Whether it’s his hilarious work in Blackadder, or his career-defining performance as Mr. Bean, few British actors can rival him when it comes to getting the laughs in.
Private Personal Life
The well loved actor has remained for years private about his personal life; but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to report on it – quite the opposite in fact. Because in 2017, Atkinson revealed something that is definitely guaranteed to surprise many people due to his age…
A Successful Career
There are not that many as naturally funny as the comedic talent Rowan Atkinson. Born near Newcastle, England, in 1955, Atkinson has always had a knack for making people laugh, and throughout his vibrant career, he’s used it to his advantage.
After cementing himself a master’s degree in electrical engineering, Atkinson went down a very different route when he began creating his very own comedy sketches in his dorm room. Following a successful stint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it quickly became obvious that Atkinson had some real potential in his line of work and that he needed to really express his talents full time.
His big breakthrough came in 1979 with the arrival of the classic parody news show Not the Nine O’clock News – a program that helped to launch Atkinson into the top tier of British comedy. However, it was in 1983 when he really bagged himself as one of the best minds in the business.
That year saw the creation of Blackadder, a British comedy that is still regarded worldwide as one of the best sitcoms of all time. The BBC period comedy turned out to be a huge success, shooting him to the top and paving the way for Atkinson to get involved into some fairly different projects.
The Creation Of Mr Bean
The expressive performer delved into his imagination to create the interesting character that he had first imagined back in his university days. A peculiar figure known as Mr. Bean – an odd, socially awkward person who doesn’t really speak, and gets into all sorts of mischief. It turned out to be Atkinson’s greatest ever creation, ultimately leading to a TV show, another animated TV show and even a successful movie.
What Would Be Round The Corner?
Seven years after Mr. Bean originally aired, the equally hilarious Bean movie got its theatrical release. Since then, Atkinson hasn’t looked back – starring in films such as Johnny English and Keeping Mum. Although, in his personal life, things weren’t as straightforward…
Rocky Personal Life
Atkinson married make-up artist Sunetra Sastry in 1990 and had two children with her. However, after 25 years of marriage, they ended up splitting in 2015. The split didn’t happen on such positive terms, as Sastry went through with the proceedings on the grounds of his “unreasonable behavior.”
No one saw this coming. At the time, it was thought his marriage to Sunetra was one of the strongest in showbiz.He had met Sunetra, when she was Stephen Fry’s make-up artist on the second series of Blackadder. Fry, who was best man at their wedding, recalled: “Sunetra was bright, funny and captivatingly alluring. “I was seriously considering asking her out when Rowan approached me one morning during rehearsals and asked if I would mind swapping make-up artists with him.”
Hit With A Huge Settlement
In that time, his personal fortune reduced by at least £15million following his divorce. Rowan bought Sunetra a £21million mansion in Chelsea just before their divorce, which went through on the grounds of his unreasonable behavior. The settlement is thought to have cost him another £5million. This was a huge hit to his finances.
Where Did That Leave Mr Bean?
Just before the Olympics, Rowan decided to retire Bean, the character that had earned him £11million and grossed more than half a billion pounds at the box office. He had also enjoyed great commercial success with two Johnny English films about a comical British spy. The first in 2003 racked in an incredible £150million as did the 2011 sequel. But Rowan said then: “The stuff that has been most commercially successful for me — basically quite physical, quite childish — I increasingly feel I’m going to do a lot less of.
What He Really Thinks Of Bean
He went on to admit:“Apart from the fact that your physical ability starts to decline after a while, I also think someone in their fifties being childlike becomes a little sad. You’ve got to be careful. I just feel I’m getting too old for it.”
Didn’t See It Coming
A friend has stated: “His career was at its peak, but he wanted to step back from work and enjoy the fruits of his decades on screen. For the last six years he had been working on creating the home of his dreams — a designer house in Oxfordshire in 16 acres, where he could live in peace with his wife and kids, who were growing up, and his fabulous car collection all under one roof.” Oh how that would all change.
Needed To Recover
To recover from his expensive divorce, Atkinson revived his ever loved Mr Bean character for a Snickers ad in 2014, and earlier this year, hundreds of millions of Chinese fans watched him in a movie only shown in China but, for which he was paid a handsome package. There were reportedly some issues on set with language barriers but co-star Guo Degang explained: “We communicated just with facial expressions and gestures.
Cutting His Losses
Once Rowan’s fortune was upwards of £70million with some estimates putting it closer to £100million. But the latest figure from the Sunday Times Rich List is much, much less, at — £56million. Compiler Rob Watts confirmed: “He would be significantly better off financially were it not for his 2015 divorce.”
In 2014, Atkinson found himself getting into a relationship with actress Louise Ford – the woman whom he had been dating for 18 months prior to his divorce from Sastry. Although the break-up with Sastry appears to have been quite difficult, Atkinson has since become very close to Ford.
Large Age Gap
Despite their considerable age gap – Ford is 33 and Atkinson is now aged 62 – the pair quickly became infatuated with one another following the first time they laid eyes on each other in 2012, while acting in the play Quartermaine’s Terms. After performing alongside each other in the London, the couple eventually got together in 2014.
When You Know
It wasn’t long before Atkinson asked Ford to move into his North London cottage – a sure fire sign that they were taking things to the next level. But now, in 2017, Atkinson not a lot older, yet that doesn’t stop him from living life…
Missing Something In The Marriage
While they were happy in their relationship there was speculation that a split might have been on the horizon as they were laying very low. Yet Rowan when asked about his private life stated:’There’s only one thing more important than not talking about your domestic life,’ he once said. ‘And that’s not talking about why you are not talking about your domestic life’. Was this a sign of something to come?
Controversy ensued, when his daughter Lily decided to change her last name – choosing instead her mother’s maiden name. Her move from Atkinson to Sastry confused many media spectators, as did the deletion of all of her photographs and social media accounts. Was this in protest of her father’s divorce?
A source told the Daily Mail in October 2017, “It’s a real mystery. Atkinson has been Lily’s name all her life, but she’s now dropped it and is styling herself as Lily Sastry.” The reason for the radical change is unknown, but some have speculated that it’s to do with Atkinson’s divorce from Lily’s mother.
The insider continued, “I hope she hasn’t fallen out with her dad. The divorce was really hard for everyone in the family.” Whatever the reason, it’s definitely a personal decision that the 22-year-old burlesque dancer has made concerning her change of name. But was there another reason that spurred on the name change?
Going Her Own Way
Despite Rowan spending £16,000 to help Lily launch her career as a jazz singer and burlesque performer, she still chose to use her mother’s maiden name, calling herself Lily Sastry instead. It probably didn’t help a great deal that Rowan reportedly fell asleep last year during her raunchy debut in front of an audience. He was seen snoring from the front row.
It was revealed in November 2017 that Atkinson was actually going to be a father again at the ripe old age of 62. The revelation came shortly after Ford was spotted shopping in North London with not only shopping bags in tow, but also a large baby bump. The birth will be the first child that the couple has together.
Bun In The Oven
The expected arrival of Rowan and Louise’s baby marks the end of five years of turmoil.Friends say they are even delighted at the prospect of smelly nappies, midnight feeds and temper tantrums. One thing’s for sure — with a humor as brilliantly comic as Rowan’s, he’ll be perfect for telling bedtime stories to their newborn.
New And Old
Speaking to the Sunday People in November 2017, a source told the publication that “Rowan and Louise are over the moon and can’t wait for their new arrival. It’s a very happy time for them both.” It’s thought that the baby will arrive as soon as early 2018.
Age No Barrier
Although the pair have for the most part remained very quiet regarding the pregnancy, fans of Atkinson and Ford have been anything but. One Twitter user wrote, “Congratulations to Rowan Atkinson and his girlfriend #LouiseFord on their lovely baby news!! They’ll be excellent parents,” while another put, “Congratulations to Rowan Atkinson (62) and his partner Lucy (33) who are announcing they are expecting a baby.”
Need To Keep Private
The privacy factor has been addressed before concerning the two, with The New Daily reporting a source saying, “Rowan and Louise are both incredibly private people,” before adding, “But this shows they are obviously serious about their relationship.” However, this wasn’t the only time Atkinson hit the news with regards to his family life.
What’s On The Cards?
Meanwhile, Atkinson is getting ready for a third film in the Johnny English franchise, hopefully out for release in October 2018. He even reprised his role as Mr. Bean in 2017 for the Chinese movie Top Funny Comedian: The Movie – a film that has been labelled as China’s response to The Hangover.
What About Louise?
And as for his relationship with Louise Ford? Well, even though Atkinson is extremely protective of his private life, he did once say in an interview, “I like being alone but most of the time I enjoy being with people I love.” Let’s hope with the new arrival that he warms up a bit more.
Faces The Critics
He may still face negative criticism over the sudden end to his marriage with Sunetra Sastry, but Atkinson seems devoted to staying committed to his current partner Louise Ford. And, with another baby on the way, it would appear that the 62-year-old sees age as just a number.