She may know her onions as a professional make-up 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, popularly known as Mr. Bean.
The British make-up artist grew up amidst racial discrimination, which reached its peak in the 1960s. This was a consequence of her father’s ethnic background. Despite the unbearable circumstances, Sunetra never gave up and her persistence seems to have paid off in the end. The legendary British sitcom “Blackadder” is one of her industry successes over time.
Who Is Sunetra Sastry? – Biography
The professional make-up artist was born in England in 1957, but her date of birth is not known. Her parents were a mixture of different races, her father being an Indian, while her mother, a British woman, belonged to a rich English family which she disowned after her marriage to Sunetra’s father. However, this did not change her feelings for her husband.
The new family settled in England, where she raised Sunetra during the 1960s, a period of intense racism. As a result, her father’s ethnic background meant that she had her fair share of social cancer. This went on for a long time, but Suntetra was never blinded by it, and as soon as she finished high school, she enrolled in a beauty school to the disapproval of her parents. However, her skepticism faded as Suntetra’s decision and passion took shape through her actions.
After much training and refining her skills, Sunetra Sastry took a job as a make-up artist in London. She later got a job with the BBC, where she worked as a crew member on the station’s pseudo-historical situation comedy – Blackadder, which is broadcast on BBC1. During her time in the program, she met Rowan Atkinson.
When her work on the set of Black Adder II came to an end, Sunetra Sastry shifted her craft to the TV movie Smack and Thistle, whereupon she decided to put her career on hold in order to focus on family.
Married, Divorce, Kids
While Sunetra Sastry worked as part of Blackadder’s crew, she served as a make-up artist for Stephen Fry, who identified himself as a gay man. Regardless of his sexuality, Fry did not hide his admiration for Sunetra, to which he felt attracted. He described her in his 2010 book, The Fry Chronicles An Autobiography, as “intelligent, funny and captivatingly seductive. He also confessed that he intended to ask her out before Atkinson walked in and won her heart. The latter had approached Fry to swap make-up artists with him, which he did as he thought his intentions were purely professional. Atkinson, however, eventually asked Sunetra for a date, and their love story began from there.
After they met in 1986, Sastry and Atkinson started dating and were engaged in late 1989. In early 1990, they were 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 when he married Sunetra. He is known for his remarkable roles in blockbuster movies like Mr. Bean and Johnny English. Because he is such a popular character, he meets a lot of people every day, and it wasn’t long before he met another woman he liked. This affected his 24 years of marriage, and in 2014 rumors were circulating that he was dating actress Louise Ford. This led to his separation from Sunetra that same year. The couple divorced on November 10, 2015, in a proceeding that ended within 65 seconds of its commencement, when the presiding judge found that Atkinson had not appeared.
It wasn’t long after the 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 dropping her father’s surname for her mother’s maiden name.