A budding Electrical
Engineer with degrees from Newcastle and Oxford Universities, ROWAN ATKINSON
(Mondavarious) attracted wide critical notice while performing at the Edinburgh
Festival in 1977. After mounting his own Revue at London's Hampstead Theatre
in 1978, he became a founder member of the BBC's Not the Nine O'clock
News team. This fast became a major success with four series, Platinum and
Gold LP's, many best-selling books, a Silver Rose at Montreux, an
International EMMY and a British Academy Award. The series also made him BBC
Personality of the Year.
In 1981 Atkinson became
the youngest performer to have a one-man show in London's West End - a
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 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 he 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 after a
sell-out season it was transferred to Broadway. This show went on to tour
successfully in Australia, New Zealand, the Far East and the UK. 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 have continued to win
plaudits, including an International EMMY, two BANFF Awards and an ACE Award for
best Comedy in 1995. The series has been sold to over 200 territories. It is the
highest rated comedy show of the decade on commercial television, and produced
by the production company Tiger Aspect, of which Atkinson is a partner and for
whom he has also appeared in a number of highly successful documentary programs
on subjects ranging from comedy to his passion, the motor car. In 1995 he
starred as the lead role, Inspector Raymond Fowler, in the first series of Tiger
Aspect's number one rating 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 Rowan Atkinson on Location in Boston, a
one-hour special featuring highlights from his stage shows. The production won
an ACW award (1993).
Atkinson has appeared
in a number of films, including Never Say Never Again with Sean Connery; The
Tall Guy with Jeff Goldblum; Nick Roeg's The
Witches, and Steven Wright's The Appointments of Dennis Jennings
for HBO which won the 1989 Oscar for best short film. Other film
appearances include Hot Shots - Part Deux, Four Weddings and a Funeral and
the voice of Zazu in The Lion King.
He also co-produced and
appeared in Bean - The Ultimate Disaster Movie (1997). The Polygram film,
produced by Working Title in association with Tiger Aspect, was a huge
Throughout 2000, Blackadder
Back & Forth, a 35 minute film
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