Sir Ian McKellen (born 1939) is a British actor who was knighted in 1991 for outstanding contributions to theater. He has gained international recognition for playing Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings series of films. He has also appeared in three films in the popular X-Men series and in anti-Christian films such as The Da Vinci Code and The Golden Compass. He is currently appearing in a production of Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot in London's West End and will reprise the role of Gandalf for an adaptation of The Hobbit.
Politics and sexuality
McKellen is an atheist and opposes capital punishment. McKellen publicly came out as a homosexual at the relatively late age of 49. He has been highly critical of so-called homophobic legislation in the United Kingdom, which stopped homosexuality from being preached in state schools (later disgracefully repealed).