Sean Bean (1959-) b. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.
Fair-haired actor Sean Bean created a charismatic screen presence and was equally effective as romantic leads and villains. Raised in Handsworth, Sheffield, he was educated at Brook Comprehensive School, Rotherham College of Arts and Technology and Granville College of Education. He dropped out of school at age 16 and had planned a career at his father’s welding firm, but when he discovered acting while studying art at Rotherham College, a handful of notable performances earned him a scholarship to RADA in the early 80′s and Bean duly moved to London. After graduation he made his professional stage debut as Tybalt in "Romeo and Juliet" at the Watermill Theatre in Newbury. The following year he made his television debut in the CH4 film Winter Flight (1984).
Bean later made his feature film debut in Derek Jarman‘s Caravaggio (1986). Support roles followed with a fine performance as an Irish janitor in Mike Figgis‘ Stormy Monday (1998) and opposite Richard Harris in The Field (1990), but Bean soon burst onto the international stage as a heartless IRA terrorist opposite Harrison Ford in Patriot Games (1992). He returned to television for the BBC’s prestigious Ken Russell-directed D.H. Lawrence adaptation, Lady Chatterley (1993). The same year saw the birth of his best known role, Sharpe (1993), an ITV adventure series following an army Sergeant during the Napoleonic Wars. Bean would repeatedly revive the role in the coming years.
On screen, Bean appeared in yet more villainous tough-guy roles, including the hardened double agent 006 in GoldenEye (1995), a mercenary weapons expert in John Frankenheimer’s fast-paced thriller Ronin (1998), a wife-beating ex-con in Essex Boys (2000) and the malevolent kidnapper-jewel thief in Don’t Say a Word (2001). Bean also reached a wider audience in the epic-style filmmaking of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien adaptation Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and as Odysseus in Wolfgang Petersen’s blockbuster Brad Pitt vehicle Troy (2004).
Yet more villainous roles arrived for Bean, including the popular adventure film National Treasure (2004) and as the duplicitous head of a cloning facility in Michael Bay’s underrated sci-fi thriller The Island (2005). A slight change of gear was a co-starring role in Silent Hill (2006), a supernatural horror feature based on the popular video game. He next starred as a mysterious hitchhiker in The Hitcher (2007), a remake of the 1986 classic chiller.