12 Dec 2012

Hobbit actor Ian McKellen says has prostate cancer

10:39 am on 12 December 2012

The Hobbit actor Ian McKellen has told a British newspaper he has had prostate cancer for the past six or seven years, but that it's not life-threatening.

Sir Ian, 73, played Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy and reprises the role in three Hobbit prequels, the first of which goes on general release in New Zealand on Wednesday.

He told the Daily Mirror he has the cancer regularly monitored for any sign it may be spreading.

McKellan said regular examinations showed the cancer was contained. He told the newspaper he had not had any treatment.

"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."