Sir Ian was knighted in 1990 for services to drama
Veteran British actor Sir Ian McKellen has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to showbusiness at this year's Variety Club Awards in London.
Michael McIntyre received the comedy award and Kevin Spacey was presented with the outstanding contribution to British theatre gong.
There were also prizes for Pixie Lott, Spandau Ballet, Michael Sheen, Justin Lee Collins and Simon Cowell.
The Variety Club charity helps young, disabled and disadvantaged children.
It was founded in 1949 and celebrates its diamond jubilee this year.
Collins was named best TV presenter of the year and Britain's Got Talent runner-up Faryl Smith scooped the best classical award.
Eighties band Spandau Ballet, who recently reunited, were honoured for their outstanding contribution to music and the award for best TV talent judge went to Cowell.
Pop star Lott, best known for hits such as Mama Do (Uh Oh, Uh Oh) and Boys And Girls, received the The Caron Keating breakthrough talent award.
Patrick Stewart, Alan Carr, The Saturdays, Alesha Dixon and Rupert Grint attended the event.
This year's ceremony, which was hosted by impressionist Jon Culshaw, will be broadcast on Five on Sunday 22 November at 1535 GMT.