Sir Ian McKellen

Legendary British Actor

Sir Ian McKellen is a world-renowned English actor and British cultural icon, who has deservedly won every major theatrical award in the UK for his services to the stage. His accolades include 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. He has also received two Oscar nominations, four BAFTA nominations and five Emmy Award nominations. An inspiration for aspiring actors worldwide, the BBC states that his “performances have guaranteed him a place in the canon of English stage and film actors”.

In 1958, at the age of 18, McKellen won a scholarship to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where he studied English literature; he has since been made an Honorary Fellow of the College. Whilst at Cambridge, McKellen was a member of the Marlowe Society, where he appeared in 23 plays over the course of 3 years. Despite his young age, he gave performances that have since become legendary, such as his Justice Shallow in Henry IV (1959).

Mckellen started his professional career in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre, as a member of their highly regarded repertory company. After gaining a taste for the stage, he proceeded to make his first West End appearance in 1965. In 1969, he was invited to join the Prospect Theatre Company to play the lead role in Shakespeare’s Richard II and Marlowe’s Edward II. From this point onwards, McKellen firmly established himself as one of the country’s most successful classical actors.

At present, McKellen is more commonly recognised for his popular film roles, in which he achieved worldwide fame. These include Magneto in the X-Men films, and Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies. For all generations, Sir Ian McKellen is not just a household name, but a distinguished figure of both stage and screen.

McKellen was knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for his work within the performing arts, appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1979 Birthday Honours and most recently was made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and equality in the 2008 New Year Honours. He has been openly gay since 1988 and continues to be a champion for LGBT+ rights. McKellen is a patron of LGBT History Month, Pride London, Oxford Pride, GAY-GLOS, The Lesbian & Gay Foundation, and FFLAG where he appears in their video “Parents Talking”.

To book Sir Ian McKellen to make a personal appearance at your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.