It can even be argued that Bean’s success has been somewhat of a blessing and a curse for Rowan Atkinson who seemingly has not been able to replicate its success since. For many people, though, Bean has been a catalyst to delve into the early years of Atkinson’s career such as the brilliant Blackadder.
Read up on the person behind one of the most iconic comedic characters of our age, Rowan Atkinson.
1. He voiced Zazu, the red-billed hornbill in The Lion King…
…and sings on the unforgettable track “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King”
2. How did he come up with the idea for Mr. Bean?
It started when he was getting his master’s degree at Oxford. He was asked to do a sketch and the idea came to him when he was standing in front of the mirror and fooling around with weird facial expressions.
Soon, “This strange, surreal, sort of non-speaking character evolved.”
3. Rowan stammers when speaking
It is one of the reasons he rarely gives interviews and keeps very private
He sometimes has trouble pronouncing words that begin with “B” followed by a vowel and has to pause before saying them
Source: YouTube | stutvchannel
4. Before Rowan settled on Mr. Bean, he went through a number of different names for the character…
He first went with Mr. White and Mr. Cauliflower before settling on the name we all know today.
Source:PC Wall Art
5. He was recognized with the title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire title by the Queen in 2013
6. He retired Mr. Bean in 2012 because he realized the character was too childish for him
“The stuff that has been most commercially successful for me – basically quite physical, quite childish – I increasingly feel like I’m going to do a lot less of. Apart from the fact that your physical ability starts to decline, I also think someone in their fifties being childlike becomes a little sad. You’ve got to be careful,” he said.
7. According to his good friend and fellow actor Stephen Fry, Rowan loves to just ride go-karts around his tennis courts
Source: The Huffington Post
8. He was one of the guests at Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles’ wedding
9. Mr. Bean was broadcast in more than 200 countries
Source: TV Series Finale
10. Rowan has a daughter named Lily who appeared in Mr. Bean’s Holiday
She no longer considers herself an actor and now focuses on a singing career instead!
Source: The Daily Mail
11. When asked what he had in common with his most famous character, Atkinson said he really can wiggle his ears
12. There were only ever 14 episodes of the show produced! The character was so popular, however, that it spawned two successful movies, an animated series, a video game and books
The fact that only 14 episodes exist makes Mr. Bean’s popularity even more remarkable. Or, perhaps, that is one of the reasons behind its impact?
Source: Cheat Sheet
13. Rowan is a huge fan of sports cars and has a collection
14. Despite parodying him in Johnny English, Rowan is a huge fan of James Bond!
He actually started his career playing a Bahamas-based British Foreign Office representative in Never Say Never Again, a 007 film with Sean Connery which came out in 1983.
Source: The Sun
15. Legend has it that he was really quiet on his first date with his ex-wife. The only thing he said was “pass the ketchup” when they went out to dinner
16. He was listed as one of the 50 funniest British actors by The Observer
17. Even though he loves sports cars, he said one car he’ll never own is a Porsche
“I have a problem with Porsches. They’re wonderful cars, but I know I could never live with one. Somehow, the typical Porsche people — and I wish them no ill — are not, I feel, my kind of people. I don’t go around saying that Porsches are a pile of dung, but I do know that psychologically I couldn’t handle owning one,” he admits.