Rowan Atkinson, a.k.a. Mr. Bean, was the reason behind a lot of happiness in our childhood. His ability to make people laugh without uttering a single word has won the hearts of millions around the world. Even today, the famous Mr. Bean series and cartoons are enjoyed by children as well as adults. No matter what age, we all chuckle when we see him with his little teddy bear. Atkinson, who makes us smile with his weird facial expressions and actions, actually lives a different life in person. Here we have compiled a list of 15 facts that may surprise you, about the man who created childhood happiness for a lot of us.
1. Rowan Atkinson once saved the lives of his wife and two children.
Mr. Bean was once involved in a dramatic mid-air rescue. After his pilot passed out at the controls of his private plane, Atkinson took control of the Cessna 202 aircraft. The incident took place in Kenya, when Atkinson and his family were on vacation. 45 minutes into their journey, the pilot collapsed. Atkinson was travelling with his wife Sunetra, along with their two children, Ben, eight, and Lilly, six. After several slaps from the family, the pilot eventually woke up. Although he has never piloted a plane, Atkinson with the help of the pilot, managed to land safely.
2. Mr. Bean performed at the Olympics.
In 2012, when London hosted the Summer Olympics, Mr. Bean played a rendition of “Chariots of Fire” during the opening ceremony. As usual, he managed to make everyone laugh with his witty Mr. Bean antics. Half way through the performance, he took out his phone and proceeded to sneeze, while playing one key repeatedly. The opening ceremony started a bit slow but Mr. Bean as usual managed to single handedly pick up the pace and make it an unforgettable moment.
3. Mr. Bean in real-life is an educated man. Atkinson is a graduate from two universities – the Newcastle University and the Oxford University.
Born in Consett, County Durham, England, on January 6, 1955, Atkinson was the youngest of four brothers. He was brought up Anglican and has achieved a degree in Electrical Engineering from Newcastle University. In 1975, he obtained his masters (MSc) in Electrical Engineering at The Queen’s College, Oxford. This was the same college his father matriculated in 1935, making him an Honorary Fellow in 2006.
4. Even though he was a great actor, he also hosted a series of comedy shows for BBC Radio 3 called The Atkinson People.
A BBC radio comedy series called The Atkinson People was first broadcast sporadically in 1979. The BBC’s arts radio station Radio 3 featured a fictional famous person each week – of course Atkinson played the lead characters. The show was co-written by Atkinson himself with the help of Richard Curtis.
5. For making the nation as well as the whole world laugh, Queen Elizabeth II awarded Rowan Atkinson a CBE.
The actor, comedian and writer was honored with a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by the Queen for making the nation laugh. During a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony, the actor was presented with the honor. Mr. Bean who was married with two children, found fame after the satirical series Not the Nine O’Clock News and the long-running series, Blackadder. He became known worldwide after the creation of the Mr. Bean series.