Ian McKellen Turns 75 As Action Star (& Legendary Bro) [PICS + VIDEO]

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Ian McKellen turns 75 year old today, and the distinguished Shakespearean actor is doing it while kicking ass at both the box office and on the big screen in X-Men: Days of Future Past. Of course, McKellen has another big fantasy franchise going with The Hobbit movies–and he’s also slayed the internet with regular posts of his classy friendship with X-Men (and occasional stage) costar Patrick Stewart.

It’s been a weird decade-and-a-half for McKellen ever since he started the century by playing Magneto in X-Men. He had flirted with American multiplexes in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Action Hero (and Alec Baldwin’s underseen The Shadow), but X-Men made him a geek icon—then followed by McKellan defining the role of Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings.

X-Men also helped to make Ian McKellen a prominent pal of Patrick Stewart. A geek icon in his own right, Stewart and McKellen both got their start with the Royal Shakespeare Company. They’ve embraced acting together ever since, including a double bill of Beckett’s Waiting for Godot and Pinter’s No Man’s Land on Broadway earlier this year.

Patrick Stewart Ian McKellan

Which, of course, has also made the pair beloved icons of the internet, thanks to Patrick Stewart’s savvy social-media skills–and a willingness to immortalize classic moments like this…

We’re pretty sure that Ian & Patrick are both celebrating McKellen’s 75th birthday–along with that X-Men: Days of Future Past success. And there’s no better way to celebrate internet fame than by invoking the name of Buzzfeed, with the site having the great idea of pairing Patrick & Ian (actually, that’s Sir Patrick & Sir Ian) in The Newlywed Game. These guys must really be amazed with their lives…

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