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Ian McKellen : a biography

by O'Connor, Garry,

Format: Print Book 2019
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
Avalon Public Library Biographies 92 MCK
Location  Avalon Public Library
Collection  Biographies
Call Number  92 MCK
Mt. Lebanon Public Library New Books 792.02 OCo
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  New Books
Call Number  792.02 OCo
Northland Public Library New Books B MCKELLEN
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  New Books
Call Number  B MCKELLEN
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 92 MCK
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  92 MCK
On Order (2)
Location Collection Status
CLP - East Liberty Biographies IN PROCESSING
Location  CLP - East Liberty
Collection  Biographies
CLP - Main Library First Floor - Biography IN PROCESSING
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  First Floor - Biography

The definitive biography of Sir Ian McKellen from an acclaimed biographer

In 2001, Ian McKellen put on the robe and pointed hat of a wizard named Gandalf and won a place in the hearts of Tolkien fans worldwide. Though his role in the film adaptation of Lord of the Rings introduced him to a new audience, McKellen had a thriving career a lifetime before his visit to Middle Earth. He made his West End acting debut in 1964 in James Saunders's A Scent of Flowers , but it was in 1980 that he took Broadway by storm when he played Antonio Salieri in Peter Shaffer's Tony-Award-winning play Amadeus .

He has starred in over four hundred plays and films and he is that rare character: a celebrity whose distinguished political and social service has transcended his international fame to reach beyond the stage and screen. The breadth of his career--professional, personal and political--has been truly staggering: Macbeth (opposite Judi Dench), Iago, King Lear, Chekhov's Sorin in The Seagull and Becket's tramp Estragon (opposite Patrick Stewart) in Waiting for Godot . Add to all this his tireless political activism in the cause of gay equality and you have a veritable phenomenon. Garry O'Connor's Ian McKellen: A Biography probes the heart of the actor, recreating his greatest stage roles and exploring his personal life. Ian McKellen will show readers what makes a great actor tick. His life story has been a constantly developing drama and this biography is the next chapter.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Most of the world knows him as the wizard from Peter Jackson's cinematic interpretation of Tolkien's visionary world. But before he was Gandalf, Ian McKellen was an acclaimed stage actor, especially known for his roles in plays by Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Beckett. The reticent actor had agreed to write a memoir, but he returned his advance when he realized he couldn't share his private life, reluctantly agreeing to cooperate with biographer O'Connor, who he has known since 1958 when they were students at the University of Cambridge. Although everyone in the theater community knew he was gay, McKellen came out late in life, a risky move, and the weight of living a lie for so long is addressed. Fame on the big screen also came relatively late in McKellen's career, though he had always longed for it, and it arrived grandly in The Lord of the Rings series and The Hobbit, and also in his Academy Award-nominated role of James Whale in Gods and Monsters. Fans of McKellen and his films will appreciate O'Connor's thoughtful and gentle approach.--June Sawyers Copyright 2019 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Novelist and biographer O'Connor (The Vagabond Lover) explores the life and work of British actor Ian McKellen, a longtime friend, in this engaging but thin biography. Starting with McKellen's Lancashire boyhood, where he lost his mother at age 12, O'Connor recounts McKellen's early years through his Cambridge education, to his London stage debut in 1964, which was marred by tragedy when McKellen's father died in a car crash on the drive home after seeing him perform. O'Connor then charts McKellen's upward trajectory in theater--peaks included his 1976 Royal Shakespeare Company pairing with Judi Dench in Macbeth and Tony-winning role as Salieri in Amadeus's 1980 Broadway premiere--and his reticence about revealing his sexuality before, in the late 1980s, he embraced LGBTQ advocacy in response to the AIDS crisis and homophobic British laws. O'Connor's account--which closes with the stratospheric fame McKellen achieved in the X-Men and Lord of the Rings films--benefits from his insider access, but is hampered by an uncertain tone--sometimes conversational, sometimes formal--and occasionally faulty chronology (as when O'Connor seemingly has McKellen meeting "President Reagan" in 1992). A mostly entertaining introduction to the pre-Gandalf Ian McKellen, this book never quite manages its goal of showing "this complicated and complex man in all shades and colours." (Nov.)"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects McKellen, Ian.
Actors -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Publisher New York :2019
Edition First U.S. edition.
Language English
Notes Includes index.
Description xii, 356 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
ISBN 9781250223883
Other Classic View