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Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting ActorBest Supporting Actor in a FilmSupporting Actor
He is the recipient of six Laurence Olivier Awards, a Tony Award, a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, a BIF Award, two Saturn Awards, four Drama Desk Awards, and two Critics' Choice Awards.
Burgess Meredith, Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis are the only actors that have won the award twice, while only Javier Bardem and Heath Ledger have won both the Saturn Award and the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the same performance.

Richard III (1995 film)

Richard III1995 film version1995
He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including 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 and The Hobbit trilogies.
Richard III is a 1995 British drama film adapted from William Shakespeare's play of the same name, starring Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, Jim Broadbent, Robert Downey Jr., Nigel Hawthorne, Kristin Scott Thomas, Maggie Smith, John Wood, Tim McInnerny and Dominic West.

The Lord of the Rings (film series)

The Lord of the RingsThe Lord of the Rings'' film trilogyLord of the Rings
He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including 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 and The Hobbit trilogies.
The films feature an ensemble cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Liv Tyler, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, John Rhys-Davies, Christopher Lee, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monaghan, Orlando Bloom, Hugo Weaving, Miranda Otto, Andy Serkis and Sean Bean.

Gods and Monsters (film)

Gods and MonstersGods and Monsters'' (film)
He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including 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 and The Hobbit trilogies.
It stars Ian McKellen as Whale, along with Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave, Lolita Davidovich and David Dukes.

The Hobbit (film series)

The HobbitThe Hobbit'' film seriesThe Hobbit'' trilogy
He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including 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 and The Hobbit trilogies.
The films take place in the fictional world of Middle-earth sixty years before the beginning of The Lord of the Rings, and follow hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), who is convinced by the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) to accompany thirteen dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), on a quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch).

Magneto (Marvel Comics)

MagnetoErik LehnsherrErik Lehnsherr / Magneto
He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including 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 and The Hobbit trilogies. In 1999 McKellen was cast, again under the direction of Bryan Singer, to play the comic book supervillain Magneto in the 2000 film X-Men and its sequels X2: X-Men United (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
Ian McKellen portrayed Magneto in five films of the X-Men film series, while Michael Fassbender portrayed a younger version of the character in four films.

Prospect Theatre Company

Prospect Theater CompanyProspect Theatre
In 1969, he was invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company to play the lead parts in Shakespeare's Richard II and Marlowe's Edward II, and he firmly established himself as one of the country's foremost classical actors. With the Prospect Theatre Company, McKellen made his breakthrough performances of Richard II (directed by Richard Cottrell) and Marlowe's Edward II (directed by Toby Robertson) at the Edinburgh festival in 1969, the latter causing a storm of protest over the enactment of the homosexual Edward's lurid death.
Based at the Arts Theatre, Cambridge from 1964 until 1969, the company, with Toby Robertson as artistic director and Richard Cottrell as associate director, toured both nationally and internationally with a mainly classical repertoire, providing notable appearances of such actors as Ian McKellen and Timothy West.

2008 New Year Honours

New Year Honours 200820082008 New Year's Honours List
McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours.
*Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CBE, stage and screen actor, for services to drama and to equality.

1991 New Year Honours

New Year Honours1991-JanNew Year Honours 1991
McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours.

Royal Shakespeare Company

RSCThe Royal Shakespeare CompanyRoyal Shakespeare
In the 1970s, McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain. In the 1970s and 1980s McKellen became a well-known figure in British theatre, performing frequently at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, where he played several leading Shakespearean roles, including the title role in Macbeth (which he had first played for Trevor Nunn in a "gripping...out of the ordinary" production, with Judi Dench, at Stratford in 1976), and Iago in Othello, in award-winning productions directed by Nunn.
Both Ian McKellen in the title role and Judi Dench as Lady Macbeth received exceptionally favourable reviews.

Bolton Little Theatre

Little Theatre
McKellen's acting career started at Bolton Little Theatre, of which he is now the patron.
The theatre's Patron is Sir Ian McKellen and this is where this famous British actor started his career shortly after attending Bolton School (Boys' Division).

Sean Mathias

In 2009 he appeared in a very popular revival of Waiting for Godot at London's Haymarket Theatre, directed by Sean Mathias, and playing opposite Patrick Stewart.
He has also had a notable professional partnership with actor and former partner Sir Ian McKellen since the late 1970s.

Knight Bachelor

knightedknighthoodKt
McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours.
For instance, Sir Ian Holm, Sir Michael Gambon, Sir Derek Jacobi, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Sir Elton John, Sir Peter Stearns, Sir Michael Caine, Sir Barry Gibb and Sir Ian McKellen are Commanders of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBEs); Sir Patrick Stewart, Sir Tom Jones and Sir Van Morrison are Officers of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBEs) (as were Sir Bruce Forsyth, Sir Alan Bates, Sir Robert Helpmann, Sir Nigel Hawthorne, Sir John Mills, Sir John Hurt, Sir Christopher Lee, Sir Peter Ustinov, Sir Alec Guinness, Sir Richard Attenborough, Sir Michael Hordern and Sir Michael Redgrave during their lives); while Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) are Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE).

Trevor Nunn

Sir Trevor NunnTrevor Robert NunnTrevor
At that young age he was already giving performances that have since become legendary such as his Justice Shallow in Henry IV alongside Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi (March 1959), Cymbeline (as Posthumus, opposite Margaret Drabble as Imogen) and Doctor Faustus. In the 1970s and 1980s McKellen became a well-known figure in British theatre, performing frequently at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, where he played several leading Shakespearean roles, including the title role in Macbeth (which he had first played for Trevor Nunn in a "gripping...out of the ordinary" production, with Judi Dench, at Stratford in 1976), and Iago in Othello, in award-winning productions directed by Nunn.
At Downing, Nunn began his stage career and first met contemporaries Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi.

Derek Jacobi

Sir Derek JacobiDerek George JacobiSir Derek Jacob
At that young age he was already giving performances that have since become legendary such as his Justice Shallow in Henry IV alongside Trevor Nunn and Derek Jacobi (March 1959), Cymbeline (as Posthumus, opposite Margaret Drabble as Imogen) and Doctor Faustus.
Younger members of the university at the time included Ian McKellen (who had a crush on him—"a passion that was undeclared and unrequited", as McKellen relates it) and Trevor Nunn.

Repertory theatre

repertorystock theaterstock company
After four years in regional repertory theatres he made his first West End appearance, in A Scent of Flowers, regarded as a "notable success".
Examples of performers who went on to universal recognition are Errol Flynn, John Gielgud, Ralph Richardson, Laurence Olivier, Jeremy Brett, Judi Dench, Rosemary Harris, Ian McKellen, Peter O'Toole, Christopher Plummer, Harold Pinter, Imelda Staunton, Lynn Redgrave, Arthur Lowe, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Stewart, Geraldine McEwan and Ronnie Barker.

Richard Cottrell

With the Prospect Theatre Company, McKellen made his breakthrough performances of Richard II (directed by Richard Cottrell) and Marlowe's Edward II (directed by Toby Robertson) at the Edinburgh festival in 1969, the latter causing a storm of protest over the enactment of the homosexual Edward's lurid death.
Cottrell was instrumental in the career of Ian McKellen, inviting him to star in, and directing him in, his acclaimed Richard II in 1969.

X-Men (film series)

X-Men'' film seriesX-MenX-Men'' films
He achieved worldwide fame for his film roles, including 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 and The Hobbit trilogies.

West End theatre

West EndLondonLondon's West End
After four years in regional repertory theatres he made his first West End appearance, in A Scent of Flowers, regarded as a "notable success". In 1965, McKellen made his first West End appearance.

A Man for All Seasons

playplay of the same nameA Man For All Seasons.
McKellen made his first professional appearance in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre, as Roper in A Man for All Seasons, although an audio recording of the Marlowe Society's Cymbeline had gone on commercial sale as part of the Argo Shakespeare series.
Another famous graduate of the play is Ian McKellen, whose first theatrical role was as Will Roper in a revival production in the late 1960s.

1979 Birthday Honours

1979 Queen's Birthday Honours19791979-Jun
McKellen was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours, was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in the 2008 New Year Honours.

Judi Dench

Dame Judi DenchDame Judy DenchJudith Olivia Dench
In the 1970s and 1980s McKellen became a well-known figure in British theatre, performing frequently at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre, where he played several leading Shakespearean roles, including the title role in Macbeth (which he had first played for Trevor Nunn in a "gripping...out of the ordinary" production, with Judi Dench, at Stratford in 1976), and Iago in Othello, in award-winning productions directed by Nunn.
Its small round stage focused attention on the psychological dynamics of the characters, and both Ian McKellen in the title role, and Dench, received exceptionally favourable notices.

Apt Pupil (film)

Apt PupilfilmApt Pupil'' (film)
He appeared in the modestly acclaimed film Apt Pupil, which was directed by Bryan Singer and based on a story by Stephen King.
The film was directed by Bryan Singer and stars Ian McKellen and Brad Renfro.

Edward II (play)

Edward IIEdward the Secondplay of the same name
In 1969, he was invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company to play the lead parts in Shakespeare's Richard II and Marlowe's Edward II, and he firmly established himself as one of the country's foremost classical actors.
The Prospect Theatre Company's production of the play, starring Ian McKellen and James Laurenson, caused a sensation when it was broadcast by the BBC during the 1970s (as it included the first gay kiss transmitted on British television).

X-Men (film)

X-Menfirst filmX-Men Movie
In 1999 McKellen was cast, again under the direction of Bryan Singer, to play the comic book supervillain Magneto in the 2000 film X-Men and its sequels X2: X-Men United (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006).
The film is based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name and features an ensemble cast consisting of Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Ian McKellen, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, James Marsden, Bruce Davison, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Ray Park, and Anna Paquin.