Ian McKellen

Lowest Rated: 8% Doogal (2006)
Birthday: May 25, 1939
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 This offer was withdrawn two years later, when McKellen's involvement in theatre almost completely eclipsed his studies.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 and Sarah (1995), and he earned particular acclaim for his titular perform


Highest Rated Movies



No Score Yet Cats Gus the Theatre Cat 2019
No Score Yet The Good Liar Roy Courtnay 2019
71% All Is True Henry Wriothesley 2019
71% Beauty and the Beast Cogsworth $504M 2017
No Score Yet 50 Years Legal Actor 2017
100% McKellen: Playing the Part Actor 2017
No Score Yet Animal Crackers Horatio P. Huntington 2016
100% The Dresser Norman 2015
89% 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
90% 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 E'gad, Zombies! Actor 2010
No Score Yet Acting Shakespeare Actor 2010
No Score Yet A Lost and Found Box of Human Sensation Actor 2010
No Score Yet King Lear Actor 2008
No Score Yet Country Matters Actor 2008
42% The Golden Compass Iorek Byrnison $70.2M 2007
76% Stardust Narrator $38.3M 2007
No Score Yet Displaced Voice Artist 2007
73% Flushed Away Toad $64.5M 2006
No Score Yet The Secret Policeman's Ball Actor 2006
83% Saint of 9/11 Narrator 2006
57% X-Men: The Last Stand Eric Lensherr/Magneto $234.4M 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
93% The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Gandalf $364.1M 2003
85% X2: X-Men United Magneto $214.9M 2003
95% 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
73% 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
70% Restoration Will Gates 1996
94% Richard III Richard III Screenwriter Executive Producer 1995
No Score Yet Thin Ice Himself 1995
36% 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
69% The Ballad of Little Jo Percy Corcoran 1993
36% Last Action Hero Death 1993
No Score Yet Charles Dickens' Ghost Stories Actor 1990
91% Scandal John Profumo 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
40% 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


No Score Yet The Graham Norton Show
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 2017
No Score Yet The Late Late Show With James Corden
  • 2019
  • 2017
  • 2015
No Score Yet The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
  • 2019
  • 2015
No Score Yet Family Guy
Dr. Cecil Pritchfield
  • 2018
No Score Yet Independent Lens
  • 2018
No Score Yet Variety Studio: Actors on Actors
  • 2016
No Score Yet Vicious
Freddie Thornhill
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
No Score Yet Charlie Rose
  • 2015
No Score Yet Shakespeare Uncovered
  • 2015
No Score Yet The View
  • 2015
  • 2013
  • 2011
No Score Yet Late Night With Seth Meyers
  • 2014
No Score Yet Great Performances
King Lear
  • 2014
  • 2009
No Score Yet Late Show With David Letterman
  • 2013
No Score Yet Sunday Morning
  • 2013
No Score Yet The Daily Show With Jon Stewart
  • 2013
No Score Yet Colbert Report
  • 2012
94% Doctor Who
Voice of the Snowman
  • 2012
No Score Yet Late Night With Jimmy Fallon
  • 2009
17% The Prisoner
  • 2009
89% Extras
Guest Ian McKellen
  • 2007
No Score Yet Real Time With Bill Maher
  • 2006
  • 2004
85% The Simpsons
  • 2003
No Score Yet Saturday Night Live
Guest Host
  • 2002
No Score Yet Masterpiece
Mr. Creakle
  • 2000
No Score Yet Mystery!
  • 1982
No Score Yet Coronation Street
Mel Hutchwright
No Score Yet Great Canal Journeys
75% More Tales Of The City
Archibald Anson Gidde
100% Tales of the City
Archibald Anson Gidde
100% The Prisoner