Sunetra Sastry is a British make-up artist who is popularly known as the former wife of famous English comedian, actor and screenwriter Rowan Atkinson aka Mr. Bean. As a professional makeup artist, most of Sastry’s works were for BBC and several Rowan Atkinson Productions.
Who is Sunetra Sastry?
Sunetra Sastry was born in 1957, in Newcastle, England, to an Indian father and an English mother. Growing up in England in the 1960s, Sastry experienced a core era of racial discrimination because of her father’s ethnic background. More so, her mother was disowned by her English family for marrying Sunetra’s father. However, 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 the wishes of her parents who wanted her to become a nurse instead. However, they eventually accepted and supported Sunetra’s passion. She later landed a job with the BBC as a make-up artist. Some of her work credits include Black Adder and Smack & Thistle as well as several other Rowan Atkinson productions.
What Happened To Her Relationship With Rowan Atkinson?
It was while working while working on the set of the TV show Black Adder in 1986 that Sastry met Atkinson. After dating for a few months, Rowan and Sunetra got married in February 1990 at the Russian Tea Room in New York City.
As a crew member on the long-standing series Black Adder, Sastry initially did make-up for Stephen Fry but later switched to Atkinson after the latter approached Fry one day during rehearsals and specifically requested for Sastry to work him instead. Stephen Fry, an openly gay actor who served as the best man for Sastry and Atkinson’s wedding eventually admitted in his 2010 autobiography that Sastry was one of the few women he had been attracted to. According to Fry, he had seriously considered asking the ‘bright, funny and captivatingly alluring’ Sastry out, but changed his mind after he discovered that Atkinson was also interested in her.
Sastry and Atkinson’s union produced two children, a son Benjamin born in 1993, and a daughter Lily born in 1995. However, after 24 years of marriage, the couple separated and by November 2015, they were officially divorced on the grounds of irreconcilable differences following Atkinson’s failure to appear in court during the divorce proceedings, a behavior the judge labeled as ‘unreasonable’.
The real reason for the couple’s divorce has, however, been linked to rumors of infidelity from Rowan after he became romantically involved with actress Louise Ford who is 29-years his junior. The duo went public with their relationship in 2014, shortly after Atkinson and Sastry separated. Louise and Rowan reportedly first met in 2013 when they appeared together in a play called The Quartermaine’s Terms at the Wyndham’s Theatre in London. The rumors were further confirmed after their daughter Lily, publicly called out her father, describing his actions as a ‘dick move’. Angered by her father’s behavior, Lily consequently ditched Rowan’s surname and instead, adopted her mother’s maiden name. There are reports that she has also made deliberate efforts to erase all traces of her father from her public profile.
A burlesque dancer and an aspiring actress, Lily has featured in a few movies. Besides starring in the 2004 film Tooth, she has also made appearances alongside her father in two of his movies – Mr. Bean’s Holiday (2007) and Johnny English Reborn (2011).
During her marriage to Atkinson, Sastry eventually decided to place her career on hold and focus on raising her children as well as provide a backup support for her famous husband whose extensive work on radio, television, theatre, and films has made him an accomplished entertainer. Today, Atkinson has become one of the most successful and best-loved British comedy actors with a plethora of hits like Blackadder, Mr Bean, and Johnny English, to his credit and a net worth estimated at £70 million amassed in about four decades in the entertainment industry.
While Atkinson currently lives in a £4 million London cottage, Sastry lives in a £21million mansion in the city and prefers to stay low profile and away from the limelight. At the time of their split, the estranged couple was building a £11 million home in Oxfordshire. Sunetra is actively involved in charity and humanitarian efforts and has worked with charities such as The Brain Cancer Foundation of Great Britain.
Fast 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