The Greats of our Time

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Rowan Sebastian Atkinson CBE (born 6 January 1955) is an English actor, comedian and screenwriter best known for his work on the sitcoms Blackadder and Mr. Bean. Atkinson first came to prominence in the BBC’s sketch comedy show Not the Nine O’Clock News (1979–1982), receiving the 1981 BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance, and via his participation in The Secret Policeman’s Ball from 1979. His other work includes the 1983 James Bond film Never Say Never Again, playing a bumbling vicar in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), voicing the red-billed hornbill Zazu in The Lion King (1994), and featuring in the BBC sitcom The Thin Blue Line (1995–1996). His work in theatre includes the 2009 West End revival of the musical Oliver!.

Atkinson was listed in The Observer as one of the 50 funniest actors in British comedy, and among the top 50 comedians ever, in a 2005 poll of fellow comedians. In addition to his 1981 BAFTA, he received an Olivier Award for his 1981 West End theatre performance in Rowan Atkinson in Revue. He has also had cinematic success with his performances in the Mr. Bean movie adaptations Bean and Mr. Bean’s Holiday, and also in Johnny English film series (2003–2018). He also appears as the titular character in Maigret (2016–present).

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The Greats Of Our Time Directory

I am not quite sure when l first became aware of Rowan Atkinson as an actor, but quite possibly it was in the show Not The Nine O’Clock New 1979 – 1982. Since then, l have thoroughly enjoyed many of his performances, notably Black Adder and then various things that followed. Whilst l liked Mr Bean and in the process of putting this post together did laugh at a lot of his various antics, l was not the biggest follower of the series. But recently on Netflix l have caught a couple of his series ‘Maigret’. He is a true genius in my eyes for comedy!

Rowan Atkinson

1955 – Present

Johnny English Reborn 2011

After a disastrous mission in Mozambique, British agent Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) has retreated to a Tibetan monastery to try to forget his shame. But when he receives an urgent call from MI-7 to lead a mission that only he can handle, English is back in action. Using his questionable combat skills and an assortment of high-tech gadgets, English, along with his new partner, Agent Tucker (Daniel Kaluuya), must foil a plot to kill the Chinese premier.

Bean 1997

At the Royal National Gallery in London, the bumbling Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) is a guard with good intentions who always seems to destroy anything he touches. Unless, of course, he’s sleeping on the job. With the chairman (John Mills) blocking Bean’s firing, the board decides to send him to a Los Angeles art gallery under false credentials. When Bean arrives, his chaos-causing ways are as sharp as ever, and curator David Langley (Peter MacNicol) has the unenviable task of keeping Bean in line.

Never Say Never Again 1983

An aging James Bond (Sean Connery) makes an uncharacteristic mistake during a routine training mission, leading M (Edward Fox) to believe that the legendary British Intelligence spy is now past his prime. M indefinitely suspends Bond from active duty. However, when SPECTRE member Fatima Bush (Barbara Carrera) and her fellow terrorists successfully steal two nuclear missiles from the U.S. military, M must reinstate Bond, as he is the only agent who can beat SPECTRE at their own game of espionage.

Johnny English 2003

Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovich), a villain intent on stealing Britain’s Crown Jewels, has murdered the country’s top undercover agents, and mediocre spy Johnny English (Rowan Atkinson) is ordered to prevent further mayhem. But even with help from quick-thinking sidekick Bough (Ben Miller), the goofy agent lands himself in one precarious situation after another. Only when he meets up with Interpol crime-fighter Lorna Campbell (Natalie Imbruglia) is Johnny able to chip away at Pascal’s defenses.

Mr Bean’s Holiday 2007

Mr Bean is going on holiday to the south of France, looking for a quiet and sunny trip in the Riviera. However, his trip doesn’t go as smoothly as he expected when he has to face a series of misunderstandings and totally unfortunate coincidences. Eventually, Mr Bean will end up spoiling the last film of the snobbish director Carson Clay and appearing by accident at the Cannes Film Festival.

Rat Race 2001

In an ensemble film about easy money, greed, manipulation and bad driving, a Las Vegas casino tycoon entertains his wealthiest high rollers — a group that will bet on anything — by pitting six ordinary people against each other in a wild dash for $2 million jammed into a locker hundreds of miles away. The tycoon and his wealthy friends monitor each racer’s every move to keep track of their favorites. The only rule in this race is that there are no rules.

Four Weddings and a Funeral 1994

Lovable Englishman Charles (Hugh Grant) and his group of friends seem to be unlucky in love. When Charles meets a beautiful American named Carrie (Andie MacDowell) at a wedding, he thinks his luck may have changed. But, after one magical night, Carrie returns to the States, ending what might have been. As Charles and Carrie’s paths continue to cross — over a handful of nuptials and one funeral — he comes to believe they are meant to be together, even if their timing always seems to be off.

The Witches 1990

While staying at a hotel in England with his grandmother, Helga (Mai Zetterling), young Luke (Jasen Fisher) inadvertently spies on a convention of witches. The Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) reveals a plan to turn all children into mice through a magical formula. When they find that Luke has overheard, the witches test the formula on him. Now, with the help of Helga and the hotel manager, Mr. Stringer (Rowan Atkinson), Luke the mouse must fight back against the witches.

Scooby Doo 2002

Zoinks! Two years after a clash of egos forced Mystery Inc. to close its doors, Scooby-Doo and his clever crime-solving cohorts Fred (Freddie Prinze Jr.), Daphne (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Shaggy (Matthew Lillard) and Velma (Linda Cardellini) are individually summoned to Spooky Island to investigate a series of paranormal incidents at the ultra-hip Spring Break hot spot.

Keeping Mum 2005

Walter Goodfellow (Rowan Atkinson), vicar of the British village Little Wallop, is busy composing the perfect sermon. So busy, in fact, that he fails to notice his bored wife’s (Kristin Scott Thomas) flirtation with her American golf instructor (Patrick Swayze), his daughter’s revolving set of boyfriends, or his son’s status as the favorite target of bullies. Enter Grace Hawkins (Maggie Smith), the new housekeeper, who has a drastic solution to the family’s problems.

The Thin Blue Line 1995 – 1996

The Gasforth police station often is the scene of comic discord between the uniformed officers led by Inspector Raymond Fowler and the detectives under the supervision of Detective Inspector Derek Grim.

Blackadder 1983 1989

The first in a four-series run of historical comedies written by Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis, `Black Adder’ tells a revisionist tale of events at the end of the British Middle Ages. After a triumphant King Richard III emerges from the Battle of Bosworth Field, only to be accidentally assassinated by Edmund Plantagenet (a snivelling, dim-witted Atkinson), the king’s nephew, the Duke of York, takes the throne and is crowned Richard IV. A startling coincidence, however, is the fact that Edmund is the son of the new king, although he’s barely acknowledged by his own father. Edmund, in concert with pathetic sidekick Lord Percy and disgusting manservant Baldrick, attempts to overhaul his image – he takes on the title `The Black Adder’ – and plot ways to gain more power.

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11 thoughts on “The Greats of our Time

  1. He is one of the greats. I loved the film The Witches and he was perfect as the snooty hotel manager. I also love the film Keeping Mum, it’s dark humour is right up my street. He has played so many vicars, which is funny because he’s Jewish. A great actor. I also loved the first series of Blackadder which most people don’t for some reason. All Blackadder is excellent though, and as you know, the Blackadder Christmas Carol is one of my Must watches for Christmas. 🙂

    1. Indeed so, yes l too loved all of the Blackadders – intelligent wit at its very best. Keeping Mum is an excellent film, a double whammy bonus for you l should imagine if not triple – Rowan, Maggie, it’s British comedy and l am guessing you like Scott Thomas as well?

      1. I can’t say I’ve seen much of Scott Thomas, but she was excellent in that. I also saw her in Gosford Park, but I didn’t see the English Patient because I got bored with it after 5 minutes. I also thought Patrick Swayze was great in it. I saw him on stage in London. Very sad that he died of Pancreatic cancer not long afterwards. How about doing Mr Swayze?

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