Sunetra Sastry is a British make-up artist who is popularly known as the former wife of the famous English comedian, actor and screenwriter Rowan Atkinson aka Mr. Bean. As a professional make-up artist, Sastry worked mainly for the BBC and several Rowan Atkinson Productions.
Who is Sunetra Sastry?
Sunetra Sastry was born in 1957 in Newcastle, England, the son of an Indian father and an English mother. Sastry grew up in England in the 1960s and experienced a core period of racial discrimination based on her father’s ethnic background. Moreover, her mother was rejected by her English family because she had married Sunetra’s father. But Sastry pulled through the civil injustices and discovered her passion in the beauty industry. After high school, she attended a beauty college in London, a decision that was initially against her parents’ wish that she should become a nurse instead. But eventually, they accepted and supported Sunetra’s passion. Later she got a job at the BBC as a make-up artist. Some of her work includes Black Adder and Smack & Thistle as well as several other Rowan Atkinson productions.
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What Happened To Her Relationship With Rowan Atkinson?
While working on the set of the 1986 Black Adder television show, Sastry met Atkinson. After several months of the date, Rowan and Sunetra got married on February 1990 at the Russian Tea Room in New York City.
As a crew member of the long-running Black Adder series, Sastry first did make-up for Stephen Fry, but later switched to Atkinson after he turned to Fry one day during rehearsals and explicitly asked Sastry to work with him instead. Stephen Fry, an openly gay actor who served as best man for Sastry and Atkinson’s wedding, finally admitted in his 2010 autobiography that Sastry was one of the few women to attract him. According to Fry, he had seriously considered asking the “bright, funny and captivatingly seductive” Sastry, but changed his mind after discovering that Atkinson was interested in her too.
Sastry and Atkinson’s Union produced two children, a son Benjamin, born in 1993, and a daughter Lily, born in 1995, but after 24 years of marriage the two separated and were officially divorced by November 2015 because they had irreconcilable differences after Atkinson had not appeared in court during the divorce proceedings, what the judge called “unreasonable” behavior.
The real reason for the couple’s divorce, however, is rumors of Rowan’s infidelity after he romantically studied actress Louise Ford, who is 29 years old. The duo went public with their relationship in 2014 shortly after Atkinson and Sastry separated. Louise and Rowan reportedly met for the first time in 2013 when they performed together in a play called The Quartermaine’s Terms at Wyndham’s Theatre in London. The rumors were further confirmed after her daughter Lily, who publicly called her father and described his actions as a “tail movement”. Angered by her father’s behavior, Lily dropped Rowan’s last name and took her mother’s maiden name instead. There are reports that she has also made a conscious effort to erase all traces of her father from her public profile.
As a burlesque dancer and aspiring actress, Lily has appeared in several films. In addition to starring in Tooth in 2004, she has also worked with her father in two of his films – Mr. Bean’s Holiday (2007) and Johnny English Reborn (2011).
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During her marriage to Atkinson, Sastry finally decided to put her career on hold and focus on raising her children and supporting her famous husband, whose extensive work in radio, television, theatre, and film has made him an accomplished entertainer. Today, Atkinson has become one of the most successful and popular British comedy actors with a variety of hits including Blackadder, Mr. Bean, and Johnny English, thanks to him, and a net worth estimated at £70 million accumulated over about four decades in the entertainment industry.
While Atkinson currently lives in a 4 million pound London holiday home, Sastry lives in a 21 million pound villa in the city and prefers to remain inconspicuous and out of the limelight. At the time of their separation, the alienated couple built an £11 million house in Oxfordshire. Sunetra is actively involved in charitable and humanitarian causes and has worked with charities such as the Brain Cancer Foundation of Great Britain.
Quick Facts about Sunetra Sastry
Height: 5 foot 5 inches (1.65 m)
Weight: 120 lbs (55 Kg)
Body Measurements: 34-27-36 inches
Hair Color: Black