During the summer of 1976 theatergoers who had the good fortune to be in Stratford-upon-Avon were treated to riveting performances by a young actor who co-starred in two of Shakespeare’s most legendary works.
That season established Ian McKellen as one of our era’s most charismatic actors. It was altogether fitting, then, that in May of 1996 he was selected as the inaugural recipient of a newly-created Gielgud Award for Excellence in the Dramatic Arts.
In the mid-1990s Sir Richard Eyre directed McKellen in a Richard III that thrilled audiences on three continents. A short time later Sir Ian had gone on to co-produce, and star in, a cinematic adaptation of the same classic. That brilliant film paved the way for his leading roles in a memorable series of other motion pictures, among them All is True, Beauty and the Beast, Cats, The Da Vinci Code, Gods and Monsters, The Good Liar, Mr. Holmes, King Lear, The Lord of the Rings, and The X-Men.
Sir Ian’s distinguished television work stretches from Rasputin to Coronation Street, from Extras with Ricky Gervais to Vicious with Sir Derek Jacobi. And on the first-ever Film On Four, he co-starred with Barbara Jefford and Jim Broadbent in Stephen Frears’ Walter, and in the title role of Ronald Harwood’s The Dresser, with Anthony Hopkins depicting Sir.
Sir Ian has also delighted audiences in Acting Shakespeare and McKellen on Stage, his celebrated one-man shows, as well as in a double bill with Sir Patrick Stewart that revived two 20th-century-masterpieces, Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land.
Not surprisingly, Sir Ian’s work has garnered dozens of accolades, among them a Tony Award for his role as Salieri in the Broadway presentation of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus, four Olivier Awards for his many performances in London’s West End (among them starring roles in Bent and Wild Honey), a Screen Actors Guild Award for his portrayal of Gandalf the Grey in The Fellowship of the Rings, and a Golden Globe Award for his depiction of Nicholas II in Rasputin.
In addition to his knighthood (KBE), awarded in 1999, Sir Ian has also been appointed a Companion of Honor (CH) by Her Majesty the Queen in recognition of his many services to drama and to equity.
Please join us for a wide-ranging dialogue, hosted by John F. Andrews, with a man who is globally renowned not only for his many accomplishments as a theatre artist, but for all he’s contributed to making our world a better place.
Please help the NAC support artists. By making a donation with your registration, you contribute directly to the NAC Artist Fellows program, helping to further the careers of up-and-coming artists.
This program will be hosted via Zoom. You will receive additional details upon registration.