Ian McKellen has revealed he has prostate cancer. Photo by
The Hobbit actor Ian McKellen said in an interview
published today that he had had prostate cancer for the last
six or seven years, but added that the disease was not
McKellen, 73, played Gandalf in the hit "Lord of the Rings"
movie trilogy, and reprises the role in three prequels based
on J.R.R. Tolkien's novel "The Hobbit".
The first of those, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey",
recently had its world premiere in New Zealand, where it was
shot under the directorship of Peter Jackson.
"I've had prostate cancer for six or seven years," McKellen
told the Daily Mirror tabloid. "When you have got it 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."
His representatives in London were not immediately available
to comment on the interview.
"Many, many men die from it but it's one of the cancers that
is totally treatable," added McKellen, one of Britain's most
respected actors who is also well known in Hollywood for
appearances in the X-Men franchise.
"I am examined regularly and it's just contained, it's not
spreading. I've not had any treatment."
He admitted he feared the worst when he heard he had the
"You do gulp when you hear the news. It's like when you go
for an HIV test, you go 'arghhh is this the end of the road?'
"I have heard of people dying from prostate cancer, and they
are the unlucky ones, the people who didn't know they had got
it and it went on the rampage. But at my age if it is
diagnosed its not life threatening."