Sir Ian McKellen is an actor of stage and screen, as well as a prolific equality activist.
Notable film roles include James Whale in 'Gods and Monsters', Magneto in The 'X-Men' trilogy and Gandalf in 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the 1st 'Lord of the Rings' movie 'The Fellowship of the Ring.' He will reprise this role in the 2012 and 2013 movies based on 'The Hobbit.'
On stage, he has enjoyed a long and varied career. He has performed the title roles in Shakesperean plays such as 'Macbeth' and 'King Lear', as well as comedy roles like Widow Twanky in 'Aladdin.'
He fulfilled a somewhat surprising ambition when he appeared in the British soap opera 'Coronation Street' at the height of his fame.
He has been openly homosexual since the 1980s when he became a staunch gay rights activist and was a founding member of Stonewall: an LGBT rights charity.
Person 1: I loved Ian McKellen in the "X-Men" movies.
Person 2: Really? As enjoyable as it was I'd say he has been in many movies and plays far more worthy of attention.
Person 1: I only like action movies.
Person 2: You're an idiot.