A Brief Biography of Sean Bean

Last Update: 20 Feb 2008

Shaun Mark Bean was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England on April 17, 1959. His parents are Brian and Rita Bean; he has a younger sister, Lorraine. He is 5'11" and has green eyes and dark blond hair.

Sean left school at 16 with two "O" levels, in Art and English. He had a variety of jobs, including selling cheese in a supermarket, shovelling snow, and working as a welder at his father's steel fabrication shop before he discovered acting while attending an art course at Rotherham College.

Sean auditioned for London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in April 1980. One of 30 successful applicants (out of a field of 11,000) to win a scholarship, Sean began studying at RADA in Spring 1981. He was awarded a silver medal for his graduation performance in Waiting for Godot in Spring 1983.

Sean's professional acting debut was as Tybalt in the Watermill Theatre (Newbury) production of Romeo and Juliet in May 1983. He appeared on stage in London's West End in a number of productions, including The Fair Maid of the West, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night's Dream for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

More recently Sean's career has focused on film and TV. Although best known in North America for his "bad guy" roles in Patriot Games, Clarissa and GoldenEye, Sean has earned a solid reputation as a "heart-throb" on British television playing Richard Sharpe, the 19th century soldier in the series adapted from Bernard Cornwell's Peninsular War novels; as well as Mellors in Ken Russell's BBC adaptation of Lady Chatterley, and Paul, the compromised photographer in A Woman's Guide to Adultery.

Sean's other British projects include Bravo Two Zero (the story of Andy McNab and his ill-fated mission to Iraq during the Gulf War); Extremely Dangerous for ITV; and Granada Films' Essex Boys.

More recently Sean has been seen as Patrick Koster in Don't Say a Word, starring Michael Douglas; as Tom's dad, Paul, in the Dutch children's film Tom & Thomas; and as the poetry-reading Partridge in the sci-fi thriller Equilibrium.

In 2002, Sean returned to the stage after a 13 year absence to play Macbeth at the Albery Theatre in London. Responding to popular demand, the limited-run production was extended until 01 March 2003.

Sean's most recent projects are independent horror flick, The Dark; Disney's Flightplan, with Jodie Foster; Dreamworks' The Island; WB's North Country; the movie version of the videogame Silent Hill; The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion videogame; Sharpe's Challenge for ITV and BBC America; Faceless, a one-hour tv pilot for Fox Television, UK indie film Outlaw, a bold remake of The Hitcher (in which he takes on Rutger Hauer's original role) and another indie film Far North, filmed in Norway.

Never one to shy away from doing his own stunts, Sean carries a souvenir from his appearance in Patriot Games: during the climactic fight scene Harrison Ford accidentally cut him above his left eye with a boat hook, an injury which required 8 stitches to close.

Sean's other "distinguishing marks" are a black "100% Blade" tattoo on his left shoulder -- a reference to his favourite football team, Sheffield United; a tattoo on his right shoulder which reads "Nine" in Elvish - a reference to the nine members of the Fellowship in Lord of the Rings, all of whom got similar tattoos; and a small "SUFC" tattoo on his wrist which he got when Sheffield United was promoted to the Premiere League for the first time in thirteen years.

Sean is a lifelong supporter of the Sheffield United Football Club.

Actress Georgina Sutcliffe became Sean's fourth wife when they were married at Marylebone Registry Office in central London on February 19, 2008.

Sean's third wife was actress Abigail Cruttenden, who played Jane Sharpe in the Sharpe television series. Sean and Abigail married on November 22, 1997 at the Hendon Registry Office in London, with a blessing the following day, November 23, at St. Andrews Church, Totteridge. Their daughter, Evie Natasha, was born on Friday, November 6, 1998, weighing 9 lbs, 3 oz.

Sean also has two daughters, Lorna (born September 1987) and Molly (born August 1991) from his second marriage, to actress Melanie Hill. Sean and Melanie were married on 27 February 1990 at the Haringey Civic Centre in North London. They divorced in August 1997.

Sean's first marriage was on 11 April 1981 to hairdresser Debra James, his childhood sweetheart. Sean had earlier enrolled in the January 1981 (Spring) term at RADA and travelled back to Sheffield to marry Debra during the break between the Spring term and the Summer term.

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