Sean Bean

A charismatic screen presence who proved equally effective in romantic leads and as a villain, actor Sean Bean carved his path through the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art before making a name for himself on British television and in American films. After spending the latter half of the 1980s making smaller films, he made his U.S. feature debut as a vengeance-minded IRA terrorist in the hit spy thriller, "Patriot Games" (1992), which opened the doors for the actor to play a wide range of bad guys. The following year, Bean was featured as a tough 19th century British officer, Richard Sharpe, in the long-running made-for-television movie series "Sharpe" (ITV, 1993-2008) that gave him steady work over the next couple of decades. Meanwhile, he was a former 00 agent-turned-traitor in "GoldenEye" (1995) before playing an inexperienced spy in the thriller "Ronin" (1998). But it was his supporting turn as the proud warrior, Boromir, who falls prey to temptation in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001) that exposed Bean to his biggest audience and turned him into a widely-recognized figure. From there, he had supporting roles in large scale features like "Troy" (2004) and "The Island" (2005), while offering compelling turns in smaller movies such as "North Country" (2005) and "The Hitcher" (2007); displaying a versatility that stood Bean apart from his contemporaries. By the time of his starring role as Ned Stark on "Game of Thrones" (HBO 2011-18) began, Bean was a well-known actor, which made his character's sudden death early in the show's run that much more shocking. Further TV work on crime thriller "Legends" (TNT 2014-15) and "The Frankenstein Chronicles" (ITV Encore 2015- ), as well as roles in films ranging from Ridley Scott's "The Martian" (2015) to notorious flop "Pixels" (2015), kept him in the public eye.