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Ian McKellen hospitalized after falling during a performance in London

Ian McKellen and the cast of Player Kings
Photo by Hoda Davaine/Dave Benett/Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 11: (L-R) Richard Coyle, Sir Ian McKellen and Toheeb Jimoh bow at the curtain call during the press night performance of "Player Kings" at the Noel Coward Theatre on April 11, 2024 in London, England.

The acclaimed gay actor reportedly lost his footing in a fight scene and fell.


Tony Award-winner Ian McKellen has been hospitalized after the lauded queer actor fell off a stage during a performance at London's Noël Coward Theatre.

During a fight scene in the play Player Kings, McKellen, 85, fell after he lost his footing as he fought another character, the BBC reports. The production is William Shakespeare's Henry IV, Parts One and Two.

The outlet said the audience was escorted out.

"Sir Ian - who plays John Falstaff - was circling a battle scene involving the Prince of Wales and Henry Percy, when he fell off the front of the stage. As the house lights came up, the actor cried out and staff rushed to help," the BBC reports.

A statement from a spokesperson for the theatre said McKellen was "in good spirits" and will "make a speedy and full recovery," according to Variety.

“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,'” the statement said. “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. Thank you to doctors Rachel and Lee who were on hand in the audience and to all the venue staff for their support.”

McKellen has starred in many Shakespeare performances over his decades-long career. The gay actor also played Gandolf in The Lord of the Rings franchise. McKellen came out in 1988 in response to U.K. legislation that barred local governments and schools from “promoting homosexuality.” He has been a staunch activist ever since.

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