Winter Flight (1984)
Bean's first foray onto the small screen was in 80s BBC TV play Winter Flight .
Little is known about this one, but it hinted at themes (forbidden passions, military life) that would play a prominent part throughout Bean's career.
As this was set in Cambridgeshire and Bedford, Bean had to use his RADA training to fit in vocally.
Still Sharpe? The military theme was a hint of things to come, but Bean's tough nut character bears none of the hallmarks of his signature role.
The Bill (1984)
ITV's (soon-to-be-no-more) flagship cop drama The Bill has also been a springboard for the careers of Keira Knightley, Robert Carlyle, Russell Brand and David Tennant.
Bean troubles the Sun Hill fuzz as armed robber Horace Clarke, who does a runner when his accomplice is captured. True to the show's frustrating format, Bean never reappeared so Horace's fate remains a mystery. Bean gets into character by adopting a London accent.
Still Sharpe? No way, not this lawbreaker.
Bean went arthouse for director Derek Jarman in this biopic of the legendary Baroque painter. Our man plays Ranuccio, one side of a love triangle between Caravaggio and Lena (a debuting Tilda Swinton).
Despite the Italian setting, this is a very British affair (Robbie Coltrane and Michael Gough are also present and correct). Bean's role requires him to be more of a homoerotic life model than an orator though.
Still Sharpe? Nah, he wouldn't be up for this artsy frollicking.
Stormy Monday (1988)
Here Sean continued his run of working with top British directors in this Mike Figgis effort. Stormy Monday gave Bean the chance to prove he could hold his own against established Hollywood names: Tommy Lee Jones, Melanie Griffiths and... er, Sting.
Bean's lusty appeal was beginning to be tapped here, as he nabs a dodgy businessman's (Jones) bit of skirt (Griffiths). As this one's set in Newcastle, Sean utilises his gruff Northern charms to the full.
Still Sharpe? Not quite, though the amorous antics would be seen again in serial womaniser Sharpe.
The Storyteller (1988)
Any kid who grew up in the 80s should have a soft spot for this Jim Henson fairytale series, but you might be surprised by the calibre of talent involved. The stories were told by John Hurt to his puppet pooch.
Bean, using his natural tones to the full as a gardener-turned-prince, appeared alongside Jane Horrocks in the episode 'The True Bride' (which happened to be written by Anthony Minghella). Perhaps this role gave Bean a taste for the fantastic...
Still Sharpe? Definitely hints of it in this clean-cut hero who's a hit with the ladies.
How to Get Ahead in Advertising (1989)
Bean took a small role in Bruce Robinson and Richard E. Grant's follow up to Withnail & I .
Unfortunately, the film was nowhere near the cult hit of Withnail , but thankfully Bean's role was mercifully small so you may not have noticed him, even if you were one of the few who saw the movie about Grant's morally-troubled ad exec and the boil that takes over his life (seriously).
Still Sharpe? No way, this ain't Bean as a leading man.
Venturing into the dicey global politics of Apartheid in South Africa, Bean stars as Anton van Heerden opposite John Hurt. Sadly a plantinum-blond die-job doesn't make for a convincing Afrikaner in this worthy drama. Bean struggles valiantly with an accent that has challenged Daniel Craig, Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon in recent years.
Plus points for discovering that SB could rock the open-collared white shirt look, no doubt making him popular with the housewives.
Still Sharpe? The gratuitous chest-flashing certainly hinted at what was to come.
The Field (1990)
Bean starred alongside veterans Richard Harris and John Hurt (Bean's old mucker, it would seem) in this Irish farming fable from Jim Sheridan. Things get a little more exciting than simply sowing and ploughing though, as tensions build to a murderous crescendo when the eponymous land goes up for sale.
Bean goes full Irish for this role, flat cap and all. Though he is unashamedly eclipsed by Harris's Oscar-nommed turn.
Still Sharpe? Not much here.
Patriot Games (1992)
A big break for Mr Bean as he faces off against Harrison Ford in this Tom Clancy adaptation. Bean brings tough menace to a series that is often more about cerebral thrills than out-and-out action.
Another Irish one for Bean here, as his nutso IRA terrorist provides Jack Ryan with one of his most exciting screen outings.
Still Sharpe? Too evil, though a misjudged clout from Harrison Ford gave Bean a scar that added to the craggy charm of Sharpe.
Bean portrayed Richard Sharpe as he rose through the ranks from Sergeant to Lieutenant Colonel. Despite Bernard Cornwell's Sharpe being a dark-haired Londoner, Bean made the role his own as a blond Sheffielder.
Alongside the boys' own derring-do, Sharpe found time to romance a number of ladies. The TV drama made Bean a household name in the UK, and no doubt grabbed the attention of some Hollywood casting agents. Sharpe never quite managed a big screen outing, despite persisting rumours over the years.
Still Sharpe? 100%
Lady Chatterley (1993)
As if Bean wasn't grabbing the attention of enough housewives during the 90s, they all certainly took notice of his part (ahem) as Mellors in Ken Russell's BBC adap of D.H. Lawrence's censor-baiting novel.
Bean romped his way through the four-part series opposite Joely Richardson, and couldn't have pulled off the role of oft-shirtless gamekeeper Oliver Mellors without his gruff Northern tones.
Still Sharpe? The lady-snaring ways are certainly Sharpe-esque.
Black Beauty (1994)
Bean was clearly coasting when it came for him to star in this adaptation of the equine novel.
Salt-of-the-earth farmer? Check!
Adapted from a literary source? Check!
Thoroughly British? Check!
This one was hardly a stretch for the Sheffield lad, but remains watchable Bank Holiday fare.
Still Sharpe? Not a million miles away.
Bean reinvigorated his career with this franchise-reviving effort directed by Martin Campbell (who later gave Bond another shot in the chest with Casino Royale ).
New Bond Pierce Brosnan went up against Bean's 006-turned-traitor Alex Trevelyan. The likes of Anthony Hopkins and Alan Rickman were originally courted for the role of Trevelyan, which was substantially rewritten when Bean was cast. Going with the posh voice makes him an ideal antagonist for Bond.
Still Sharpe? Sean moves away from his signature character in this one.
When Saturday Comes (1996)
This fulfilled a chldhood ambition for Bean, who had hoped to become a professional footballer before a leg injury put an end to his dream.
The film is hardly a classic of the 'sporting underdog' genre, but you could probably sit through it if you were desperate to combine your love of footie and movies, as long as you're not a stickler for realism. Another Northern Rock for Bean? Hell yeah, the guy plays for Sheffield United!
Still Sharpe? In appearance alone.
Anna Karenina (1997)
This film crams Tolstoy's epic novel of love in the Russian aristocracy into under two hours of film.
While not wholly successful, it scores points in the gravitas department with some ace casting: Sophie Marceau, Alfred Molina, Danny Huston, James Fox, and, of course, the Bean, who plays Russian charmer Vronsky as Sheffield as steel.
Still Sharpe? It's definitely there in the military regalia.
Bean took a further step into the mainstream by starring opposite Robert De Niro in this action thriller from John Frankenheimer.
Fairly forgettable stuff about a bunch of elite guys getting together to steal a suitcase (containing a mystery MacGuffin), but worth checking out for the superlative car chases and the gruff bloke team-up (Bobby D, Bean, Jean Reno, Stellan Skarsgard, Michael Ironside).
Bean remains admirably Northern in this international group.
Still Sharpe? Barely.
Bravo Two Zero (1999)
Bean is Andy McNab in this BBC adap of the Gulf War novel.
In keeping with the Bean tradition of making above-average TV fare, this reality-inspired story managed to get a reasonably authentic tone from McNab's novel.
Still Sharpe? Oh yes, if Richard Sharpe had been born two hundred years later...
Essex Boys (2000)
Less successful than Bravo was Essex Boys , which ironically felt very 'TV' despite securing a cinema release.
The film plays hard and loose with the facts of a real-life drug drama, and can't quite become the Goodgeezas that it desperately wants to be.
Bean pulls off a half decent Essex approximation though, giving the movie one of its few authentic touches.
Still Sharpe? Not on your life!
Don't Say a Word (2001)
Bean is back in Hollywood bad guy mode as he kidnaps a psychiatrist's (Michael Douglas) daughter in an attempt to blackmail the doc into getting a code out of a disturbed patient's (Brittany Murphy) mind.
More of a showy role for the late Murphy than Bean, whose baddun is a little rote.
Bean plays this one bang in the middle of his Northern and miscellaneous posh Brit voices.
Still Sharpe? No way.
The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003)
Bean's highest profile role to-date came when he was cast as burly Gondorian Boromir (the badass of the fellowship) in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy.
A truly memorable death scene ensures Bean's place in cinema history, and PJ wisely included Boromir flashbacks in parts II and III. Denethor had it right: Faramir just doesn't quite live up to his big bro. Bean's Northern intoning is used to give the Man of Gondor an earthy, believable charisma.
Still Sharpe? Bean utters the immortal line while examining the shards of Narsil. PJ must have been a Sharpe fan...
Bean took a supporting role alongside Christian Bale in this Matrix -esque actioner.
Stinking reviews didn't stop this becoming something of a cult hit, and the Gun-Kata keeps things entertaingly watchable (and more than a little silly).
Bean sticks with posh Brit voicing against Bale's audience-fooling American.
Still Sharpe? Surprisingly little Sharpe here.
Obviously having enjoyed the epic nature of LOTR , Bean plays mythological Greek King Odysseus in Wolfgang Petersen's cinema version of Homer's The Iliad .
Playing a Greek King in Ithaca does nothing to temper the actor's Northern tones: "If they ever tell my story, let them say I walked with giants".
Unfortunately Bean hasn't had the chance to reprise the role in a movie version of The Odyssey .
Still Sharpe? If Sharpe was a mythological hero...
National Treasure (2004)
Bean adds another string to his villainy bow in this big budget caper.
Initially teaming up with Nic Cage's Ben Gates on the artefact hunt, it's not long before Bean reveals his own motives. Thankfully his character is arrested before the close of the film, meaning he was saved the indignity of the sequel.
The signature Sheffield accent ("He's got the bloody map!") gives Bean's character more charisma than the plodding film deserves.
Still Sharpe? Far from it.
The Island (2005)
Bean stretched himself somewhat by playing dodgy scientist Dr Merrick in Michael Bay's sci-fi actioner, breaking out the posh voice again for maximum sinister factor.
Initially there's some intrigue surrounding themes of personality, identity and morals, before Bay quickly resorts to 'blowing shit up' in his sexy dystopia.
Still Sharpe? This is no standard clone.
North Country (2005)
A blinding cast get a little lost amongst the cheese in this well-intentioned women's rights drama.
Bean proves once again that he can handle the pressure opposite Hollywood's big guns, as he makes his presence felt as one of the few good men in the movie (and holds a surprisingly convincing American accent).
Still Sharpe? Only in his stand-up decency.
Bean is the pilot of a plane on which Jodie Foster's kid goes missing in this (mile) high concept thriller.
The film is pretty throwaway, though it allows Bean to play a slightly more conflicted character than usual, as it appears no-one can be trusted in this paranoid thriller.
Super posh accent = ambiguity.
Still Sharpe? Nowhere near clean cut enough.
Silent Hill (2006)
Bean plays the confused hubby (mired with a weak Yank accent) in this videogame adaptation, though he doesn't have a lot to do, left in the real world after his wife and kid cross over into a horrific parallel dimension.
The film gets lost in an over-ambitious, labyrinthine plot, but some interesting ideas and a few genuine scares mean it's not quite as awful as the 'Based on a videogame' strap would suggest.
Still Sharpe? Not heroic enough...
The Hitcher (2007)
Bean has by now built up something of a repetoire of Hollywood villains, and he jumped on the remake bandwagon with this regrettable effort from Platinum Dunes.
Sean goes American again and takes on the role that Rutger Hauer nailed in the 1986 original, as a deranged hitchhiker who terrorises a pair of vapid teens who give him a lift in their car.
Poor by Platinum Dunes standards, which says something.
Still Sharpe? On yer bike!
Continuing something of a less-than-vintage run for Mr Bean, this one saw him team up with Nick Love and Danny Dyer (oh dear God!) to play a vigilante determined to clean up modern Britain (Bean surprisingly resists the urge to go Mockney).
The film was panned by critics, and ignored by audiences. If you haven't seen Outlaw , skip the movie and head straight to the hilarious commentary from Love and Dyer .
Still Sharpe? If Sharpe came home from the Napoleonic wars and went a bit pseudo-Travis Bickle, then maybe.
Far North (2007)
Bean returned to simple, though-provoking storytelling in this quiet, intriguing Arctic-set drama.
He plays an injured soldier who affects the life of an isolated mother and daughter living in a big tent in the Arctic tundra. Bean's POW Loki looks set to upset their routine existence, as his arrival stirs tension and emotions between the pair.
Still Sharpe? Well, Sharpe was a prisoner of war a couple of times.
Red Riding (2009)
Back on TV again in this superior drama, Bean is perfect as total bastard John Dawson.
Pulling off the right mix of arrogance, power, ambition, and a even a little charm, Bean was one of the most impactful figures in the three-part drama, his Northern drawl perfectly suiting the aesthetic.
If you missed this first time round, it's well worth catching this complex, involving period piece on DVD.
Still Sharpe? About as far away as Bean's gotten from the role.
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2010)
Mr B dives back into the Greek myths again, albeit by way of kiddie-lit, in this Harry Potter challenger. Bean is Olympus-ruling Zeus, and starred alongside Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman and Rosario Dawson as the mythological figures.
Despite seemingly being the ideal actor to play the Greek deity, Bean was sadly eclipsed by Liam Neeson in the 2010 Zeus-playing battle.
Still Sharpe? Quite the opposite.
Black Death (2010)
Bean's latest big screen outing (in cinemas this week), sees him as a fearsome Knight seeking shelter from the unstoppable plague, and looking for a sorcerer who can apparently bring the dead back to life.
Black Book 's Carice Van Houten also appears as a witch in this Medieval thriller from Christopher Smith (of Creep , Severance and Triangle fame).
Fairly solid credentials for a return to form for Mr Bean, who'll hopefully bring heft to the role.
Still Sharpe? Doesn't look like it...