Rowan Atkinson has been amusing us for decades in his role as Mr Bean. He has also played less famous comedic roles such as that of Blackadder in the Blackadder comedy series. However, there is a lot more to him than the poker-faced, bungling actor who played Mr Bean so perfectly and endearingly over the years.
Here are some fun facts:
- Atkinson is extremely intelligent. He was actually at the top of his class and went on to get a degree in Electrical and Electonic Engineering from Newcastle University. He then did an MSc in Electrical Engineering from Oxford University where his thesis was on self-tuning control systems.
- Tony Blair was his schoolmate. The former Prime Minister was a schoolmate of Atkinson in Durham Choristers School. Blair was two years his senior and was highly extroverted compared to the reserved and shy Atkinson.
- Mr Bean was born on stage. Atkinson created Mr Bean during his first term at Oxford when he had 48 hours to develop a five minute act for the stage. He then came up with a strange rubber faced non-speaking character we have all come to know and love as Mr Bean.
- He loves cars and collects them avidly. One of his favourites being a Mclaren F1, a rare super car that was created in collaboration with Mercedes Benz.
- He was once in a James Bond movie. He had a small role in Never Say Never Again as Nigel Small-Fawcett.
- He stopped a plane crash. One time while in Kenya, the pilot of his private plane fainted, forcing Atkinson to take over. Atkinson kept the plane in the air until the pilot regained consciousness and landed the plane safely.
- He has been conferred a title for his contribution to British comedy and the arts. He was named commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2013. Other big names who have received this honor include Hugh Laurie, the late Stephen Hawking and Helena Bonham Carter.
8. He was the voice of Zazu, the African hornbill who played advisor to King Mufasa in The Lion King.
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