Birth Date: January 6, 1955 / Age: 60
Birth Place: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, UK
Biography: Rowan Sebastian Atkinson (born January 6, 1955 in Consett, County Durham, England) is a British comedian and actor. Two of his most well-known characters are Edmund Blackadder and 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.
Atkinson 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.
In 2003, he was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy, and in a 2005 poll to find The Comedian's Comedian, he was voted amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders.
He suffered from a stutter as a child and it sometimes returns when he is in stressful situations. In particular, the letter "B" poses a problem for him. He managed to overcome the problem through over articulation; however, this over articulation, somewhat ironically, evolved into one of his trademark comic devices in itself. His pronunciation of "Bob" in Blackadder being a famous example.
In June 2005, Atkinson led a coalition of the UK's most prominent actors and writers, including Nicholas Hytner and Ian McEwan, to the British Parliament in an attempt to force a review of the controversial Racial and Religious Hatred Bill - on the grounds that the Bill would give religious groups a "weapon of disproportionate power" whose threat would engender a culture of self-censorship among artists.