BBC Home
Explore the BBC


Guides: Lord Of The Rings Actors

Last Updated: Thursday October 31 2002 13:21 GMT

Sir Ian McKellen (Gandalf)

Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf the wizard
Full name: Sir Ian Murray McKellen
Birthday: 25 May 1939
Born: Burnley, England
Hair: Grey
Eyes: Blue
Family: Father Dennis, mother Margery Lois, sister Jean
Films: The Scarlet Pimpernel, X-Men, X-Men 2, Lord of the Rings
LOTR character: Gandalf
Stage: He's appeared in high-profile plays since the 1960s including loads of Shakespeare

  • Sir Ian was a war child in World War II and often slept under an iron bomb-proof table in his family's dining room
  • He had diphtheria when he was 3
  • His interest in theatre started when his parents took him to see Peter Pan when he was 3
  • He studied English at Cambridge University
  • He's a vegetarian
  • He was head boy at Bolton School
  • He was knighted by the Queen for all his work in the performing arts in 1990
  • He's won loads of top awards for his acting

BBC Homepage >> | CBBC Homepage >>

Meet the Team | Help | Contact Us | News sources | Privacy & Cookies Policy