He has received several awards during his career and won an International Emmy for Best Actor.He has also been nominated for a BAFTA and Saturn Award. His father owned a fabrication shop that employed 50 people, including Bean's mother, who worked as a secretary.In 1996, he combined his love of football with his career to finally achieve his childhood dream of playing for Sheffield United, as Jimmy Muir in the film When Saturday Comes.
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The series was based on Bernard Cornwell's novels about the Peninsular War, and the fictional experiences of a band of soldiers in the famed 95th Rifles.
Starting with Sharpe's Rifles, the series followed the fortunes and misfortunes of Richard Sharpe as he rose from the ranks as a Sergeant, promoted to Lieutenant in Portugal, to Lieutenant Colonel by the time of the Battle of Waterloo.
His first notable Hollywood appearance was that of an Irish republican terrorist in the 1992 film adaptation of Patriot Games.
While filming his death scene, Harrison Ford hit him with a boat hook, giving him a permanent scar.
After several years of rumours, more episodes were produced: Sharpe's Challenge, which aired in April 2006, and Sharpe's Peril, which aired in autumn 2008 and was later released on DVD.