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Actor Ian McKellen, 85, offers thanks for messages of support after three nights in the hospital

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LONDON (AP) — Actor Ian McKellen is resting, taking light exercise and undergoing physiotherapy after spending three nights in the hospital after he toppled off a London stage during a fight scene earlier this week.

The 85-year-old veteran actor thanked the public for their many messages of support following his fall at the Noel Coward Theatre on Monday. An understudy, David Semark, will take his place in “Player Kings″ during the production’s final London dates, a statement sent on McKellen’s behalf by his publicist Clair Dobbs said Thursday.

The play is an adaptation of William Shakespeare’s two “Henry IV” history plays, directed by Robert Icke. Several performances were canceled after the incident.

“The many messages of love and support will, I am sure, aid the speedy recovery that my doctors have promised me,” the statement said.

McKellen, who played Gandalf in the “Lord of the Rings,” is one of Britain’s most acclaimed Shakespearean actors, with roles including Richard III, Macbeth and King Lear.