Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
He toured with a one-man show, with Angus Deayton as the straight man. The one-man show was filmed for television, and is still popular on video. It characterises Atkinson's comedy style, which is tightly planned and scripted, often physically-based comedy - comedy as performance, rather than comedy as observation or discussion, observant of life as many of the routines were. Atkinson's talent for physical comedy has seen him described as "the man with the rubber face". In 1978 he was offered his own television series by ITV but turned it down in favour of Not the Nine O'Clock News.
He is perhaps best known to non-British audiences as the character Mr. Bean.
Atkinson was educated at St Bees School and studied electrical engineering at Newcastle University then at Oxford (Queen's College), starting his comedy career at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He is married and has two children. His major hobby is apparently fast cars, having written for the British magazine Car and owning and racing Aston Martin vehicles. He holds a UK HGV licence.
He suffered from a stammer as a child and it sometimes returns when he is in stressful situations.
He has starred in several TV comedy series, among them:
- The Secret Policeman's Ball (1979), a charity special for Amnesty International.
- Not the Nine O'Clock News (1979-1982)
- Blackadder (1983, 1986-89)
- Mr. Bean (1989-1995, 2002)
- Funny Business (1992), a documentary about the craft of comedy
- The Thin Blue Line (1995-96)
- the Comic Relief Red Nose Day telecasts (notably starring in the "Doctor Who and the Curse of Fatal Death" skit in the 1999 telecast)
He also played in several movies:
- Never Say Never Again (1983)
- The Appointments of Dennis Jennings (1989)
- The Tall Guy (1989)
- The Witches (1990)
- Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)
- Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
- The Lion King (1994, voice of Zazu)
- Bean (1997)
- Rat Race (2001)
- Scooby-Doo (2002)
- Johnny English (2003)
- Love Actually (2003)
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