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Rowan Atkinson
Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images

Rowan Atkinson

Biography
(1955–)
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Actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson starred on the TV series 'Not the Nine O'clock News' and 'Blackadder.' He is best known for his infamous role as Mr. Bean in the television series and 1997 feature film of the same name.

Who Is Rowan Atkinson?

In 1979, Rowan Atkinson wrote for and starred in the BBC's Not the Nine O'clock News. He later landed a role on the television series Blackadder and subsequent spin-off TV specials. In 1990, he starred as his originally developed character Mr. Bean on the television series of the same name. Mr. Bean was adapted for film in 1997 and enjoyed wide success.

Early Life

Rowan Sebastian Atkinson was born on January 6, 1955, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Atkinson studied at Newcastle University and Oxford University and earned a master's degree in electrical engineering. He got his start performing sketches while studying at Oxford, first appearing in Oxford revues at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Soon, he was entertaining at theater clubs and on comedy shows for BBC Radio 3. 

TV, Movies and Theater

In 1979, Atkinson wrote for and starred in the BBC's Not the Nine O'clock News. In 1981, Atkinson became the youngest performer to star in a one-man show in the West End.

Atkinson later appeared in theatrical productions like The Nerd (1984), The New Revue (1986) and The Sneeze (1988). He then landed parts on such television shows as Not the Nine O'Clock News (1979-1982), Blackadder (1983-1989) and The Thin Blue Line (1995-1996). The success of Blackadder spurred the creation of the TV specials Blackadder's Christmas Carol and Blackadder: The Cavalier Years—both of which aired in 1988.

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In 1990, Atkinson starred as his originally developed character Mr. Bean on the TV series of the same name. The successful comedy series was adapted for film in 1997. Atkinson reprised his famous Mr. Bean character in a comedy sketch at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Atkinson's other film credits include Bean: the Ultimate Disaster Movie (1997), Johnny English (2003) and Keeping Mum (2005).

Wife and Children

In 1990, Atkinson married wife Sunetra, a makeup artist. They had two children before divorcing in late 2015. In 2017, he became a father for the third time, this time with actress girlfriend Louise Ford.

In 2001, Atkinson reportedly came to the rescue when the pilot of his private plane passed out mid-flight, handling the controls until the pilot revived. Later, the actor was unwittingly featured in a series of online hoaxes that attempted to spread computer viruses and hack credit card information via fake news about his death.

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