Sean Bean

Sean Bean

Infobox actor

imagesize = 200px
caption = Bean at the premiere of "North Country" at the 2005 Toronto Film Festival
birthname = Shaun Mark Bean
birthdate = Birth date and age|1959|4|17|df=y
birthplace = Handsworth, Sheffield, England
spouse = Debra James (1981-1990)
Melanie Hill (1990-1997)
Abigail Cruttenden (1997-2000)
Georgina Sutcliffe (2008-)
yearsactive = 1986 - present
sagawards = Outstanding Cast in a Motion Picture
2003 ""
awards = NBR Award for Best Cast
2003 ""

Shaun Mark Bean (born 17 April 1959) is an English film and stage actor. Bean has also acted in a number of television productions as well as performing voice work for computer games and television adverts. As an actor, he adopted the Celtic spelling "Sean" of his first name.

Bean has played a wide range of roles, from villains to heroes. His first successful role was his portrayal of Richard Sharpe in the United Kingdom television series "Sharpe".cite web|title=Sean Bean Profile|url=|publisher=UKTV Interactive Limited|accessdate=2006-09-14] Since then he has become well known internationally for his roles as Boromir in "The Lord of the Rings", Martin Septim in "" video game, James Bond's adversary Alec Trevelyan in "GoldenEye", Nicolas Cage's competitor Ian Howe in "National Treasure", IRA fringe terrorist Sean Miller out for revenge on Harrison Ford in "Patriot Games", Captain Rich in "Flightplan" with Jodie Foster, and Odysseus in "Troy".

Early life and family

Bean was born Shaun Mark Bean in the Handsworth district of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, the son of Rita and Brian Bean.cite web|title=Sean Bean Biography|url=|page=1|publisher=Tiscali|accessdate=2006-09-14] Bean's father owned a fabrication shop, which he had set up with a colleague. The business employed a total of 50 people. Bean's mother worked as a secretary. He has a younger sister named Lorraine. Despite becoming relatively wealthy (his father owned a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow), the family never moved away from the council estate, because they preferred to remain close to friends and family.cite news|title='I do my work and if things work out, they work out'|url=|publisher=Telegraph Group|page=4|date=2006-03-14|accessdate-2006-09-16]

As a child, Bean smashed a glass door due to an argument over scissors. It left a piece of glass embedded in his leg and left a large scar that briefly impeded his walking. This accident prevented him from pursuing his love of football professionally (although he would later carry out this dream in film). In 1975, Bean left Brook Comprehensive school with two O Levels in Art and English.cite web|title=Sean Bean - actor|url=|publisher=Sharpe Appreciation Society|accessdate=2006-09-14] After a job at a supermarket and another for the council, Bean started working for his father's firm with a day release at Rotherham College of Arts and Technology doing a welding course. While at Rotherham, after stumbling on an arts class, Bean decided to pursue his interest in art. After attending courses at two other colleges, one for half a day and the other for less than a week, he returned to Rotherham College, where he came across a drama course that he subsequently signed up for. After some college plays and one at Rotherham Civic Theatre, he applied and auditioned for a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), which he got.


Early career

He graduated from RADA in 1983 having won the Silver Medal for his performance in "Waiting for Godot". [cite web|title=Biography|url=|publisher=AOL|accessdate=2006-09-14] He made his professional acting début in 1983 at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury, Berkshire as Tybalt in "Romeo and Juliet". His early work involved a mixture of stage and screen work. His first national exposure came in an advert for non-alcoholic lager. [cite web|title=Barbican Ad|url=|date=1999-12-26|accessdate=2006-09-24] Between 1986 and 1988 he toured the country with the Royal Shakespeare Company doing productions of "Romeo and Juliet", "Fair Maid of the West", and "A Midsummer Night's Dream". He appeared in his first film in 1986 when he played Ranuccio Thomasoni in Derek Jarman's film "Caravaggio" he then reunited with the director on "War Requiem" in 1988 which also starred Lord Olivier.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s he became an established actor on British television.cite web|title=MSN Movies|url=|publisher=Microsoft|accessdate=2006-09-14] He had notable performances in the BBC productions "Clarissa" and "Lady Chatterley". His role in the latter became infamous for the sex scenes between him and Joely Richardson.cite news|title=Sharpe still cuts it|url=,,14934-2139473,00.html|publisher=The Times|date=2006-04-22|accessdate=2006-09-14] In 1990 Bean co-starred with Richard Harris in Jim Sheridan's adaption of the John B. Keane play, "The Field".


However it was the character Richard Sharpe that he would become most associated with. Bean was the first choice to play Sharpe, but was unavailable; so the part went to Paul McGann. Two days into filming, however, McGann was injured in a football match, and, although the producers initially tried to work around his injury, eventually he was replaced with Bean, who was by then available. [ [ Sharpe: Sharpe's Rifles - ] ] The 14-episode "Sharpe" television series was based on Bernard Cornwell's novels about the Napoleonic Wars and started with "Sharpe's Rifles". The series followed the fortunes of Richard Sharpe as he rose from Sergeant to Lieutenant Colonel by the time of the Battle of Waterloo. It ran from 1993 to 1997 with 3 episodes produced each year. After several years of rumours, more episodes were produced, called "Sharpe's Challenge", which aired in April 2006, and "Sharpe's Peril" which will air on ITV in the autumn of 2008 and will later be released on DVD. [cite web|title=Sharpe rumours|url=|accessdate=2006-09-16] Bean also played the role of Lord Richard Fenton in the TV Miniseries "Scarlett" based on the sequel to Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind".


His first notable Hollywood appearance was as an Irish republican terrorist in the 1992 film adaptation of "Patriot Games".

This would be the first of several villains that he would portray.cite web|title=Sean Bean Biography|url=|publisher=Hollywood Media Corporation|accessdate=2006-09-14] He became Alec Trevelyan (MI6's 006), the major villain of the 1995 James Bond film "GoldenEye", as the character Spence (with Robert de Niro) in "Ronin" (1998), a wife-beating ex-con in "Essex Boys" (2000), the malevolent kidnapper-jewel thief in "Don't Say a Word" (2001) and the greedy treasure hunter in "National Treasure (2004).

In 1996 he finally achieved his childhood dream of playing for Sheffield United, albeit as Jimmy Muir in the film "When Saturday Comes". Although the film was not critically acclaimed, Sean Bean got credit for a good performance. [cite web|title=When Saturday Comes review|url=|publisher=Rotten Tomatoes|accessdate=2006-09-14]

"The Lord of the Rings"

His most widely seen role was as Boromir in Peter Jackson's "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, although his only major part was in the , only appearing briefly in the extended edition of ', and a flashback in '. Due to his fear of flying he was reluctant to take the helicopters out to remote mountain locations while filming for "The Fellowship of the Ring". After a particularly rough ride, he vowed not to fly to a location again, and in one instance he chose to take a ski lift into the mountains and then hike the final few miles, all in full costume. [cite web|title=Flightplan interview|url=|accessdate=2006-09-14] As a reference to promos he made for the Sharpe series, Boromir cuts himself on Isildur's sword and mutters, "Still sharp".Fact|date=April 2008

Bean has a tattoo of the Elvish word for "nine", a reference to his involvement in the Lord of the Rings and the fact that his character was one of the nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring. The other actors of "The Fellowship" (Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Billy Boyd, Ian McKellen, Dominic Monaghan, Viggo Mortensen, and Orlando Bloom) got the same tattoo with the exception of John Rhys-Davies whose stunt double got the tattoo instead.cite web| url = |title = The stars of The Lord of the Rings trilogy reach their journey's end| publisher| accessdate =2007-05-31]

Recent career

Later roles gave more scope for his acting abilities. He became the repentant Grammaton cleric who gives in to his emotions in "Equilibrium" in 2002, a quirky alien cowboy in 2003's "The Big Empty", a sympathetic and cunning Odysseus in the 2004 film "Troy", a villainous treasure hunter Ian Howe in "National Treasure", a villainous scientist in "The Island" (2005) and a sympathetic soul in "North Country" (2005) , in which Bean converted his naturally heavy Sheffield accent into that of Minnesota slang, and a dedicated father in "Silent Hill".

He was cameoed with a myriad of other Hollywood stars in Moby's music video "We Are All Made of Stars" in February 2002. [cite web|title=We are all made of Stars|url=|accessdate=2006-09-24] In the same year he returned to the stage in London performing in "Macbeth" alongside Samantha Bond.cite web|title=The Compleat Sean Bean|url=|accessdate=2006-09-18] Due to popular demand, the production would run until March 2003.

Bean's high profile and recognisable voice has created a number of opportunities for doing voice over work, especially in the British advertising industry. [cite news|title=Voice that's earning a bean or two...|url=|publisher=Sheffield Today|format=reprint|date=2003-11-11|accessdate=2006-09-24] He has featured in television adverts for O2, Morrisons and Barnardos as well as for Acuvue and the Sci-Fi Channel in the United States. He also does the voice over for the National Blood Service's television and radio campaign. He also voiced Martin Septim in the Role Playing video game "". [cite web|title=Bethesda Softworks Taps Hollywood Voice Talent|url=|publisher=Bethesda Softworks|accessdate=2006-09-24]

Bean has completed a one hour pilot, called "Faceless", for American television. He has also appeared in "Outlaw", an independent British production, and a remake of "The Hitcher" (released in January 2007), in which he put on an American accent again. He spent time in Norway filming another independent film called "Far North".

In 2005, he played "Captain Rich" in "Flightplan".

Two films in production will reportedly star Bean. "Come Like Shadows" is an adaptation of "Macbeth". [cite news|title=Bean and Swinton lead 'user-friendly' Macbeth
url=|publisher=Guardian Newspapers Limited|date=2006-06-29|accessdate=2006-09-16
] He had starred in a production of "Macbeth" on the London stage with Samantha Bond as Lady Macbeth with much critical success. As of|2008, this film as well as "A Woman of No Importance" are listed as being in pre-production according to the Internet Movie Data Base. The actor also has said that he would like to appear in "Coronation Street" (joking that he could be the milkman). [cite news|title=Bean eager for Coronation Street role|url=|publisher=RTE|date=2006-01-27|accessdate=2006-09-16] He has also stated that he would like to do some wildlife presenting sometime in the future.cite news|title=Its hard being a sex symbol!|url=|format=reprint|publisher=Woman's Own|date=2003-01-13|accessdate=2006-09-15]

It has also recently been announced that Bean will be in the film "Black Death", set during the time of the first outbreak of the Bubonic Plague, Bean will star alongside Lena Headey and Rupert Friend.


Often described as down-to-earth, Sean Bean has retained his Sheffield accent despite now living in London. He is also described as a sex symbol; he was voted the UK's second sexiest man in 2004. [cite news
title=Bloom is Britain's sexiest actor
publisher=Daily Mail|date=2004-06-14
] He admits he doesn't mind being considered by the ladies' as a "bit of rough". [cite news|title=The Andrew Duncan Interview|url=|format=reprint|publisher=Radio Times|date=1996-05-11|accessdate=2006-09-29]

He has developed a reputation as a loner, a label he considers unfair. In addition, he has been accused of being a chauvinist; this originated after his second wife claimed he watched too much football, spent too much time in the pub and left clothes about the house. [cite news|title=Sean Bean, the Sheffield welder turned actor, is careful not to sever his roots.|url=|publisher=The Times|format=reprint|date=1999-01-02|accessdate=2006-09-25]

Acting style

Despite being professionally trained, Sean Bean adopts an instinctive style of acting.cite news|title=Sheffield Steel|url=|format=reprint|publisher=Vogue|date=June 2004|accessdate=2006-10-11] He has said in interviews that the most difficult part is at the start of filming when trying to understand the character.cite web|title=Sean Bean: The Interview|url=|accessdate=2006-10-11] After achieving this he can snap in and out of character instantly. This ability to go from the quiet man on set to the warrior figure "amazed" Sean Astin during filming of "The Fellowship of the Ring". [Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, "Cast Commentary", region 2] Other fans include the directors Mike Figgis ("Stormy Monday") and Wolfgang Petersen ("Troy") who described working with him as a "beautiful thing".

Personal life

He has been married four times and subsequently divorced three times.cite news|title=The Thinking Woman's Bit of Rough|url=|format=reprint|publisher=Ms London Magazine|first=Mary|last=Black|date=2005-08-08|accessdate=2006-09-14] His first marriage was to high-school sweetheart Debra James on 11 April 1981, which broke up when he moved to London to attend RADA; then to actress Melanie Hill, between 27 February 1990 and August 1997, with whom he shares daughters Lorna and Molly; he then married "Sharpe" co-star Abigail Cruttenden on 22 November 1997, mother of his third daughter Evie Natasha; they divorced in July 2000. Bean married actress Georgina Sutcliffe on 19 February 2008, after previously cancelling the wedding less than twenty-four hours before it was set to take place. He describes himself as quiet. Although he admits he can be a workaholic, in his spare time he likes relaxing with a book or listening to music. He is also a keen gardener, and does both welding and sketching.

Bean's first love was football and he has been a passionate Sheffield United supporter from a young age (he now has a tattoo on his left shoulder that reads 100% Blade). He was until December 2007 one of the directors of the club but finally decided to "go back to the terraces, where (he) truly belong(s)". [ [ The Star ] ] . He also wrote the foreword and helped promote a book of anecdotes called "Sheffield United: The Biography".cite news|title="Sheffield United: The Biography"|url=,,10418~934782,00.html|publisher=FL Interactive|accessdate=2007-06-23] He also follows Yorkshire County Cricket Club.He had some problems with Neil Warnock, former manager of Sheffield United, after Warnock claimed that Bean stormed into his office and shouted at him in front of his wife and daughter after the 2006–07 season. Bean denies it, calling Warnock "bitter" and "hypocritical".

Awards and honours

Sean Bean is yet to receive a major individual award in the film industry. However he did receive 3 separate awards as part of the ensemble cast in "",cite web|title=The Sean Bean Picture Pages|url=|accessdate=2006-09-14] : from the Screen Actors Guild, the National Board of Review and the Broadcast Film Critics Association all in 2004.

In his home city of Sheffield he received an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University in 1997 and a second doctorate, a Doctor of Letters in English Literature from the University of Sheffield in July 2007. [cite web|title=Sheffield University|url=|accessdate=2007-07-20] He was also selected as one of the inaugural members of Sheffield Legends, the Sheffield equivalent of the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Bean quoted "I did get a doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University about 11 or 12 years ago so now I'm a double doctor. But this was wonderful, especially from my home city." [cite web|title=Sheffield University|url=|accessdate=2007-07-20] He is to have a plaque in his honour placed in front of Sheffield Town Hall. [cite web|title=Sheffield Legends|url=|accessdate=2006-09-14]



External links

*ymovies name|1800020277
* [ Premiere Magazine: Sean Bean Interview]

NAME=Sean Bean
DATE OF BIRTH=April 17, 1959
PLACE OF BIRTH=Sheffield, England

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