Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen

Highest Rated: 100% And the Band Played On (1993)

Lowest Rated: 8% Doogal (2006)

Birthday: May 25, 1939

Birthplace: Burnley, Lancashire, England, UK

While he remained best known for his starring roles in the "Lord of the Rings" and "X-Men" franchises, Ian McKellen's list of accomplishments went beyond the Hollywood blockbusters that made him a star in the U.S. Born in Lancashire, England in 1939, McKellen took an interest in theater at the age of three when his family attended a performance of "Peter Pan." He performed in plays at school and even at home using a fold-away toy theater made of wood and Bakelite that his parents gave him for Christmas. Eventually, McKellen received a scholarship to attend St Catharine's College, Cambridge, where he was a member of the Marlowe Society, appearing in 23 plays during his three years there. After graduating, he moved on to professional theater, making his debut in 1961 in a production of "A Man for All Seasons" at Coventry's Belgrade Theatre. He spent the next few years gaining experience in repertory theater before landing his first West End role in "A Scent of Flowers." In 1965, he became a member of Laurence Olivier's National Theatre Company at the Old Vic and was soon acting with the Prospect Theatre Company as well, where his performances in Shakespeare's "Richard III" and Christopher Marlowe's "Edward II" quickly became legendary. McKellen became a star of England's theater scene, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, all while simultaneously pursuing roles on screen as well. In 1966, he starred in a BBC mini-series adaptation of "David Copperfield" (BBC, 1966-1966), shortly before crossing the Atlantic to make his Broadway debut as Leonidik in "The Promise." In 1969, he made his waves in film, co-starring in the drama "A Touch of Love" (1969 and then reprising the role of Leodinik for a film adaptation of "The Promise" (1969). This oscillation between stage and screen would remain a pattern for McKellen's career, always with a strong focus on Shakespeare and other classics, with roles like Salieri in Broadway's "Amadeus" and D.H. Lawrence in the big screen's "Priest of Love" (1981) standing out amongst his more notable roles. As the '90s began, McKellen transitioned into more popular media, playing one of the villains in the action blockbuster "The Last Action Hero" (1993), and standing up for increased visibility for the LGBTQ community with his roles in "And the Band Played On" (HBO, 1993) and "Bent" (1997). In 1998, McKellen garnered particular praise and attention for his role in the James Whale biopic "Gods and Monsters" (1998), which earned him a number of awards nominations to boot. Within two years, McKellen was expanding into international pop culture as never before when he took on the role of the powerful villain Magneto in "X-Men" (2000) opposite fellow legend of the Shakespearean stage Patrick Stewart. McKellen would return for two more "X-Men" sequels while he simultaneously co-starred as the wizard Gandalf in the massively popular "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. By the time he had concluded both series in 2006, McKellen was a massive star, but he continued to choose his roles carefully, co-starring on a reboot of the classic surrealistic TV series "The Prisoner" (ITV, 2009) and reuniting with Patrick Stewart for an acclaimed Broadway revival of "Waiting for Godot" in 2013. McKellen reprised the role of Gandalf for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" (2012) and its two sequels, and earned accolades for his performance on the comedy series "Vicious" (ITV, 2013-16) with fellow Royal Shakespeare Company alumn Derek Jacobi. McKellen also delighted audiences with a turn as Cogsworth in the live action remake of "Beauty and the Beast" (2017), but his Shakespearean leanings were never far behind as he co-starred with Kenneth Branagh and Judi Dench in Branagh's biopic of the playwright, "All is True" (2018).

Highest rated movies

The Dresser
And the Band Played On
Gods and Monsters
Richard III
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring




75% 94% Infinitum: Subject Unknown Dr Charles Marland-White (Character) - 2021
100% 100% Hating Peter Tatchell Self - 2021
75% 91% On Broadway Self $82.3K 2019
19% 53% Cats Gus the Theatre Cat (Character) $27.2M 2019
63% 85% The Good Liar Roy Courtnay (Character) $17.1M 2019
72% 66% All Is True Henry Wriothesley (Character) $1.2M 2018
64% 78% Animal Crackers Horatio P. Huntington (Voice) - 2017
100% 80% McKellen: Playing the Part Self - 2017
71% 80% Beauty and the Beast Cogsworth (Character) $504.0M 2017
100% 61% The Dresser Norman (Character) - 2015
88% 70% Mr. Holmes Sherlock Holmes (Character) $17.7M 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Miss in Her Teens The Prologue (Character) - 2014
90% 91% X-Men: Days of Future Past Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Character) $233.9M 2014
59% 74% The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Gandalf (Character) $255.1M 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Muse of Fire Unknown (Character) - 2013
74% 85% The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Gandalf (Character) $258.4M 2013
64% 83% The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Gandalf (Character) $303.0M 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation Narrator - 2010
No Score Yet No Score Yet Acting Shakespeare Unknown (Character) - 2010
No Score Yet 71% King Lear King Lear (Character) - 2008
42% 51% The Golden Compass Iorek Byrnison (Voice) $70.1M 2007
77% 86% Stardust Narrator $38.3M 2007
No Score Yet No Score Yet Displaced Unknown (Voice) - 2006
73% 65% Flushed Away Toad (Voice) $64.5M 2006
83% 79% Saint of 9/11 Narrator $4.9K 2006
57% 61% X-Men: The Last Stand Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Character) $234.4M 2006
26% 57% The Da Vinci Code Sir Leigh Teabing (Character) $217.5M 2006
8% 22% Doogal Zebedee (Voice) $7.6M 2006
No Score Yet 47% Eighteen Jason Anders (Voice) - 2005
14% 65% Neverwas Gabriel Finch (Character) - 2005
36% 42% Asylum Peter Cleave (Character) $374.9K 2005
60% 50% The Magic Roundabout Zebedee (Voice) - 2005
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Hobart Shakespeareans Self - 2005
57% 62% Emile Emile (Character) - 2003
93% 86% The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Gandalf (Character) $377.8M 2003
85% 85% X2 Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Character) $214.9M 2003
95% 95% The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Gandalf (Character) $342.6M 2002
92% 95% The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Gandalf (Character) $315.5M 2001
45% 70% Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man Narrator $15.6M 2000
82% 83% X-Men Erik Lehnsherr/Magneto (Character) $157.3M 2000
96% 83% Gods and Monsters James Whale (Character) $6.4M 1998
53% 56% Apt Pupil Kurt Dussander (Character) $8.8M 1998
73% 77% Bent Rudy (Character) $418.2K 1997
28% 76% Swept From the Sea Dr. James Kennedy (Character) $283.1K 1997
No Score Yet No Score Yet A Bit of Scarlet Narrator - 1997
No Score Yet 79% Rasputin Tsar Nicholas II (Character) - 1996
83% 81% Cold Comfort Farm Amos Starkadder (Character) $5.6M 1995
96% 85% Richard III Richard III (Character),
Executive Producer
$2.4M 1995
71% 59% Restoration Will Gates (Character) $3.5M 1995
74% 79% Jack & Sarah William (Character) $114.8K 1995
35% 44% The Shadow Dr. Reinhardt Lane (Character) $32.0M 1994
No Score Yet No Score Yet To Die For Quilt Documentary Narrator (Voice) $8.6K 1994
76% 64% The Ballad of Little Jo Percy Corcoran (Character) $459.3K 1993
100% 88% And the Band Played On Bill Kraus (Character) - 1993
88% 71% Six Degrees of Separation Geoffrey (Character) $6.3M 1993
40% 47% Last Action Hero Death (Character) - 1993
91% 60% Scandal John Profumo (Character) $7.8M 1989
No Score Yet 43% Windmills of the Gods Chairman (Character) - 1988
No Score Yet No Score Yet Zina Kronfeld (Character) - 1985
40% 43% The Keep Dr. Theodore Cuza (Character) - 1983
No Score Yet No Score Yet Walter and June Walter (Character) - 1983
No Score Yet 89% The Scarlet Pimpernel Chauvelin (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet No Score Yet Walter Walter (Character) - 1982
No Score Yet 60% Priest of Love D.H. Lawrence (Character) - 1981
No Score Yet 69% A Performance of Macbeth Unknown (Character) - 1978
No Score Yet No Score Yet Edward II King Edward (Character) - 1970
No Score Yet No Score Yet Thank You All Very Much George Matthews (Character) - 1969
No Score Yet 64% Alfred the Great Roger (Character) - 1969
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Promise Leonidik (Character) - 1969


No Score Yet 100% The Graham Norton Show Guest 2014 2017-2019 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet The Jonathan Ross Show Guest 2021
No Score Yet No Score Yet Entertainment Studios.TV Guest 2015 2019
No Score Yet No Score Yet etalk Guest 2019
No Score Yet 41% The Late Show With Stephen Colbert Guest 2019
No Score Yet 28% The Late Late Show With James Corden Guest 2015 2019
No Score Yet 62% Family Guy Dr. Cecil Pritchfield (Guest Voice) 2018
No Score Yet No Score Yet Who Do You Think You Are? Guest 2017
No Score Yet 94% Vicious Freddie (Character) 2013 2015-2016
No Score Yet No Score Yet Tavis Smiley Guest 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Variety Studio: Actors on Actors Guest 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Charlie Rose Guest 2015
No Score Yet 0% The Talk Guest 2015
No Score Yet 8% The View Guest 2013 2015
No Score Yet 54% The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Guest 2015
No Score Yet No Score Yet Live! With Kelly and Michael Guest 2012 2014-2015
No Score Yet 100% Shakespeare Uncovered Guest 2015
No Score Yet 39% Late Night With Seth Meyers Guest 2014
No Score Yet No Score Yet Theater Talk Guest 2013
No Score Yet 75% Late Show With David Letterman Guest 2013
No Score Yet 100% The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Guest 1999 2002 2013
No Score Yet No Score Yet Kickin' It: With Byron Allen Guest 2012
No Score Yet No Score Yet Anderson Guest 2012
No Score Yet 100% The Colbert Report Guest 2012
17% 40% The Prisoner Two (Character) 2009
No Score Yet 20% Late Night With Jimmy Fallon Guest 2009
No Score Yet No Score Yet Churchill Narrator 2003 2008
88% 89% Extras Unknown (Guest Star) 2006
85% 75% The Simpsons Himself (Guest Voice) 2003
No Score Yet 44% Saturday Night Live Host 2002
No Score Yet 100% Masterpiece Theatre Unknown (Character) 2000