great
  • Roger
1969
No Score Yet A Touch of Love (Thank You All Very Much)
  • George
1969

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Vicious
2013-2016
  • Freddie Thornhill
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
2013
  • Guest
  • 2015
No Score Yet Shakespeare Uncovered
2013-2015
  • Guest
  • 2015
No Score Yet The Late Late Show With James Corden
2015
  • Guest
  • 2015
No Score Yet The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
2014
  • Guest
  • 2015
No Score Yet The View
1997
  • Guest
  • 2015
  • 2013
  • 2011
No Score Yet Late Night With Seth Meyers
2014
  • Guest
  • 2014
No Score Yet Great Performances
2000
  • King Lear
  • 2014
  • 2009
No Score Yet Late Show With David Letterman
1993-2015
  • Guest
  • 2013
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
2011
  • Appearing
  • 2013
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
1999-2015
  • Guest
  • 2013
No Score Yet Colbert Report
2005-2014
  • Guest
  • 2012
88% Doctor Who
2006
  • Voice of the Snowman
  • 2012
No Score Yet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
2009-2014
  • Guest
  • 2009
19% The Prisoner
2009
  • Two
  • 2009
No Score Yet Extras
2005-2007
  • Guest
  • Ian McKellen
  • 2007
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
2003
  • Panelist
  • 2006
  • 2004
  • 2003
No Score Yet The Simpsons
1989
  • Voice
  • 2003
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
1975
  • Host
  • Guest
  • 2002
No Score Yet Masterpiece
1971-2015
  • Mr. Creakle
  • 2000

Quotes from Ian McKellen's Characters