Speech Differences And Stutter Series-Disabled Legend Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson was born on 6 January 1955 in Consett, County Durham. Rowan Atkinson is an English comedian, actor and writer, famous for his title roles in the British television comedies Blackadder, The Thin Blue Line, and Mr. Bean. Rowan Atkinson has been listed in The Observer as 1 of the 50 funniest acts in British comedy, and amongst the top 50 comedy acts ever in a 2005 poll of fellow comedians.

Rowan Atkinson’s parents were Eric Atkinson, a farmer and company director, and his wife Ella May (née Bambridge), who married on 29 June 1945. Rowan Atkinson has 2 elder brothers, Rodney Atkinson, a eurosceptic economist who narrowly lost the United Kingdom Independence Party leadership election in 2000, and Rupert Atkinson.

Rowan Atkinson was raised Anglican. Rowan Atkinson was educated at Durham Choristers School, followed by St Bees School, and studied electrical engineering at Newcastle University. Rowan Atkinson continued with an MSc at The Queen’s College, Oxford, first achieving notice at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1976. At Oxford, he also acted and performed early sketches for the Oxford University Dramatic Society (OUDS), the Oxford Revue and the Experimental Theatre Club (ETC), meeting writer Richard Curtis and composer Howard Goodall, with whom he would continue to collaborate during his career.

After he went to university, Rowan Atkinson toured with Angus Deayton as his straight man in an act that was eventually filmed for a television show. After the success of the show, he did a one-off pilot for ITV in 1979 called Canned Laughter. Rowan Atkinson then went on to do Not the Nine O’Clock News, produced by his friend John Lloyd. Rowan Atkinson starred on the show along with Pamela Stephenson, Griff Rhys Jones and Mel Smith, and was one of the main sketch writers.

The success of Not the Nine O’Clock News led to his starring in the medieval sitcom The Black Adder, which he also co-wrote with Richard Curtis, in 1983. Despite a mixed reception, a 2nd series was written, this time by Curtis and Ben Elton, and 1st screened in 1985. Blackadder II followed the fortunes of one of the descendants of Rowan Atkinson’s original character, this time in the Elizabethan era. The same pattern was repeated in 2 sequels Blackadder the 3rd (1987) (set in the Regency era), and Blackadder Goes 4th(1989) (set in World War I). The Blackadder series went on to become one of the most successful BBC situation comedies of all time, spawning television specials including Blackadder’s Christmas Carol (1988) and Blackadder: The Cavalier Years (1988).

Rowan Atkinson’s other famous creation, the hapless Mr. Bean, 1st appeared on New Years Day in 1990 in a 30 special for Thames Television. The character of Mr. Bean has been likened somewhat to a modern-day Charlie Chaplin. During this time, Rowan Atkinson appeared at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal in 1987 and 1989. Several sequels to Mr. Bean appeared on television in the 1990s, and it eventually made into a major motion picture in 1997. Entitled Bean, it was directed by Mel Smith, his former co-star from Not the Nine O’Clock News. A 2nd movie was released in 2007 entitled Mr. Bean’s Holiday.

Rowan Atkinson has fronted campaigns for Hitachi electrical goods, Fujifilm, and Give Blood. Most famously, he appeared as a hapless and error-prone espionage agent in a long-running series for Barclaycard, on which character his title role in Johnny English was based. In May 2008 he appeared in the BBC documentary series Comedy Map of Britain.

Rowan Atkinson’s film career began in 1983 with a supporting part in the James Bond movie Never Say Never Again and a leading role in Dead on Time with Nigel Hawthorne. Rowan Atkinsappeared in former Not the Nine O’Clock News co-star Mel Smith’s directorial debut The Tall Guy in 1989. He also appeared alongside Anjelica Huston and Mai Zetterling in Roald Dahl’s The Witches in 1990. In 1993 he played the part of Dexter Hayman in Hot Shots! Part Deux, a parody of Rambo III starring Sylvester Stallone.

Rowan Atkinson, with his turn as a verbally bumbling vicar, gained further recognition in the 1994 hit 4 Weddings and a Funeral. That same year he featured in Walt Disney’s The Lion King as Zazu the Hornbill. Rowan Atkinson continued to appear in supporting roles in successful comedies, including Rat Race (2001), Scooby-Doo
(2002), and Love Actually (2003).

In addition to his supporting roles, Rowan Atkinson has also had success as a leading man. Rowan Atkinson’s television character Mr. Bean debuted on the big screen in 1997 with Bean to international success. A sequel, Mr. Bean’s Holiday, was released in March 2007 and may be the last time he plays the character. Rowan Atkinson has also starred in the James Bond parody Johnny English in 2003. Keeping Mum (2005, released in the U.S. in 2006) was a departure for Rowan Atkinson, starring in a straight role.

One of his better-known trademark comic devices is over-articulation of the “B” sound, such as his pronunciation of “Bob” in a Blackadder episode.

Rowan Atkinson’s style is often visually-based. This visual style, which has been compared to Charlie Chaplin, sets Rowan Atkinson apart as most modern television and film comedies rely heavily on dialogue, and stand-up comedy is mostly based on monologues. This talent for visual comedy has led to Rowan Atkinson being called “the man with the rubber face”.

In early 2008 it was confirmed that Rowan Atkinson would fulfil a lifelong ambition and take on the role of Fagin in Lionel Bart’s musical Oliver! which will be produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Cameron Mackintosh. Rowan Atkinson was quoted as saying, “In the 1980s I enjoyed doing a lot of West End theatre and since then have been distracted very much by Mr Bean and film-making. I had been thinking for some time about returning to the stage, and the idea of the role of Fagin has long intrigued me. I even had the part in a school production.” The production will open in early December 2008. The roles of Nancy and Oliver were selected by the British public in a TV reality competition on the show. Jodie Prenger.

Rowan Atkinson married Sunetra Sastry in 1990, having met her professionally on the set of Blackadder. They married quietly at the Russian Tea Room in New York City, U.S., with Stephen Fry acting as the best man. The couple have 2 children, Lily and Benjamin, and live in England in the Northamptonshire village of Apethorpe.

In June 2005, Rowan Atkinson led a coalition of the UK’s most prominent actors and writers, including Nicholas Hytner, Stephen Fry 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.

With an estimated wealth of £100,000,000, Rowan Atkinson is able to indulge his passion for cars that began with driving his mother’s Morris Minor around the family farm. Rowan Atkinson has written for the British magazines Car and Evo.

Rowan Atkinson also holds a UK LGV licence, gained because lorries held a fascination for him, and to ensure employment as a young actor.

A lover of and participant in car racing, he appeared as racing driver Henry Birkin in the television play Full Throttle in 1995. In 1991, he starred in the self-penned The Driven Man, a series of sketches featuring Rowan Atkinson driving around London trying to solve his car-fetish, and discussing it with taxi drivers, policemen, used-car salesmen and psychotherapists.

Rowan Atkinson’s car collection is dominated by Aston Martins, including the DB7 Vantage used in Johnny English. Rowan Atkinson’s Aston Martin V8 Zagato, featuring a novelty registration plate, was driven by his character Dexter in the film The Tall Guy. Rowan Atkinson was cited for speeding in the car, just as his character was in the movie. Rowan Atkinson also received a driving ban as a result of the incident. Rowan Atkinson also races in his V8 Zagato, from which he escaped unhurt after crashing it into a barrier at an Aston Martin Owners Club event in Croft Circuit in 2001. Rowan Atkinson is reported to have placed an advanced order for a Morgan Aero Max, which costs £110,000.

Rowan Atkinson has raced in other cars, including a Renault 5 GT Turbo for 2 seasons for its 1 make series. Rowan Atkinson owns one McLaren F1, which was involved in an accident with an Austin Metro. Other cars he owns include an Audi A8, and a Honda Civic Hybrid.

The Conservative Party politician Alan Clark, himself a devotee of classic motor cars, recorded in his published Diaries this chance meeting with a man he later realised was Rowan Atkinson while driving through Oxfordshire in May 1984: “Just after leaving the motorway at Thame I noticed a dark red DBS V8 Aston Martin on the slip road with the bonnet up, a man unhappily bending over it. I told Jane to pull in and walked back. A DV8 in trouble is always good for a gloat.” Alan Clark writes that he gave Rowan Atkinson a lift in his Rolls Royce to the nearest telephone box, but was disappointed in his bland reaction to being recognised, noting that: “he didn’t sparkle, was rather disappointing and chetif.”

1 car Rowan Atkinson will not own is a Porsche: “I have a problem with Porsches. They’re wonderful cars, but I know I could never live with one. Somehow, the typical Porsche people — and I wish them no ill — are not, I feel, my kind of people. I don’t go around saying that Porsches are a pile of dung, but I do know that psychologically I couldn’t handle owning one.”

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Hearing Impairment Series-Disabled Legend Lon Chaney Snr.

Lon Chaney Snr. was born on 1 April, 1883 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA and died on 26 August, 1930, nicknamed “The Man of a Thousand Faces,” was an American actor during the age of silent films. Lon Chaney Snr. was one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema. Lon Chaney Snr. is best remembered for his characterisations of tortured, often grotesque and afflicted characters, and his groundbreaking artistry with film makeup.

Lon Chaney Snr. was born Leonidas Frank Chaney  to Frank H. Chaney and Emma Alice Kennedy; his father had mostly English and some French ancestry, and his mother was of Irish descent. Both of Lon Chaney Snr.’s parents were deaf, and as a child of deaf adults Lon Chaney Snr. became skilled in pantomime. Lon Chaney Snr. entered a stage career in 1902, and began traveling with popular Vaudeville and theater acts. In 1905, he met and married 16 year old singer Cleva Creighton and in 1906, their 1st child and only son, Creighton Chaney (a.k.a. Lon Chaney, Jr.) was born. The Chaneys continued touring, settling in California in 1910.

Unfortunately, marital troubles developed and in April 1913, Cleva went to the Majestic Theater in downtown Los Angeles, where Lon Chaney Snr. was managing the Kolb and Dill show, and attempted suicide by swallowing mercury bichloride. The suicide attempt failed and ruined her singing career; the ensuing scandal and divorce forced Lon Chaney Snr. out of the theater and into film.

The time spent there is not clearly known, but between the years 1912 and 1917, Lon Chaney Snr. worked under contract for Universal Studios doing bit or character parts. Lon Chaney Snr’s outstanding skill with makeup gained him many parts in the highly competitive casting atmosphere. During this time, Lon Chaney Snr. befriended the husband-wife director team of Joe De Grasse and Ida May Parke, who gave him substantial roles in their pictures, and further encouraged him to play macabre characters.

Lon Chaney Snr. also married one of his former colleagues in the Kolb and Dill company tour, a chorus girl named Hazel Hastings. Little is known of Hazel, except that her marriage to Lon Chaney Snr. was solid. Upon marrying, the new couple gained custody of Lon Chaney Snr’s 10 year-old son Creighton, who had resided in various homes and boarding schools since Lon Chaney Snr’s divorce in 1913.

By 1917 Lon Chaney Snr. was a prominent actor in the studio, but his salary did not reflect this status. When Lon Chaney Snr. asked for a raise, studio executive William Sistrom replied, “You’ll never be worth more than $100 a week.”

After leaving the studio, Lon Chaney Snr. struggled for the 1st year as a character actor. It was not until 1918 when playing a substantial role in William S. Hart’s picture, Riddle Gawne, that Lon Chaney Snr’s talents as a character actor were truly recognised by the industry.

In 1919, Lon Chaney Snr. had a breakthrough performance as, “The Frog,” in George Loane Tucker’s The Miracle Man. The film not only displayed Lon Chaney Snr.’s acting ability, but his talent as a master of makeup. Critical praise and a gross of over $2 000,000 put Lon Chaney Snr. on the map as America’s foremost character actor.

Lon Chaney Snr. is chiefly remembered as a pioneer in such silent horror films as, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and most notably, The Phantom of the Opera. Lon Chaney Snr.’s ability to transform himself using self-invented makeup techniques earned him the nickname of “Man of a Thousand Faces”. In an autobiographical 1925 article published in Movie magazine that gave a rare glimpse into his life, Lon Chaney Snr referred to his specialty as “extreme characterisation”.

Lon Chaney Snr also exhibited this adaptability with makeup in more conventional crime and adventure films, such as, The Penalty, where he played an amputee gangster. Lon Chaney Snr. appeared in a total of 10 films by director Tod Browning, often playing disguised and/or mutilated characters, including carnival knife thrower Alonzo the Armless in, The Unknown (1927), with Joan Crawford. In 1927, Lon Chaney Snr. co-starred with Conrad Nagel, Marceline Day, Henry B. Walthall and Polly Moran in the now lost Tod Browning directed horror classic, London After Midnight, quite possibly the most famous lost film ever. Lon Chaney Snr.’s last film was a remake with sound of his silent classic, The Unholy Three (1930), his only “talkie” and the only film in which he displayed his versatile voice. In fact, Lon Chaney Snr. signed a sworn statement declaring that 5 of the key voices in the film (the ventriloquist, old woman, parrot, dummy and girl) were in fact his own.

Although Lon Chaney Snr. created, in Quasimodo, the bell ringer of Notre Dame, and Erik, the “phantom” of the Paris Opera House, two of the most grotesquely deformed characters in film history, the portrayals sought to elicit a degree of sympathy and pathos among viewers not overwhelmingly terrified or repulsed by the monstrous disfigurements of the characters, who were merely victims of fate.

“I wanted to remind people that the lowest types of humanity may have within them the capacity for supreme self-sacrifice,” Lon Chaney Snr. wrote in Movie magazine. “The dwarfed, misshapen beggar of the streets may have the noblest ideals. Most of my roles since The Hunchback, such as The Phantom of the Opera, He Who Gets Slapped, The Unholy Three, etc., have carried the theme of self-sacrifice or renunciation. These are the stories which I wish to do.”

“He was someone who acted out our psyches. He somehow got into the shadows inside our bodies; he was able to nail down some of our secret fears and put them on-screen,” the writer Ray Bradbury once explained. “The history of Lon Chaney Snr. is the history of unrequited loves. Lon Chaney Snr. brings that part of you out into the open, because you fear that you are not loved, you fear that you never will be loved, you fear there is some part of you that’s grotesque, that the world will turn away from.”

Lon Chaney Snr.’s talents extended far beyond the horror genre, and stage makeup. Lon Chaney Snr. was also a highly skilled dancer, singer and comedian. In fact, many people who did not know Lon Chaney Snr. were surprised by his rich baritone voice and his sharp comedic skills.

Lon Chaney Snr. and his 2nd wife Hazel led a discreet private life distant from the Hollywood social scene. Lon Chaney Snr did minimal promotional work for his films and MGM studios, purposefully fostering a mysterious image, and he reportedly avoided the social scene in Hollywood on purpose.

In the final 5 years of his film career (1925-1930), Lon Chaney Snr. worked exclusively under contract to MGM, giving some of his most memorable performances. Lon Chaney Snr’.s portrayal of a tough-as-nails marine drill instructor in Tell It to the Marines (1926), one of his favorite films, earned him the affection of the US Marine Corps, who made him their first honorary member from the motion picture industry. Lon Chaney Snr. also earned the respect and admiration of numerous up and coming actors, as Lon Chaney Snr. was considered helpful towards new actors, showing them the ropes, and was always willing to talk to the cast and crew about his experiences between takes on films.

During the filming of Thunder in the winter of 1929, Lon Chaney Snr. developed pneumonia. In late 1929 he was diagnosed with bronchial lung cancer. Despite aggressive treatment, his condition gradually worsened, and 7 weeks after the release of the remake of The Unholy Three, he died of a throat hemorrhage. Lon Chaney Snr.’s death was deeply mourned by his family, the film industry and by his fans. The US Marine Corps provided a chaplain and Honor Guard for his funeral. Lon Chaney Snr. was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery, in Glendale, California, USA next to the crypt of his father. Lon Chaney Snr.’s wife Hazel was also interred there upon her death in 1933. For unknown reasons, Lon Chaney Snr.’s crypt has remained unmarked.

Lon Chaney Snr. as “Mr. Wu,” conducting an orchestra of women.In 1957, Lon Chaney Snr. was the subject of a biopic titled Man of a Thousand Faces, and was portrayed by James Cagney. Though much of the plot was fictional, the film was a moving tribute to Lon Chaney Snr. and helped boost his posthumous fame. During his lifetime, Lon Chaney Snr. had boasted he would make it difficult for biographers to portray his life, saying that “between pictures, there is no Lon Chaney Snr.” This was in line with the air of mystery he purposefully fostered around his makeup and performances.

Lon Chaney Snr. has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1994, he was honored by having his image designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, placed on a United States postage stamp.

The stage theater at the Colorado Springs Civic Auditorium is named after Lon Chaney Snr.

In 1929, Lon Chaney Snr. built an impressive stone cabin in the remote wilderness of the eastern Sierra Nevada, near Big Pine, California, as a retreat. The cabin (designed by architect Paul Williams) still stands, and is preserved by the Inyo National Forest Service.

Lon Chaney Snr.’s son, Lon Chaney, Jr., became a film actor after his father’s death, and is best remembered for roles in horror films, especially The Wolf Man. The Chaneys appeared on US postage stamps as their signature characters, the Phantom of the Opera and the Wolf Man, with the set completed by Bela Lugosi as Dracula and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein’s monster and The Mummy.

Lon Chaney Snr. and his son Lon Chaney Jnr. are mentioned in the Warren Zevon song “Werewolves of London”.

Many of Lon Chaney Snr.’s colleagues held him in high regard and he would often give advice and help actors who were just beginning their careers. Lon Chaney Snr. was also greatly respected by the film crews and studio employees with whom he worked.

Following his death, Lon Chaney Snr.’s famous makeup case was donated by his wife Hazel to the Los Angeles County Museum, where it is sometimes displayed for the public. Makeup artist and Lon Chaney Snr.’s biographer Michael Blake considers Lon Chaney Snr.’s case the central artifact in the history of film makeup.

In 1978, Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS wrote a song about Lon Chaney Snr. called “The Man of A Thousand Faces” for his first solo album. Simmons had been influenced by the old black and white classic horror movies growing up in New York City.

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