Garry O'Connor is a biographer and novelist, noted for his publications on theatrical and literary figures. He has written acclaimed biographies of Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson, Paul Scofield, Peggy Ashcroft and Alec Guinness. O'Connor has written and presented programmes for radio, including Campion's Ghost for Radio 4, adapted from his novel about John Donne.
[An] extensive new biography written by Garry O'Connor, whom [McKellen] met 60 years ago when they were students at Cambridge. The book deals with all areas of McKellen's eventful life, professional, personal and political: from his energetic campaigning for gay rights to the time he kissed Tony Blair; his acclaimed Shakespeare roles and his much-loved Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and Widow Twankey in panto; and his close friendships with Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi and Patrick Stewart * RADIO TIMES * A revealing and in-depth look at [McKellen's] wide-ranging career and personal relationships * CHOICE magazine * Sir Ian McKellen got cold feet about writing his memoirs, in the end returning a substantial advance to his publisher. In its stead his old friend Garry O'Connor has produced a fascinating account of the actor's life and career - his passions, his craft, his gay rights activism, not to mention his generosity ( Gandalf pays ' is his habitual cry at the end of a meal) ... This is surely the de?nitive McKellen biography. -- Alexander Larman * THE OBSERVER * There is serious analysis of McKellen's greatest performances - Iago, Richard III, Gandalf - and some of his less successful ones ... Yet O'Connor also has time for theatre lore and gossip ... It is as much a voyage of discovery around British theatre as it is around its subject's psyche, but unless McKellen rethinks his decision and writes his memoirs, this sprawling portrait might be as close as anyone gets. -- Victoria Segal * THE SUNDAY TIMES * A well-researched, eminently readable book -- Benedict Nightingale * THE TIMES * With his varied career and position as LGBT campaigner, icon Sir Ian McKellen's story is one that delights and inspires * WOMAN & HOME *