Sir Ian Murray McKellen (born 25 May 1939) is an English actor. With a career spanning more than six decades, he is noted for his roles on the screen and stage in genres ranging from Shakespearean dramas and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He is regarded as a British cultural icon and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991. He has received numerous accolades, including a Tony Award, six Olivier Awards, and a Golden Globe Award as well as nominations for two Academy Awards, five BAFTA Awards and five Emmy Awards.
McKellen made his stage debut in 1961 at the Belgrade Theatre as a member of their repertory company. In 1965, McKellen made his first West End appearance. 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. In the 1970s, McKellen became a stalwart of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre of Great Britain. He has earned five Olivier Awards for his