ATKINSON, ROWAN

Entry Source: The James Bond Movie Encyclopedia by Steven Jay Rubin


(January 6, 1955–     ):  British actor, comedian, and television personality who portrayed bumbling foreign service officer Nigel Small-Fawcett in Never Say Never Again, his feature film debut. Constantly a royal pain to 007 (Sean Connery), Small-Fawcett yells James Bond’s name across a crowded harbor—effectively blowing his cover—and at the end of the movie he disturbs a hot-tub tryst between Bond and Domino Petachi (Kim Basinger).

A native of Consett, County Durham, England, Atkinson first came to the public’s attention with his various roles on the award-winning British sketch show Not the Nine O’Clock News (1979–1982). His comedy skills were further showcased in the series The Black Adder (1982–1983), which was followed by the sequels Black Adder II (1986), Black Adder the Third (1987), and Blackadder Goes Forth (1989). After making a number of video shorts and a television series that introduced his comical Mr. Bean character, he brought him to the big screen in Bean (1997). In all these projects, he collaborated with writer/director Richard Curtis, who also cast Atkinson in memorable roles in two of his best-known films: the novice priest in the seminal comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), and Rufus the impossibly precise jewelry salesman in the classic Christmas film Love Actually (2003). Atkinson also portrayed the title character in the hilarious spy spoof Johnny English (2003) and its two sequels, Johnny English Reborn (2011) and Johnny English Strikes Again (2018).