Ian McKellen is an English actor best known for his role of the titular King in Richard III (1995), James Whale in Gods and Monsters (1998), Magneto in the X-Men films, and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings. 79-year-old regarded as one of greatest stage and screen actors was appointed as the Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours.
Ian McKellen was born as Sir Ian Murray McKellen on May 25, 1939, in Burnley, Lancashire to Margery Lois and Denis Murray McKellen, a civil engineer. He has one sister, Jean; she is five years older than him. With the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, his family moved to Wigan. They lived there until the war ended. His early childhood days were almost spent there. He was enrolled at the Bolton School (Boys' Division). He attended there regularly to talk to pupils. His acting career started at Bolton Little Theatre, of which he is now the patron.
The graduate in English with a 2:2 from Cambridge University, McKellen made his professional appearance in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre, then got a chance to perform in Royal Theatre.
In 1969, he inaugurated his film career with his role of George Matthews in A Touch of Love, followed by his first leading role was as D. H. Lawrence in Priest of Love in 1980. The nominee of BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work in the review of the film, The Washington Post, McKellen was cast as the comic villain Magneto in 1999 in the 2000 film X-Menand its sequels X2: X-Men United (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006) alongside the actors like Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Kesley Grammer, and many others.
Also, the Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings, McKellen hosted Saturday Night Live on March 6, 2002. He is a 2 times Oscar, 4 BAFTA, and 5 times Emmy Awards nominee.
In 2013, McKellen co-starred Derek Jacobi in the ITV sitcom Vicious as Freddie Thornhill and in the 2015 drama The Dresser alongside Edward Fox and Emily Watson.
With his professional career of 59 years, Ian McKellen has earned massive fame and huge bundles of money. His net worth as of 2018 is estimated to be over $55 million. For his role in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, he earned $5 million while the X-Men series earned him over $20 million in total.
Though he has kept his property details undisclosed, he reportedly owns million dollars mansion in London.
Besides, huge earnings, he has also earned the honors of 6 Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, 2 Saturn Awards, 4 Drama Desk Awards, and 2 Critics' Choice Awards.
Ian who is claimed to be homosexual is not married yet. It is reported that when Ian was 18, he was desperately in love with Sir Derek Jacobi while in St. Catharine's College, University of Cambridge.
However, later in 1964, he began dating his partner, Brian Taylor, a history teacher from Bolton. Their relationship ended after 8 years in 1972. In 1978 he began dating, Sean Mathias whom he met at the Edinburgh Festival. Their relationship lasted for about 10 years.
In early 2013, he was appointed as the minister of the Universal Life Church for the wedding of his friend and X-Men co-star Patrick Stewart to the singer Sunny Ozell.
As for a fact, in 2006, Ian McKellen was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Besides being an actor, he is also a Fellow of St Catherine's College, Oxford.