Ian McKellen

Ian McKellen - Updated Feb 2023

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Updated On December 30, 2022

Ian McKellen is a well-known British thespian and film actor. Ian McKellen is famous for his roles as ‘Magneto’ and ‘Gandalf’ in the film series ‘X-Men’ and ‘The Lord of the Rings,’ respectively.

Early Life

Ian McKellen was born in Burnley, Lancashire, England on May 25, 1939. His full name is Ian Murray McKellen. As of 2022, he is 83 years old under the astrological sign Gemini. McKellen holds British nationality and belongs to mixed ethnicity.

Ian McKellen

Caption: Ian McKellen with his family source: Ian McKellen.

Regarding his family background, Ian McKellen was born to Denis Murray (Father), a civil engineer, and Margery Lois (Mother). He had an older sister, Jean, who was five years his senior.

His family relocated to Wigan shortly before the outbreak of the “Second World War” in September 1939. They lived there during the war and his early childhood before relocating to Bolton.


Speaking of his educational background, Ian McKellen went to the nursery school that was attached to the ‘Dicconson Street Wesleyan Primary School.’ He then attended ‘Wigan Grammar School for Boys,’ before being transferred to ‘Bolton School.’

He won a scholarship to ‘St. Catharine’s College,’ Cambridge, when he was 18 years old, where he studied English literature.

Ian McKellen – Net Worth 2022

Ian McKellen has earned a huge amount of money through his hard work and brilliance. His estimated net worth is around $60 million as of 2022. However, there is no information available concerning his partnerships with any brands.


Talking about his career, In 1961, McKellen made his professional debut as ‘Roper’ in ‘A Man for All Seasons’ at the ‘Belgrade Theatre Coventry.’ He made his West End debut in ‘A Scent of Flowers’ at regional repertory theatres in 1964.

This play received positive feedback. He was a member of Laurence Olivier’s ‘National Theatre Company’ at the Old Vic in 1965. This membership led to positions at the ‘Chichester Festival,’ which includes classics as well as contemporary writing and musicals.

He rose to fame in British theater between 1970 and 1990 by appearing in the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre.  Likewise, he portrayed a South African tycoon in the 1993 film “Six Degrees of Separation”.

He received an “Emmy” nomination the same year for his work in the television film “And the Band Played On.” Gods and Monsters, a 1998 movie starring Ian McKellen, was based on the homosexuality of director James Whale. He had a special affection for the plot.

Ian McKellen

Caption: Ian McKellen in the film series ‘X-Men’ source: ComicBook.

In the 2000 movie “X-Men,” which was directed by Bryan Singer, he portrayed the supervillain “Magneto.” In the movies “X2” (2003), “X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006), and “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” he returned as “Magneto” (2014).

McKellen was chosen to play “Wizard Gandalf” in Peter Jackson’s film adaptation of “The Lord of the Rings.” It was a reimagining of J. R. R. Tolkien’s book of the same name. He had always wanted to be a soap opera actor.

His dream came true when he was given the chance to play “Mel Hutchwright” in the 2005 season of “Coronation Street” on Granada Television.

More about his career

He performed in a hugely successful revival of “Waiting for Godot” in 2009 at London’s “Haymarket Theatre.” Sean Mathias was in charge of the direction, and McKellen starred opposite Patrick Stewart.

He portrayed “Freddie Thornhill” in the British television sitcom “Vicious,” which ran from 2013 to 2016. The “Finale Special” of the series was aired in the US in 2016. He portrayed “The Earl of Southampton” in the 2018 British historical fiction film “All Is True.”

In “The Good Liar” and “Cats,” respectively, he played “Roy Courtnay” and “Gus the Theatre Cat” the next year.

Awards and Achievements

McKellen was knighted by the Queen in 1991 for his contributions to the performing arts. Following that, he took over as Professor of Contemporary Theatre at ‘Oxford University,’ succeeding Stephen Sondheim.

He received six ‘Olivier Awards.’ His performance as ‘Max’ in Sherman’s enthralling play ‘Bent’ earned him the title of ‘Actor of the Year.’ He won a ‘Golden Globe Award’ in 1996 for his portrayal of ‘Nicholas II’ in ‘Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny.’ He won the award for ‘Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role.’

Personal Life

Regarding his love life, His first committed relationship was with Bolton history teacher Brian Taylor, with whom he is openly gay. They were both from London, and their eight-year relationship began in 1964.

At the Edinburgh festival in 1978, he met up with Sean Mathias, his second partner. Ten years into their difficult marriage, they made the decision to call it quits.

Ian McKellen

Caption: Ian McKellen with Sean Mathias source: The Mirror.

In 2006, McKellen was diagnosed with prostate cancer. In 2012, he stated that he is being examined on a regular basis and that the cancer is under control. He also stated that no treatment was required. He received an honorary Doctorate of Letters from the ‘University of Cambridge’ in 2014.

Body Measurements

Ian McKellen is very handsome and attractive, undoubtedly. He has a perfect height of about 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm) and weighs about 69 kg (152 lbs). In addition, McKellen has blue pair of eyes and grey hair color.

Ian McKellen – Social Media

Regarding his social media presence, Ian McKellen is active on his Instagram account @ianmckellen with 2.1 million followers. Moreover, McKellen also has 4.1 million followers on Twitter and 8.1 million followers on Facebook.