Atkinson says goodbye to beloved character “Mr. Bean”
It is January 1st, 1990 and British comedy television viewers are about to become a part of history, as they sit down to watch, laugh and enjoy the very first episode of the iconic Mr. Bean show. Little did they know that this comedy based around the life of a lovable, childish and self-centered buffon would go on to win international awards including the prestigious Golden Rose at the 1991 Rose d’Or Light Entertainment Festival.
The character of Mr. Bean has seen enormous success over the years, including animated spin-off’s and feature films dedicated to the unusual schemes and contrivances Mr. Bean goes through in his day-to-day tasks.
During the five-year run of the Mr. Bean show, the series had huge UK audience figures, including 18.74 million viewers for the 1991 episode “The Trouble With Mr. Bean”, and has been sold in 145 territories worldwide.
Atkinson, who is now 57 years old, has been slowly shedding the character of Mr. Bean in favor of taking on some more serious roles than he has previously attempted, and has confessed that playing the young at heart Mr. Bean is beginning to take a toll on his body.
“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. Apart from the fact that your physical ability starts to decline, I also think someone in their fifties being childlike becomes a little sad. You’ve got to be careful.”
It appears that his most recent appearance in character at the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony will be the last for Atkinson as Mr. Bean. While the world will be sad to see “Mr. Bean” retire, we can still expect to see plenty of Atkinson in the future as he stretches his acting legs and pulls some new tricks out of his arsenal. Atkinson is set to appear in a play called “Quartermaine’s Terms” which was put together by English playwright and memoirist Simon Gray in 1982.
You can view Rowan Atkinsons last performance as Mr. Bean at the 2012 London Olympics below.