It’s official…Sir Ian McKellen is falling apart.
The 73-year old LGBT rights activist and actor recently told The Daily Mirror about his diagnosis and that he has been living with prostate cancer for six or seven years now. He also has hearing problems and cataracts. McKellen joked that “You are going to write ‘Ian McKellen is decrepit. He can’t see, he can’t hear he can’t pee, he’s having his teeth done.’”
McKellen has been out for more than two decades. The versatile actor has become best known for his roles as Gandalf in the Middle Earth Saga and Magneto in the X-Men series. He recently appeared on The Colbert Report to promote The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
McKellen explained about the cancer that “When you have got [cancer] you monitor it and you have to be careful it doesn’t spread. But if it is contained in the prostate it’s no big deal. Many, many men die from it but it’s one of the cancers that is totally treatable so I have ‘waitful watching.’ I am examined regularly and it’s just contained, it’s not spreading. I’ve not had any treatment.”
McKellen looks quite healthy and even appeared briefly in a segment of The Colbert Report where he made fun of his famous proclamation from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring “you shall not pass!” as can be seen here very early in the interview with Andy Serkis:
As for his health and the recent filming, McKellen told the Huffington Post that:
“Maybe they were providing support I wasn’t aware of, just thinking about it. But I don’t think so. I never took advantage of the buggy carts that would take you to the set if you needed it. It was the dwarfs who did that — poor things carrying the heavy weight of their armor and their padding and so on. And their prosthetics. No, I could still manage it.
“But, actually, being a film actor is a bit of a doddle. You’re looked after every inch of the way. You’re taken up by helicopter to the top of some mountain that no human being has ever climbed because you’re in the wilds of New Zealand and, there, you’ll be treated a three-course meal that would grace a really expensive restaurant down below. [Laughs] There are even clean and serviceable loos for you to use. And someone to help you dress … no, no — it’s pretty easy. But I don’t get any special treatment because everyone gets well treated.”