Can Mr Bean be considered a legend

Mr. Bean: Rowan Atkinson turns 65

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01/06/2020 11:30 p.m.

Rowan Atkinson became known worldwide as the grimacing nerd Mr. Bean. He later celebrated success with the Bond parody Johnny English. Now the British comedian turns 65.

World-class comedians are also taking parental leave: Since the beginning of 2019, “Mr. Bean ”at home for a year and, according to“ Sun ”, looks after his two-year-old daughter. Rowan Atkinson's partner, 29 years his junior, focuses on her role as Kate Middleton in the satirical series "The Windsors".

Atkinson can afford the break: with only 15 half-hour episodes as Mr. Bean, he laid the foundation for his million dollar fortune, which is estimated at 70 million pounds, sometimes at 100 million pounds. The comedian and actor lives with his family in a house in north London and celebrates his 65th birthday on Epiphany - January 6th.

Mr. Bean is a nine year old anarchist

He developed the character of Mr. Bean over a period of around 15 years. “I always pictured him as a nine-year-old boy. Basically they are anarchists, ”said the actor in the documentary“ The Life of Rowan Atkinson ”, explaining his globally popular and ridiculed character. “And that's what Mr. Bean is. He's an anarchist. He follows the rules as long as they suit him. "

As an electrical engineering student at Oxford, Rowan Atkinson was asked in the mid-1970s to do a sketch for a comedy program at the prestigious Oxford Playhouse. He had 48 hours to think of five funny minutes. "I just stood in front of the mirror and started playing around with my face," Atkinson recalled in the documentary. "And this strange, surreal, silent figure developed."

During his studies he also met the author Richard Curtis, who would later become known for romantic comedies such as "Four Weddings and a Death" or "Actually ... Love", in which Atkinson also had short appearances. The strange couple complemented each other perfectly: Atkinson was very silent, Curtis very talkative. Since then they have been working together again and again.

Rise with "Blackadder"

First they wrote the title role for Atkinson in the bizarre, medieval sitcom "Blackadder", which quickly became a cult series in the Anglo-Saxon region in the 1980s. But their puns could not be translated into other languages: Blackadder's comedy consisted of satirical allusions to politicians, social conventions and popular culture, which is almost exclusively British.

At that time, Atkinson was concerned with the question: Why can't comedy also entertain an international audience? As a teenager he had seen Jacques Tati's film "Monsieur Hulot's Vacation" and laughed at the silent films by Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. The brilliant idea came to him on vacation in Italy when he watched Norwegian tourists "buying posters by Duran Duran, Phil Collins and George Michael," he recalled. This resulted in Mr. Bean - purely visual comedy skits, simple, accessible and understandable for everyone.

Mr. Bean is not dead

The comedy series ran on the best slot on the UK's largest private broadcaster ITV from 1990 to 1995. Several successful feature films followed, in 1997 “Bean - The Ultimate Disaster Film” and ten years later “Mr. Bean is on vacation ”. Rowan Atkinson has now deviated from ever retiring his alter ego. The incompetent eccentric with the absurd solutions to imagined problems appears again and again: sometimes in short films for charitable purposes, sometimes as part of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London and most recently in a comedy film for the Chinese market. Mr. Bean also lives on as a cartoon character on children's television. The original series was sold in over 90 countries; Over 100 airlines entertain their passengers with it.

Since 2003, Rowan Atkinson has also appeared as the clumsy agent Johnny English in the blockbuster series of the same name - a Bond parody. Most recently, “Johnny English - You Only Live Three Times” was released in 2018. In fact, Atkinson played a supporting role in the unofficial 007 classic "Never Say Never" with Sean Connery.

But the thoroughbred comedian surprised most as the reluctant Commissioner Maigret 2016/17 in the four-part series of the same name, which takes place in Paris in the 50s. For the Commissioner, the most important tool is silence. And Rowan Atkinson conveys more emotions with a look and a pull of the pipe than many actors in long monologues. (Uli Hesse, dpa)