Ian McKellen Hospitalized After Falling Off Stage in London

The 85-year-old “Lord of the Rings” and “X-Men” star lost his footing during a fight scene, but is expected to make a quick recovery

Ian McKellen
Sir Ian McKellen during "The Delaunay Presents An Evening With" on April 21, 2024 in London, (CREDIT: Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Wolseley Hospitality Group)

Ian McKellen, 85, was hospitalized in London after falling off the stage during a production of “Player Kings” at a West End Theatre. The actor lost his footing during a battle scene and fell off the front of the stage, the BBC reported on Monday.

A member of the audience told the BBC that McKellen was conscious after his fall and cried out for help. The house lights came up and staff rushed to his side, with two doctors who were in the audience also providing aid, according to the show’s producers.

The producers issued an encouraging update following McKellen’s hospitalization, indicating that he was expected to quickly recover.

They wrote, “Thank you to our audience and the general public for their well wishes following Ian’s fall during this evening’s performance of Player Kings. Following a scan, the brilliant NHS team have assured us that he will make a speedy and full recovery and Ian is in good spirits.”

“The production has made the decision to cancel the performance on Tuesday 18 June so Ian can rest. Those affected will be contacted by their point of purchase as soon as possible tomorrow,” the statement continued. “Thank you to doctors Rachel and Lee who were on hand in the audience and to all the venue staff for their support.”

Playgoer Sandro Trapani told the BBC that the accident was “very shocking” and added, “I really hope that he is going to be all right.”

McKellen is playing John Falstaff in “Player Kings,” which is an adaptation by Robert Icke that combines both parts of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” plays.

The production launched its 12-week run at the Noel Coward Theatre in April and costars Toheeb Jimoh of “Ted Lasso” as Hal and Richard Coyle of “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” as King Henry IV.

During McKellen’s long career, he has played nearly every major Shakespearean lead, including King Lear, Richard II, Coriolanus, Iago, Richard III and Macbeth. He will also star as the title character in Sean Mathias’ upcoming film adaptation “Hamlet.”

The actor, who was knighted in 1991, gained international fame as Gandalf in “Lord of the Rings” and Magneto in the “X-Men” films. He has been nominated for two Oscars, including a Supporting Actor nod for his role as Gandalf and as Best Actor in a Leading Role nomination for when he played James Whale in 1999’s “Gods and Monsters.”

On the British stage, he has been nominated for 12 Olivier Awards and won six for his performances in “Richard III,” “Pillars Of The Community,” “The Alchemist,” “Bent,” “Wild Honey” and his one-man show “Ian McKellen On Stage.”


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