She might know her onions as a professional makeup artist but Sunetra Sastry has always been identified in the entertainment industry as the first wife of world-class English actor and comedian Rowan Atkinson who is popularly known as Mr. Bean.
The British make-up artist grew up amid racial discrimination that reached its peak in the 1960s. This was as a result of her father’s ethnic background. Notwithstanding the unbearable circumstances, Sunetra never gave up, and her persistence seems to have paid off eventually. The legendary British sitcom Blackadder is one of her industry exploits over time.
Who Is Sunetra Sastry? – Biography
The professional makeup artist was born in 1957 in England but the particular date of her birth is not known. Her parents were a mix of different races with her father being an Indian while her mother, a British, belonged to a rich English family which disowned her following her marriage to Sunetra’s father. This, however, did nothing to alter her feelings for her husband.
The new family established in England where they raised Sunetra in the 1960s, a period of intense racism. Consequently, she had her fair share of the societal cankerworm as a result of her father’s ethnic background. This went on for a long time but Suntetra never allowed it to dull her shine and as soon as she was done with high school, she enrolled at a beauty college to the disapproval of her parents. Nevertheless, their skepticism dwindled when Sunetra’s decision and passion started taking a good form through her actions.
After much training and honing her skills, Sunetra Sastry took up a job as a makeup artist in London. She later landed a job at BBC, working as a crew member on the network’s pseudo-historical situational comedy – Blackadder showing on BBC1. It was during her time on the show that she met Rowan Atkinson.
When her job on the set of Black Adder II came to an end, Sunetra Sastry moved her craft to the television film Smack and Thistle after which she decided to suspend her career to focus on family.
Married, Divorce, Kids
While Sunetra Sastry was working as part of the crew of Blackadder, she served as the makeup artist for Stephen Fry who identified as a gay man. Notwithstanding his sexuality, Fry didn’t hide his admiration for Sunetra who he became attracted to. He described her in his 2010 book titled The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography as “bright, funny and captivatingly alluring” He also confessed to harboring the intentions to ask her out before Atkinson waltzed in and won her heart. The latter had approached Fry to switch makeup artists with him which he agreed to do, thinking his intentions were only professional. However, Atkinson ended up asking Sunetra out and their love story started from then.
After getting to know each other in 1986, Sastry and Atkinson started dating and were engaged by late 1989. Early in 1990, they got married in a ceremony at the famous Russian Tea Room in New York City where Fry was the best man.
The marriage produced two children – a son named Benjamin was their first child born in 1993 while their second child, a daughter, Lily, was born in 1995.
Atkinson was already an established actor by the time he got married to Sunetra. He is popular for his remarkable roles in blockbuster movies like Mr. Bean and Johnny English. Being such a popular personality, he gets to meet a lot of people daily and it wasn’t long before he met another woman who appealed to him. This affected his marriage of 24 years and in 2014, rumors started flying around that he was dating actress Louise Ford. This led to his separation from Sunetra the same year. The couple went on to get a divorce on November 10, 2015, through a proceeding which ended within 65 seconds after commencement when the presiding judge realized that Atkinson was a no-show.
It wasn’t long after his separation from his wife and Atkinson made his romantic relationship with Ford public, much to the chagrin of his fans. His daughter also dragged him through the mud for his behavior and in 2017, she expressed her anger by ditching her father’s surname for her mother’s maiden name.