Ian McKellen is an acclaimed British actor whose career spans genres ranging from Shakespearean and modern theatre to popular fantasy and science fiction. He is internationally known for his work on screen, including in The Lord of the Rings, X-Men and The Da Vinci Code. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1979, was knighted in 1991 for services to the performing arts, and made a Companion of Honour for services to drama and to equality in 2008.