Rowan Sebastian Atkinson is the most accomplished actor in British television history. Atkinson was born in Durham, England and had a modest childhood upbringing. Atkinson is known worldwide in his exploits in the television sitcoms Black Adder and Mr. Bean. Even today he’s still making films and performing at comedy clubs all over the world, so it looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of Mr. Bean in the foreseeable future.
What I’m sure you don’t know about Atkinson is he has a speech impediment, yes Rowan Atkinson has a speech impediment. When he was growing up, he started to notice certain words would give him unexplained trouble and leave him feeling fatigued and stressed when having a conversation with his school mates. However, that all changed when he went to Oxford University to achieve his Masters in Engineering from The Queen’s College at Oxford. While studying for his degree Atkinson became interested in acting. When Atkinson would audition for roles in plays everyone at the college was astounded by how he could take on virtually any role! Chris Robson, Atkinson’s A-level physics master confirmed by saying, “when he walked on-stage he was exceptional.” (1)
He decided to push aside a potential PhD from the college, and pursued his acting career. In a 2007 interview Atkinson was asked how he’s able to keep his stammer at bay? Atkinson replied very simply that, “It comes and goes. I find when I play a character other than myself, the stammering disappears. That may have been some of the inspiration for pursuing the career I did.” (1) It just goes to show that anyone, even one with a speech impediment can accomplish their dreams no matter how large they may be.
“Rowan Atkinson.” 2014. The Biography Channel website. Feb 26 2014, 09:08 http://www.biography.com/people/rowan-atkinson-9191636.
Stuttering Foundation of America. “Who Knew? Mr. Bean?” Stuttering Foundation: A Nonprofit Organization Helping Those Who Stutter. Stuttering Foundation of America, 2014. Web. 26 Feb. 2014.