Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939), is an English stage and screen actor, the recipient of the Tony Award and two Academy Award nominations. His work has spanned genres from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He is known to many for roles such as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and as Magneto in the X-Men films.
He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979, and knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for his outstanding work and contributions to the theatre. In the 2008 New Year Honours he was made a Companion of Honour (CH) for services to drama and to equality.
In 1988, he came out as gay and became a founding member of Stonewall, one of the United Kingdom's most influential LGBT rights groups, of which he remains a prominent spokesman.
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Sir Ian McKellan is a much admired actor of both stage and screen. In particular he is known for his portrayal of Shakespearean characters. Perhaps the best movie was The Hobbit when he played Gandalf.