On Rowan Atkinson's birthday, a look at the Mr Bean, Blackadder actor's most iconic roles

FP Staff

January 06, 2018 17:58:20 IST

Rowan Atkinson has had an extensive career. Considered to be one of the funniest and best actors in British comedy, Atkinson has a body of work that speaks for itself. Atkinson's career started on the show Canned Laughter back in 1979. He starred and wrote the sitcom which only ever had one episode. Ever since then, Atkinson has cemented his place in the history of comedy with movies and television shows such as Mr BeanBlackadderThe Lion KingThin Blue LineFour Weddings and a Funeral, and Johnny English among many, many others. Known all over the world as Mr Bean – the boisterously funny London resident who finds a way to hilariously complicate the simplest of tasks – Atkinson has delivered characters that have achieved cult following. Today, on Rowan Atkinson's sixty-third birthday, we take a look at some of his most iconic and evergreen roles; in movies and television.

Johnny English

Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English/Image from Twitter.

Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English/Image from Twitter.

Styled after Atkinson's most well-known character, Mr.Bean, Johnny English parodies the famous James Bond movies. The amazing thing about the Johnny English film series is that it doesn't appear to be a parody because of how immensely funny the title character, played by Atkinson, is. The first movie in the franchise, titled Johnny English, follows the story of a man who desperately wants to be a spy, but is too dim-witted to be one. English is told by his superiors that the only way he can be a spy is if all other British spies die; and that is exactly what happens, after which Atkinson's character is called upon to fulfil his national duty. The second movie in the franchise, Johnny English Reborn, sees the unintelligent yet confident spy fight international assassins trying to hunt down the Chinese premier. The movie is a must watch for any Rowan Atkinson fan. The third movie in the franchise, Johnny English 3, is expected to release in September this year.

Not the Nine O'Clock News

Rowan Atkinson on Not The Nine O'Clock News/Image from YouTube.

Rowan Atkinson on Not The Nine O'Clock News/Image from YouTube.

The show that brought Rowan Atkinson into the public eye was Not the Nine O'Clock News; a sketch comedy television show that satirised everyday nine o' clock news shows. Atkinson, who was also a writer on the show, was featured in 28 episodes, and was part of an ensemble cast. Many of the actors on the show, which ran from 1979 to 1982, went on to become prominent actors, especially Atkinson. The show's impact on comedy has been everlasting. Many comedians and scriptwriters who discovered Not the Nine O'Clock News have been influenced by the shows succinct writing. It it widely credited for popularising alternative comedy on British television, and should be a definite watch for anyone who loves Atkinson's brand of humour.

Miagret

Rowan Atkinson as Jules Miagret/Image from Twitter.

Rowan Atkinson as Jules Miagret/Image from Twitter.

If you only remember Atkinson as the funny guy, you will change your mind after watching Miagret. The TV show, which debuted in 2016, is a prime example of why Rowan Atkinson is considered to be such a versatile actor. Playing the role of a French detective Jules Maigret, Atkinson carries a serious role flawlessly. The series, based on novels by George Simenon, has received widespread critical acclaim; especially for it's plot and Atkinson's performance as the French detective. Divided into two series, Miagret has a total of four episode and this is the fifth time it has been adapted for the TV screens.

Blackadder

A still from Balckadder/Image from Twitter.

A still from Balckadder/Image from Twitter.

The idea for Blackadder was conceived by Atkinson and co-creator Richard Curtis during their time at Not the Nine O'Clock News. The TV show, which satirises historically important moments that have unfolded in British – throne successions, the Crusades, and conflict between the Church and Crown – popularised dry humour and black comedy on British television. Atkinson, who played the character of Prince Edmund Plantagenet, turned into a bonafide British comedy star after the show's original run. Blackadder consists of four separate series: The Black AdderBlackadder II, Blackadder the Third, and Blackadder Goes Forth. It also spawned three television specials called Blackadder: The Cavalier Years, Blackadder's Christmas Carol, and Blackadder: Back & Forth. Blackadder is an essential watch for those who love good comedy.

Mr. Bean

Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean/Image from YouTube.

Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean/Image from YouTube.

No list about Atkinson's greatest roles will ever be complete without mentioning Mr Bean. The titular character, played by Atkinson, is as important a figure in British pop-culture as Harry Potter, or James Bond. Mr Bean, a character absolutely oblivious to the normal ways of life, enchanted millions all over the world with its peculiar quirkiness and childish ways. The show was able to traverse across cultures even though Mr Bean has always been a very British character. The show originally ran from 1990 to 1995 and has only a total of 14 episodes. Mr Bean also has two feature length films to its name titled Bean: The Ultimate Disaster Movie (1997) and Mr Bean's Holiday (2007). With the ceaseless joy that MrBean has brought to millions, it was only obvious that he'd be at the opening ceremony of 2012 London Olympics.

Updated Date: Jan 06, 2018 18:10 PM