Ian McKellen Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CBE (born May 25, 1939) is a highly acclaimed stage and screen actor, the recipient of a Tony Award and several Oscar nominations. Best known for his roles as Gandalf in the 2001-2003 Lord of the Rings film trilogy and as Magneto in the X-Men series of movies, his work has spanned genres from serious Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction movies. He is also known for his voicework, most recently he narrated Richard Bell's Eighteen, as a grandfather who leaves his WWII memoirs on audiocassette for his teenage grandson. He is also known as an activist for the rights of gays and lesbians.
Queen Elizabeth II appointed him a CBE in 1979 and knighted him in 1990 for his outstanding work and contributions to the theatre.