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Sir Ian Murray McKellen, CH, CBE (born 25 May 1939) is an English stage and screen actor, the recipient of the Tony Award and two Oscar nominations. McKellen is best known to moviegoers in recent years for his roles as Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy and as Magneto in the X-Men trilogy. His work has spanned genres from serious Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1979, and knighted in the 1991 New Year Honours for his outstanding work and contributions to the theatre. In the 2008 New Year Honours he was made a Companion of Honour (CH) for services to Drama and to Equality.