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Biography #2 (for Mr. Bean's Holiday)

Rowan Atkinson was born on the 12th night of Christmas 1955. His middle name is Sebastian.

A budding electrical engineer with degrees from the University of Newcastle and Oxford University, Atkinson attracted wide critical notice at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 1977. After mounting his own revue at London's Hampstead Theatre in 1978, he became a founding member of the BBC's Not the 9 O' Clock News team. This was an experiment that turned into rather a success-with four series, platinum and gold LPs, many best-selling books, a Silver Rose at the Montreux Film and Television Festival, an International Emmy, the British Academy Award and an award as BBC Personality of the Year.

In 1981, Atkinson became the youngest performer to have a one-man show in London's West End; the sellout season at the Globe Theatre won him the Society of West End Theatre's award for Comedy Performance of the Year. In 1983, Atkinson embarked with writer Richard Curtis on their situation tragedy Blackadder for the BBC. Over the ensuing five years, the four series won three British Academy Awards, an International Emmy, three ACE Awards and personal awards for his performance-including Best Entertainment Performance. Once again, Atkinson was voted BBC Personality of the Year.

Onstage, in 1985, he took the lead in Larry Shue's The Nerd at the Aldwych Theatre. The following year, he mounted a new one-man show in the West End and, after a sellout season, the show was transferred to Broadway. There, it was described by the New York Post as hilarious and by The New York Times as stunningly predictable. This show went on to tour successfully in Australia, New Zealand, the Far East and the U.K. In 1988, he undertook a six-month run in the West End, starring in The Sneeze, a collection of humorous one-act plays by Anton Chekhov.

Atkinson's next major television undertaking was the creation of the silent comedy series Mr. Bean for ITV and HBO. The pilot program won the Golden Rose at Montreux and was nominated for an International Emmy. Subsequent episodes continued to win plaudits, including an International Emmy, two BANFF Awards and an ACE Award for Best Comedy in 1995. The programs have been sold to more than 200 territories. It was the highest-rated comedy show of the decade on commercial television; and it was produced by the production company Tiger Aspect, of which he is a partner and for which he has also appeared in a number of highly successful documentary programs-on subjects ranging from comedy to his passion, the motorcar.

In 1995, Atkinson starred as the lead role, Inspector Raymond Fowler, in the first series of Tiger Aspect's No. 1-rated situation comedy The Thin Blue Line, written by Ben Elton. A second series was produced in summer 1996.

For HBO and the BBC, Tiger also produced Rowan Atkinson on Location in Boston, a one-hour special featuring highlights from his stage shows. The production won an ACE Award in 1993. He has appeared in a number of films, including Never Say Never Again, with Sean Connery; The Tall Guy, with Jeff Goldblum; Nicolas Roeg's The Witches; and The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, for HBO, which won the 1989 OscarĀ for Best Short Film. Other film appearances include Hot Shots! Part Deux, Four Weddings and a Funeral and as the voice of Zazu in The Lion King.

He also co-produced and appeared in 1997's Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie. The Polygram film, produced by Working Title in association with Tiger Aspect, was a huge hit, second only to Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill as the highest-ever grossing U.K. film internationally.

Throughout 2000, Blackadder Back & Forth, a 35-minute film shot on 70mm, was shown at the Millennium Dome. With Atkinson portraying Edmund Blackadder for the first time in a decade, the comedy featured all the other stars of the original television series and proved to be the most popular attraction at the Dome.

In 2001, Atkinson appeared as Enrico Polini in the Paramount film Rat Race, also starring, amongst others, Whoopi Goldberg, Cuba Gooding Jr. and John Cleese; it was directed by Jerry Zucker. He also appeared in the 2002 Warner Bros. Live-action movie Scooby-Doo, playing the villain Mondavarious.

Following this, Atkinson completed production on the Mr. Bean animated series for Tiger Aspect Productions and the feature Johnny English, in which he starred in the title role. Johnny English was written by Neal Purvis and Robert Wade (James Bond), directed by Peter Howitt (Sliding Doors) and produced by Working Title Films.

Rowan appeared as Rufus the jewelry salesman in Working Title's 2003 romantic comedy hit Love Actually, directed by Richard Curtis, with an ensemble cast including Bill Nighy, Colin Firth, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Hugh Grant, Keira Knightly and Chiwetel Ejiofor. In 2005, he played the Reverend Walter Goodfellow in the Tusk Production Keeping Mum, directed by Niall Johnson and starring opposite Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott Thomas.

Bio courtesy Universal Pictures for "Mr. Bean's Holiday" (16-Sep-2007)


Biography #3 (for Love Actually)

Born in Newcastle upon Tyne, Rowan Atkinson has become one of the best-known British comic talents of his generation. In 1977, Atkinson attracted wide critical notice while performing at the Edinburgh Festival; the following year, he mounted his own review at London's Hampstead Theatre and became a founding member of the BBC's Not the Nine O'Clock News team. The series fast became a major success, running a total of four seasons, spawning platinum and gold albums and many best-selling books, and garnering a Silver Rose at Montreux, an International Emmy and a British Academy Award. In the process, Atkinson was also named BBC Personality of the Year.

In 1981, Atkinson became the youngest performer to have a one-man show in London's West End; the sell-out season at the Globe Theatre won him the Society of West End Theatre's Award for Comedy Performance of the Year. In 1983, he embarked with writer Richard Curtis on their situation tragedy Blackadder for the BBC. Over the ensuing five years, the four Blackadder series won three British Academy Awards, an International Emmy, three ACE awards and personal awards for his performance, including Best Entertainment Performance. Once again, Atkinson was voted BBC Personality of the Year.

On stage, Atkinson took the lead in Larry Shue's The Nerd at the Aldwych Theatre in 1985. In the following year, he mounted a new one-man show in the West End and, following a sell-out season, it was transferred to Broadway. The show went on to tour successfully in Australia, New Zealand, the Far East and the U.K. In 1988, he undertook a six-month run in the West End, starring in The Sneeze, a collection of humorous one-act plays by Anton Chekhov.

Atkinson's next major television undertaking was the creation of the silent comedy series Mr. Bean for ITV and HBO. The pilot program won the Golden Rose of Montreux and was nominated for an International Emmy. Subsequent episodes continued to win plaudits, including an International Emmy, two BANFF Awards and an ACE Award for Best Comedy in 1995. Since its debut, the series has been sold to more than 200 territories and has attained classic statusMr. Bean was the highest-rated comedy show of the decade on commercial television. (The show was produced by the production company Tiger Aspect, of which Atkinson is a partner and for whom he also appeared in a number of highly successful documentary programs on subjects ranging from comedy to his passion, automobiles.)

In 1995, Atkinson starred in the lead role of Inspector Raymond Fowler in the first series of Tiger Aspect's number one rated situation comedy, The Thin Blue Line (written by Ben Elton); a second series was produced in the summer of 1996. For HBO and the BBC, Tiger also produced the ACW award-winning Rowan Atkinson on Location in Boston, a one-hour special featuring highlights from his stage shows.

Atkinson has appeared in a number of films, the most recent being Working Title's international hit, Johnny English, which opened Number One in 40 countries; it grossed more than $125 million worldwide and more than $30 million in the U.K., making it the 7th highest grossing film of all time in that country.

His other film credits include the hit Scooby-Doo; Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery; The Tall Guy with Jeff Goldblum; Nicolas Roeg's The Witches; and Steven Wright's The Appointments of Dennis Jennings, which won the 1989 Oscar for Best Short. Other film appearances include Hot Shots - Part Deux, Four Weddings and a Funeral, the voice of Zazu in The Lion King and Jerry Zucker's Rat Race. He also co-produced and appeared in Bean The Ultimate Disaster Movie, a film produced by Working Title in association with Tiger Aspect.

In 2002 Atkinson was involved with the creation and production of the Mr. Bean animated series, produced by Tiger Aspect Productions, currently showing on television in the U.K.

Bio courtesy Universal Pictures for "Love Actually" (07-Nov-2003)


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