Sean Bean's Biography
Sean Bean is one of the brightest British theater and film actors. In his homeland, he's known as the "last knight," while in Hollywood, he's dubbed the "most killed" actor. He boasts over a hundred roles, with the most notable being Richard Sharpe in "Sharpe's Adventures," Boromir in "The Lord of the Rings," and Ned Stark in "Game of Thrones."
For his portrayal of Simon Gaskell/Tracie Tremarco in the crime drama "Accused," he was recognized as the best actor by the Royal Television Society and won an Emmy Award. He holds a doctorate in English literature and is a member of the "Sheffield Legends" club.
Childhood and Youth
Shaun Mark Bean, his full name, was born in the spring of 1959 to Brian and Rita Bean in Sheffield, Yorkshire. His father, a welder by profession, set up a metalwork shop, while his mother, initially her husband's secretary, focused on homemaking and taking care of Sean and his younger sister, Lorraine, after their births.
Brian's company provided jobs for over fifty locals, and the family was quite affluent. When Sean was young, his parents took him and his sister to the seaside annually. Bean reminisced about their trips to the Spanish coast:
...My dad hated flying. He was scared. The journey took about three days, year after year. All you'd see from the window were gas stations and foreign highways. I remember passing through Paris at five in the morning, and the driver woke us up to say, 'Ladies and gentlemen, to your left is the Eiffel Tower.' I groggily peered out and spotted its tiny silhouette miles away.
Upon returning to Sheffield, Sean eagerly ran to play soccer with the neighborhood kids. He was about seven when his grandfather took him to the "Sheffield United" stadium to cheer for their favorite soccer team, "The Blades." Bean recalls it being a chilly winter evening, with floodlights illuminating the soccer field. They arrived a bit late, and just as they were about to enter their stand, player Alan Woodworth scored:
We heard the roar of the crowd and rushed to our seats. The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I was struck by it: the shouting crowd, the rush to the stadium, all these people. I was captivated.
Football's allure accompanied Sean throughout his life. As a teenager, he dreamt of playing for the local club, and he might have succeeded if a shard of glass hadn't injured his leg. The injury was severe, ending any hopes of a professional football career.
Desperate, Sean took up boxing at Croft House. However, he was so aggressive that he often hurt himself during training. Once, in a fit of rage, he punched not the punching bag, but the metal ring holding it. The excruciating pain and a shattered dream of football made him realize that boxing wasn't his calling.
Sean seemed plagued by injuries. He had several accidents on the motorcycle his parents bought him, leading them to replace the "Chopper" with a smaller model, "Chipper."
In 1975, Bean graduated from school, excelling in two subjects: art history and English. But he had no idea what to do next. He took a job in a supermarket, shoveled snow in winter, considered becoming an artist due to his decent drawing skills. Eventually, Brian, his father, advised Sean to learn welding and brought him into the family business. Taking his father's advice, Sean enrolled in Rotherham College of Arts and Technology. However, he didn't become a welder. Instead, he found himself on a drama course, where he finally felt engaged.
While honing his acting skills, Bean participated in all the college's theater productions and later in Rotherham's theater productions. In 1981, he received a grant to study at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. After seven years, Sean graduated with a silver medal for his performance in "Waiting for Godot" and joined the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow.
The budding actor made his debut in "Romeo and Juliet" as Tybalt. Later, he got an invitation to work at London's Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Parallelly, he began collaborating with television, participating in TV dramas.
In 1984, Bean first stepped onto a film set. He was invited for a minor role as Horace Clarke in the detective series "The Bill."
He was then offered a significant role as Ranuccio in the historical drama "Caravaggio." Two years later, Sean worked in the British-American project "Stormy Monday." He played one of the main roles, a security guard and jazz musician named Brendan, who confronts gangsters. Bean's co-stars included Melanie Griffith, Sting, and Tommy Lee Jones.
Subsequent roles in his filmography include Carver Doone in the melodrama "Lorna Doone," McCabe in the drama "The Field," and Lovelace in the historical film "Clarissa." In 1991, Bean made his Hollywood debut with the role of a maniacal terrorist in Phillip Noyce's thriller "Patriot Games."
The lead actor, Harrison Ford, accidentally cut Bean with a boat hook during filming, leaving a scar above his eye. Sean needed more than ten stitches (though he claimed there were over thirty). Later, directors would often highlight this facial feature, especially when he portrayed various villains.
Such was his role as Richard Fenton in "Scarlett," an English aristocrat exterior hiding a sadistic and hypocritical nature. Bean masterfully portrayed the brutal lover character, gamekeeper Oliver Mellors, in the melodrama "Lady Chatterley's Lover."
The villainous role of Alec Trevelyan/Janus was brilliantly portrayed by Bean in one of the James Bond series titled "GoldenEye," where James Bond was brought to life by Pierce Brosnan.
Bean also left a mark with his portrayal of the charismatic rogue Ian Howe in the adventure film "National Treasure." His character, driven by greed, was not so straightforward in Bean's execution, especially when juxtaposed against Nicolas Cage's character (Ben, the archaeologist). "The only film where Sean Bean's character doesn't die," joked the audience.
The most positive (and long-lasting) character in Bean's filmography was Richard Sharpe from the "Sharpe" film series, numerous stories about the life of a simple British sergeant (later commanding an army in the Battle of Waterloo). Even the author of the novels, Cornwell, confessed that he wrote the sequels visualizing the image created by the actor, not the one originally in his mind. The first Sharpe film aired in 1993 and the last in 2008, totaling 16 installments.
Global recognition and audience appreciation were garnered by Bean for his role as Boromir in the epic adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings." In the battle between good and evil, his character dies while covering the retreat of the fellowship, prompting jokes about Sean Bean being the most "killed" actor.
This was reaffirmed in another colossal project – "Game of Thrones." Sean's character, Eddard Stark, is depicted as an honest and brave warrior, a noble and just king of the North, and a loving father. Among the conspirators and traitors, which most of the characters in the fantasy epic turned out to be, he stood out, leading to his untimely death in the first season of the series.
This sparked a wave of outrage since Ned quickly became a favorite amongst the vast audience, and viewers practically demanded his return to the series. However, Bean, justly proud of his Stark role, only smiled when asked about a potential comeback: after his character was beheaded for supposed treason, how could one possibly reattach his head?
After starring in "Game of Thrones," the actor took on several notable roles. One of these was as John Marlott, a gifted detective in the crime series "The Frankenstein Chronicles." The hunt for a maniac, intertwined with the most incredible events, spanned two years on screen, showcasing the depth and complexity of Bean's portrayal of the main character.
Another of Bean's roles, brilliantly executed as always, that left an impression on viewers was in the crime drama "The Oath." In this, he played the role of a corrupt cop named Tom Hammand. In 2020, the British-Canadian thriller "Possessor" hit the screens where Sean appeared as John Parse.
Another significant project was the series "Snowpiercer," based on the post-apocalyptic movie of the same name. The story revolves around the remnants of humanity traveling on a train, with social inequalities persisting even after the world's end. Bean portrays the man who devised this train – humanity's last refuge.
Throughout his career, Sean Bean has showcased his exceptional ability to take on a variety of roles, from valiant heroes to multi-dimensional villains, solidifying his status as one of the industry's most versatile actors.
Sean Bean's Personal Life
With his charismatic and athletic build, Sean Bean has never lacked female attention. The idea of marriage first entered his mind while he was a student. During a break, he visited his friend Deborah James's hairdressing salon, got a haircut, and proposed to her.
However, his new wife didn't want to leave Sheffield, and Bean returned to his studies in London. Their long-distance marriage lasted until 1988 when they divorced. The reason was the birth of Lorna in 1987, Sean's daughter with his classmate Melanie Hill.
In 1990, the young parents tied the knot, and a year later, another daughter, Molly, was born. The family fell apart in 1997: unable to bear Sean's endless affairs, Melanie filed for divorce, took their daughters, and left.
Sean wasn't single for long. Two months later, he wed his secret love Abigail Cruttenden, whom he met on the set of "Sharpe." In 1998, his third wife gave birth to their daughter, whom they named Evie Natasha.
Even in this marriage, Sean did not settle down. In an interview, he confessed that the institution of marriage no longer enticed him and that the only thing he lacked in life was a son to mold into a footballer. However, in 2008, Sean married actress Georgina Sutcliffe, but after not having a child with her, they divorced.
In 2017, the indefatigable actor entered his fifth marriage with long-time friend Ashley Moore. The wedding ceremony took place in the quaint setting of Dorset, England.
In 2020, the couple was involved in an altercation aboard an airplane, but the incident was resolved on the spot. Sean Bean is now a grandfather twice over: daughters Lorna and Molly have given him the much-anticipated boys he always wanted.
Sean Bean Now
In 2021, the actor took part in the filming of the crime drama "Time," where he played the leading role of Mark Hebden. He also participated in Ben Heimon's thriller "Pen," portraying the main character, a former policeman.
Rumors have it that Sean will also be playing Lord Illingworth in the melodrama "A Woman of No Importance" and will take on the leading role of Ordela in the action film "Shadows from the Sky." At the same time, the actor continued his role as Mr. Wilford in the sci-fi series "Snowpiercer." In 2023, the premiere of the American-Japanese film "Knights of the Zodiac" took place, in which Bean plays one of the pivotal roles - Alman Kiddo, the mentor of the main character.
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