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Actor Ian McKellen, 85, is in ‘good spirits’ and expected to recover from fall off stage in London


Sir Ian McKellen attends “The Delaunay Presents An Evening With” in collaboration with Denville Hall, the residential home for all members of the theatrical profession, at The Delaunay, Aldwych, on April 21, 2024 in London, England. 

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Actor Ian McKellen is expected to make a full recovery after he toppled off a London stage Monday during a fight scene and was hospitalized, a spokesperson said.

McKellen, 85, was in “good spirits” after doctors said a scan showed he was expected to fully recover from the fall, a spokesperson for the Noel Coward Theatre said.

The stage and screen veteran known for playing Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings” films and many stage roles over a six decade career cried out in pain after the fall, according to a BBC journalist at the theater.

McKellen was playing John Falstaff in “Player Kings,” a production of Henry IV, parts one and two, adapted and directed by Robert Icke, at the Noel Coward Theatre.

He lost his footing and fell off the stage in a scene with the Prince of Wales and Henry Percy. The tumble startled theatergoers.

“Sir Ian seemed to trip as he moved downstage to take a more active part in the scene,” audience member Paul Critchley told the PA news agency, saying it was a shock. “He picked up momentum as he moved downstage which resulted in him falling off the stage directly in front of the audience.”

Staff and two doctors in the audience helped the ailing actor, the spokesperson said.

The theater was evacuated and the play was canceled. The production for Tuesday was also canceled to give McKellen time to rest.

McKellen’s career includes playing Magneto in the X-Men films and several Shakespearean characters including Richard II, Macbeth and King Lear.

He has won a Tony Award for “Amadeus,” several Laurence Olivier Awards and has been nominated for two Oscars and several BAFTA awards.


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