SIR Ian McKellen has said goodbye to the iconic Gandalf which grew into fruition 14 years ago.
The 74-year-old, who was raised in Wigan, started shooting for Lord of The Rings in 1999 and Gandalf the Grey and Gandalf the White soon became very popular characters,
But as the final instalment of The Hobbit was wrapped up earlier this month, Sir Ian bid a tearful farewell to cast and crew.
Peter Jackson, the director of all six of the Tolkien film adaptations, posted a photo with McKellen on his official Facebook page with the caption “The end of an incredible adventure that began in 1999. I’m feeling very sad right now.”
The Hobbit The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in Peter’s Hobbit trilogy, will be released in cinemas on December 13.
The Hobbit: There And Back Again had been set to open on December 17, 2014.
The first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has grossed more than $1bn worldwide since it opened last December.
But the actor has been reunited with his X-Men pal Patrick Stewart to star in the stage production of Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land and Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot.
And in fact, No Man’s Land is so good, an elderly theatre-goer passed out during the opening night, but refused to be taken to a hospital until after the performance finished.
The X-Men co-stars unveiled their new production at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California, but the man, said to be in his 80s, collapsed during the second act and had to be escorted outside by medics.
However, he refused to be taken to hospital and even signed a treatment waiver form so he could stay until the end of the play.
The man watched the show on a video monitor at the theatre before he eventually agreed to go to a nearby hospital for a check-up.
The play has received good reviews, with one critic saying: “McKellen is sensational as Spooner, and we watched him, transfixed, as he portrayed this annoying, freeloading, verbose, but extraordinarily witty character.
“He slouches, minces, and practically clowns his way through the performance wearing an ill-fitting suit, rattling off an impressive stream of monologues about himself and his views on life, and art.
“The two men are a joy to watch, and they play off each other and their co-stars with terrific rhythm and rapport.”