Ian McKellen Net Worth and Salary: Sir Ian McKellen is an English actor who has a net worth of $60 million. McKellan is undoubtedly one of the most decorated actors in history and has become a true legend in the entertainment industry. Throughout his career, he has won countless well-deserved awards. Indeed, there are no British acting awards that Sir Ian not to be won.
Although McKellan has a strong reputation as a brilliant stage actor, he is probably best known in the world for his mainstream film roles. Lord of the Rings audiences will know him best as the actor who played Gandalf, while X-Men fans will instantly recognize him as the man who played Magneto.
Early Life: Ian Murray McKellan was born on May 25, 1939 in Lancashire, England. Raised against the backdrop of the Second World War, Ian was brought up as a Christian and moved to the town of Wigan with his family at a young age. Speaking about his experiences of living through the conflict, McKellan admitted that he “slept under a steel plate” until the age of four to protect himself from bombing, and that he never really understood that war it was not normal until it grew.
Ian began his acting career performing in school plays. At the age of 18, he went on a scholarship to St. Catharine’s College, Cambridge. During his college years, McKellan studied English literature and became a member of the Marlowe Society, Cambridge’s famous drama club. As a member, McKellan appeared on 23 of their songs. By the time he was 24, both parents had died.
Career: Predictably, Ian McKellan’s professional acting career began in the theatre. The theater in Belgrade became the launching pad for the young actor, projected with a leading role in “A Man for All Seasons”. In the mid-1960s, he performed at the Old Vic as a member of the National Theater Company. He then joined the Prospect Theater companies and had success with roles in ‘Richard II’ and ‘Edward II’ and by the 1970s was one of Britain’s best-known stage actors.
Over the next few decades, Ian made a name for himself with the Royal National Theater and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and by the late 1970s Shakespeare had truly exhibited the mastery of his works.
Since the late 1960s, Ian McKellan has been pursuing a career in film alongside his involvement in theatre. In 1969, he booked his first role in the film ‘A Touch of Love’. A decade-long hiatus followed before booking a lead role in Priest of Love. Again, it was a decade before Ian McKellan returned to film, but he made a lasting impact in the 90s. One of the first roles that really got him noticed was in Six Degrees of Separation, and other leading roles in films like The Last Action Hero quickly followed.
McKellan wowed film critics with his role in And the Band Played On in 1993, before co-producing and co-writing Richard III. The film was based on a play by Shakespeare, and Ian once again played a leading role in the critically acclaimed film. Critics have also praised the actor for his next roles in ‘Art Pupil’ and ‘Show Boat’.
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In the following period, Ian McKellan booked two of his most famous film roles. The first came in 1999 when he was cast as Magneto in “X-Men,” one of the first superhero movies of the modern era. The film was an incredible success, and McKellan reprized the role in three X-Men sequels.
While filming “X-Men,” McKellan was cast as Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” film franchise directed by Peter Jackson. The first film, “The Fellowship of the Ring”, was released in 2001 and two sequels followed. Not only did Ian appear in the entire trilogy, but he reprized his role as Gandalf in the film series “The Hobbit”, which was released in three open segments in 2012.
By the 2000s, McKellan had returned to Shakespeare and other theater productions in London. In 2017, he appeared in the title role of ‘King Lear’ in what he described as his last major Shakespearean role. However, in 2020 he announced that he would be playing the role of Hamlet again. Over the years, Ian also became involved with several theater organizations behind the scenes, and on stage.
When McKellan wasn’t on stage or filming scenes as Gandalf or Magneto, he was appearing in shows like ‘Coronation Street’, ‘Extras’, ‘The Prisoner’, ‘Saturday Night Live’, ‘Dr. Who” and many more. . In 2006, he booked a role in ‘The Da Vinci Code’ which became a box office hit. In the late 2010s, he appeared in films such as The Dresser, Disney’s live-action reboot of Beauty and the Beast, and The Good Liar.
Personal life: Ian McKellan is openly gay and has announced his sexual orientation since the late 80s. During this time, he stopped eating all meat except fish and became a pescatarian. In 2006, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer, although he told fans not to worry because he received treatment and is healthy. Ian is very active in the fight for LGBTQ rights.
Real Estate: In 2011, McKellan was reported to be buying a 300-year-old pub in East London. The race was close to McKellan’s residence and had special meaning for him. Charles Dickens frequented the pub and, as the story goes, was made to stand up and sing on one of the pub’s tables more than 200 years ago. Reports said Sir Ian planned to hire a full-time manager for the pub after completing the refurbishment.