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Happy 73rd Birthday to Ian McKellen! birthday to Sir Ian McKellen who seems to be aging like fine wine.

The great actor was 49 when he came out publicly as a gay man and has since enjoyed the most successful phase of his career.

He’s been a part of two huge blockbuster franchises: The Lord of the Rings and X-Men, earned two Academy Award nominations (for Gods and Monsters and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring).

“If you’re going around telling a lie you may get by but you won’t be half as happy as you would be if you came out,” he told Popeater in 2010. “If that means you have to give up hopes of being one of the three or four young sex symbols in Hollywood so be it. You probably weren’t going to be one of those anyway. That happens by chance and it doesn’t last for very long.”

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