Rowan Atkinson (born 06.01.1955)
Rowan Atkinson is an English actor and comedian famous for starring in the sitcoms 'Mr. Bean' and 'Blackadder'.
Rowan Atkinson: Childhood
Rowan Atkinson was born in Consett, County Durham, England. His parents were Ella May and Eric Atkinson who was a company director and a farmer.
He was brought up in an Anglican household.
He attended Durham Choristers School, St. Bees School and Newcastle University. He landed an MSc in Electrical Engineering at The Queen's College in Oxford.
He got involved with the Oxford Revue at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1976.
Rowan Atkinson: Comedy and TV career
Rowan Atkinson began his career with BBC Radio 3 comedy show 'The Atkinson People' which he co-wrote with Richard Curtis.
He also went on a comedy tour with Angus Deayton which soon led him to his first TV show, 'Not the Nine O'Clock News' featuring Pamela Stephenson, Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones and which premiered for the BBC in 1979.
In 1983, he began co-writing and starring in medieval sitcom 'The Black Adder' alongside Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny and Brian Blessed.
Three more sequel series followed; 'Blackadder II' set during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, 'Blackadder the Third' set in the Regency era and 'Blackadder Goes Forth' set during World War II.
His character the bumbling, clumsy Mr. Bean made his debut in 1990 in a Thames Television special and a series ran until 1995. A film entitled 'Bean' followed in 1997 also starring Peter MacNicol. In 2007, 'Mr. Bean's Holiday' was released.
Between 1995 and 1996 he starred in police comedy series 'The Thin Blue Line' as a serious-minded and socially inept inspector. The series also starred James Dreyfus and Serena Evans.
In 1999, he played the Doctor in a parody of 'Doctor Who' for Red Nose Day.
In 2012 at the London Olympics, he appeared as Mr. Bean in a comedy sketch. However, later that year he revealed that he would not reprise his role as the character again.
Rowan Atkinson: Film career
Rowan Atkinson made his movie debut in the comedy short 'Dead on Time' in 1983 and also appeared in the unofficial James Bond movie 'Never Say Never Again'.
In 1989, he appeared in Mel Smith's rom com 'The Tall Guy' alongside Jeff Goldblum and Emma Thompson.
The following year, he appeared in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl's 'The Witches' with Anjelica Huston and Mai Zetterling.
1993 saw him in the 'Rambo III' parody 'Hot Shots! Part Deux' (1993).
He played a stuttering vicar in 'Four Weddings and a Funeral' in 1994 opposite Hugh Grant. He also played a vicar in the dark comedy 'Keeping Mum' in 2005 which also starred Maggie Smith and Patrick Swayze.
Also in 1994 he voiced Zazu the Red-billed Hornbill in Disney's Academy Award winning movie 'The Lion King'.
He had roles in the comedies 'Rat Race' in 2001, 'Scooby-Doo' in 2002 and 'Love Actually' in 2003.
Also in 2003, he starred as the title character in the James Bond style comedy 'Johnny English' and reprised the role in 2011 in the sequel 'Johnny English Reborn'.
Rowan Atkinson: Personal life
Rowan Atkinson married make-up artist Sunetra Sastry in 1990 and have two children. He and his family have homes in Apethorpe, Northamptonshire and Ipsden, Oxfordshire.
He used to be in a relationship with actress Leslie Ash.
Atkinson suffers from a stutter. One of his comedic styles is that he pronounces the letter 'B' with much emphasis; as much as it adds to the humour, it is mainly a method of overcoming difficult consonant sounds.
He has got involved in several political debates regarding free speech and censorship, criticising the Racial and Religious Hatred Bill and the homophobic speech legislation which prevents what he sees as freedom of speech.
He has a passion for cars and has written for various British car magazines. He owns a McLaren F1 which has been involved in two serious accidents, a Honda NSX, an Audi A8 and a Honda Civic Hybrid. He has stated, however, that he will never own a Porsche. He appeared in an episode of 'Top Gear' and topped the board as 'Star in a reasonably priced car', though he was later beaten by Matt LeBlanc.