Rowan Atkinson

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Rowan Atkinson (2011)

Rowan Sebastian Atkinson , CBE (born January 6, 1955 in Consett , County Durham ) is a British comedian and actor . He became internationally known for his star role as the eccentric Mr. Bean .

life and career

Rowan Atkinson was born in Consett, England, as the youngest of four sons into a farming and entrepreneurial family. His parents are Eric Atkinson and Ella May (née Bainbridge). His oldest brother is the political economist and publicist Rodney Atkinson . Atkinson was raised Anglican and attended Durham Choristers School, St. Bees School and Newcastle University . Atkinson, who originally wanted to become an electrical engineer and studied at Oxford for a Master of Science degree , began his career with the BBC in 1979 as a cast member of the comedy show Not the Nine O'Clock News , which also featured Mel Smith , Pamela Stephenson and Griff Rhys Jones played along.

From 1982 Atkinson could be seen in the four seasons of the series Blackadder , in which he played the title role of Edmund Blackadder (literally: adder). The series, written by Richard Curtis and Ben Elton , takes place in four different epochs, caricatures numerous historical figures from English history and targets the national, cultural and political idiosyncrasies and vanities of the English people. Due to the hardly translatable pun and the satirical allusions to current British politics, the success was largely limited to the English-speaking world.

Also in 1982, Atkinson played Nigel Small-Fawcett , employee of the British Embassy in Nassau, in a bizarre supporting role in the James Bond film Say Never Never , which was released in 1983 ( USA ) and 1984 ( FRG ) .

In 1986 Atkinson sang the humorous song Do Bears ... in a duet with Kate Bush at the Comic Relief charity event . The piece, which was composed with the participation of film music composers by Blackadder Howard Goodall , uses popular music to criticize the heroization of certain notions of “ love ” in pop music. It appeared on the album Comic Relief Presents Utterly Utterly Live on the label WEA Records (No. 240 932-1).

Atkinson as Mr. Bean alongside Manneken Pis in Brussels (2007)

Atkinson became internationally known as Mr. Bean , a childish, curious and selfish eccentric who seems to be haunted by bad luck in everyday life. The humor is very physical and almost entirely without text, so that a translation is not necessary. In the role of Mr. Bean , Atkinson's trademarks are his gestures and, above all, his facial expressions , which earned him the nickname rubber face . In the fifty-minute BBC film Visual Comedy from 1992, he analyzes and explains the cornerstones of Mr. Bean's silent film-like humor in the dual role of professor and actor Kevin . He shows how strongly this character is in the tradition of comedians Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton . The series of the same name ran on British television from 1990 to 1995.

From 1995 to 1996, Atkinson starred in the Ben Elton- written comedy series The Thin Blue Line as Inspector Raymond Fowler , the chief pedantic officer of a small police station in the fictional town of Gasforth.

In 1997, Atkinson starred in Bean - The Ultimate Disaster Movie, directed by Mel Smith , which went on to become a worldwide box office hit. He has also been lending his character the voice in an animated series since 2002.

On the occasion of The Royal Variety Performance 2000 Atkinson appeared again in two of his roles from Blackadder on stage.

In 2003 came the James Bond parody Johnny English - The Spy Who Spilled It in the cinemas, in which Atkinson plays a chaotic but conceited secret agent. In 2011 Atkinson hit the big screen in Johnny English - Now All the More! The third part followed in 2018, Johnny English - You Only Live Three Times . Media reports followed in 2004 that he had sought psychiatric treatment for severe depression . These reports were denied by Atkinson's management and attorneys, and there was a legal process. He won it, so that afterwards apologies and retractions appeared in the media. In 2005 he played one of the main roles in the film Murder in the Rectory , namely the absent-minded pastor Walter Goodfellow .

On March 29, 2007, the second Mr. Bean movie with the title Mr. Bean is on vacation came to German cinemas. In an interview in the Frankfurter Rundschau , he announced that he would be leaving his role as Mr. Bean .

On January 17, 2009, the new production of the musical Oliver! premiered at London's Royal Drury Lane Theater. Until July 18, 2009 Atkinson was there Monday through Saturday in the role of Fagin . This one had, quite intentionally, unmistakable features of the characters Mr. Bean and Blackadder . His successor in this role is the British comedian Omid Djalili .

On July 27, 2012, Atkinson performed at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics together with the London Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Simon Denis Rattle in the London Olympic Stadium as an orchestral musician in the role of Mr. Bean . While Bean a single recurring note of the song Chariots of Fire played on a synthesizer, his thoughts drifted and as a dream sequence was a parody (the opening sequence of the film of the same athletes German  Chariots of Fire ) will be played.

From 2016 to 2017 Atkinson played the French commissioner Maigret in four films in the British crime series . In 2018, the TV channel ITV discontinued the series after two seasons.

Atkinson married makeup artist Sunetra Sastry in 1990 . The couple have two children. Son Benjamin was born in 1993 and daughter Lily in 1995. The family lived in the towns of Waterperry in Oxfordshire , Apethorpe in Northamptonshire and London. In February 2014, it was announced that Atkinson had split from Sastry. The marriage was divorced on November 10, 2015.

Atkinson has been in a relationship with the 29-year-old actress Louise Ford since 2014 . Daughter Isla was born in 2017.


  • Atkinson is a car fanatic, among other things he owned a McLaren F1 . With this he had an accident on August 4, 2011 in the village of Haddon in Cambridgeshire . He broke his shoulder and had to spend a few days in Peterborough hospital .
  • Atkinson's weird fan mail regularly ends up with fellow British actor Sean Bean . He also complains that because of his famous fictional character, he can't call anywhere without people starting to laugh as soon as he says "Mr. Bean ”.

Filmography (selection)


TV Shows

  • 1979: The Innes Book of Records
  • 1979–1982: Not the Nine O'Clock News (27 episodes)
  • 1983, 1986–1989: Blackadder (24 episodes)
  • 1989–1995: Mr. Bean (14 episodes)
  • 1990: A Bit of Fry & Laurie
  • 1992: Visual Comedy
  • 1995–1996: Inspector Fowler - Harder than the police allow ( The Thin Blue Line , 14 episodes)
  • 2002–2003, 2015–2016, since 2019: Mr. Bean (voice over animated series)
  • 2007: The Dame Edna Treatment
  • 2008: Tak and the Power of Juju ( Tak and the Power of Juju , voice)
  • 2010: Bondi Rescue
  • 2016: Commissioner Maigret: The Trap (Maigret Sets a Trap)
  • 2016: Inspector Maigret: A Dead Man (Maigret's Dead Man)
  • 2017: Inspector Maigret: Maigret's Night at the Crossroads
  • 2017: Commissioner Maigret: The Dancer and the Countess (Maigret in Montmartre)

Music videos

German dubbing voice

In most of the feature films Atkinson is dubbed by Lutz Mackensy , but Wilfried Herbst also gave him his voice. In Sag nie nie , Andreas Mannkopff is his German voice.


Web links

Commons : Rowan Atkinson  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files

Individual evidence

  1. Queen Elizabeth II. Birthday Honors List p. 8 (PDF; 668 kB)
  2. ^ Nick Barrat: Family Detective . In: The Daily Telegraph , August 25, 2007, accessed May 1, 2010.
  3. George Negus: Interview with Rodney Atkinson ( Memento of the original from August 7, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Australian Broadcasting Corporation, July 22, 2007, accessed May 1, 2010. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. Kate Bush and Rowan Atkinson: "Do Bears ...", Youtube video ( Memento from July 30, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  5. Widge: Rowan Atkinson and Kate Bush. A love song . In: Need Coffee (Blog), December 30, 2008
  6. Comic Relief Presents Utterly Utterly Live on Discogs .
  7. BBC News: Rowan Atkinson wins libel pay-out
  8. Netzeitung: Mr. Bean stops ( Memento from April 1, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  9. ^ "Mr Bean's Olympic orchestral appearance," BBC News, accessed January 19, 2013
  10. Bernd Krannich: ITV separates from "Maigret" with Rowan Atkinson. In: . May 30, 2018, accessed March 25, 2020 .
  11. ^ Biography for Rowan Atkinson. In: Retrieved March 6, 2013 .
  12. She definitely takes after her mother in the looks department! Rowan Atkinson's stunning daughter Lily steals the show at Johnny English Reborn premiere. In: , October 2, 2011, accessed January 19, 2013
  13. ^ The curse of the mid-life crisis: The celebrities who have swapped their wives for younger lovers ,
  14. Rowan Atkinson divorced in 65 seconds on grounds of his 'unreasonable behavior' . In: The Daily Telegraph , November 10, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2015. 
  15. ^ Martin Evans: Rowan Atkinson to become a father again at the age of 62 . In: The Telegraph . November 12, 2017, ISSN  0307-1235 ( [accessed April 25, 2020]).
  16. Rowan Atkinson to take a year off to look after his young daughter. Retrieved May 20, 2019 .
  17. Rowan Atkinson sells his McLaren from June 10, 2015, accessed on July 20, 2018
  18. Article on SPIEGELonline of August 5, 2011 , accessed on February 7, 2013
  19. Article on the vehicle on GTSpirit
  20. JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 19535 Rowanatkinson (1999 HF3). Jet Propulsion Laboratory , May 11, 2009; accessed July 14, 2012 .
  22. Andreasplanespotter: Mr Bean and Bruce Dickinson - (I Wanna Be) Elected. Retrieved February 10, 2019 .
  23. Johnny English Strikes Again Music Video Teams Olly Murs ... (accessed November 9, 2018)