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Rik Mayall Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (3) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (23)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 7 March 1958Harlow, Essex, England, UK
Date of Death 9 June 2014Barnes, Richmond upon Thames, London, England, UK  (acute cardiac event)
Birth NameRichard Michael Mayall
Height 5' 11" (1.81 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Rik Mayall, one of the first and foremost alternative comedians in the UK, was born in a village called Matching Tye, just outside Harlow in Essex. His parents, John and Gillian were both drama teachers. His acting debut was at the age of seven when he appeared in one of his father's stage plays. He met his comedy partner and best friend Adrian "Ade" Edmondson at Manchester University in 1975. Soon he and Ade began performing together as a comedy act called "Twentieth Century Coyote" at the now legendary Comedy Store in London. They later moved their act to a venue called "The Comic Strip" and it was there that they were discovered by producer Paul Jackson. Rik and his friends such as Adrian Edmondson, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Alexei Sayle, Peter Richardson and Nigel Planer were boomed onto television screens with immense success. He wrote The Young Ones (1982) with Ben Elton and Lise Mayer. You loved it or you hated it, but you can't deny the impact it had on British Sitcom. His career was launched, and at only twenty-four years of age he became one of the most popular comedians in Britain. He wrote and starred in various other series and films over the years such as The New Statesman (1987); his role in it as Alan B'Stard earned him a BAFTA. He had his brief touch of Hollywood in 1991 when he starred as the title role in Drop Dead Fred (1991), but he soon returned to the British TV screens with Bottom (1991) a show which only ran for 3 seasons from 1991 to 1995 but was so popular that he and his co-star Adrian Edmondson toured with live shows based on the series around Britain every two years or so up until 2014. In 1998 he had a severe accident and ended up in a coma after he crashed with his quad-bike at his farm in Devon. Luckily he recovered and starred in films and shows such as Guest House Paradiso (1999) and Day of the Sirens (2002). In 2002 he proved that he was back and ready for action in the comedy series Believe Nothing (2002) which reunited him with Laurence Marks and Maurice Gran, the writers of "The New Statesman". In 2003 he toured the UK alongside Adrian Edmondson with the fifth Bottom Live show.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: LC

Spouse (1)

Barbara Robbin (1985 - 9 June 2014) (his death) (3 children)

Trade Mark (3)

Frequently performed alongside Adrian Edmondson
Frequently played narcissistic characters
In most of his television work, he would look at the camera and pull a face

Trivia (14)

He had three children, Rosie (b. 1986), Sydney (b. 1989) and Bonnie (b. 1996), with his wife Barbara Robbin.
Ex-girlfriend: Lise Mayer.
Played Peeves the Poltergeist in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001), but was cut out during editing.
Played the private detective in the "Peter Gunn" video by 'The Art of Noise'.
Had an older brother Anthony and two younger sisters, Libby and Kate.
Met Adrian Edmondson (they starred together in The Young Ones (1982) and Bottom (1991)) in college.
Stage debut at the age of 6 appearing in a crowd scene in The Good Woman of Setzuan.
Wrote the first draft of Guest House Paradiso (1999), with Adrian Edmondson, whilst in hospital recovering from his quad-bike accident.
He was seriously injured in a quad bike accident in 1998 and was in a coma for several days. His first words on regaining consciousness were to the doctor: "So you're the bastard that keeps sticking needles into me!". He made a full recovery.
He had auditioned for for the roles of Banzai, Zazu and Timon in The Lion King (1994). He was asked to audition for the role of Timon by lyricist Tim Rice, who got the idea for the lyrics of the song "Hakuna Matata" by watching Bottom (1991).
He toured the UK with a play based on The New Statesman series in 2006.
On the 12th of June 2014 it was reported that his post-mortem had been inconclusive. His wife commented that he might have had a "significant cardiac event" after coming home from a morning run.
In November 2014, a memorial bench for Rik Mayall was unveiled in Hammersmith, London. The bench is situated at the junction of Queen Caroline Street and Hammersmith Bridge Road. A plaque on the bench reads: 'In Memory of The Man, The Myth, The Legend. Dr The Rik Mayall. Pan Global Phenomenon. Equality, Opportunity, Wisdom, Freedom & Love. Barbara: Love Is The Answer'.
The thirteenth Harry Potter film series cast member to die.

Personal Quotes (23)

One of my hobbies is people-watching. I love to sit outside a cafe watching people go by. I use things that I see in different characters that I play.
I'm a difficult person to interview. Everything I have to say is in my performance. I don't like to give too much away.
I'm not trying to do anything spectacular except to change the fabric of our society and bring down the Government.
I was always a show-off and liable to get over-excited. But I have got it under control. I now find people who can't control their energy very funny.
It hasn't happened to me yet, but I would now take a job simply to earn money for my family.
A fan once wrote to him, asking for an autograph. In a hand-written letter, Rik replied "Here you are you cheapskate money-grabbing Welsh c*nt - where's the f*cking envelope you deformity?? [this first sentence was roughly crossed out] Here you are Daniel, thank you so much for writing. I hope you like the picture. Best wishes my dear friend. (Signed, 'Rik Mayall')".
[on his part of Peeves The Poltergeist getting cut from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)] I got sent off the set because every time I tried to do a bit of acting, all the lads who were playing the school kids kept getting the giggles, they kept corpsing, so they threw me off. Well, they asked me to do it with my back to them and they still laughed. So they asked me to do it around the other side of the cathedral and shout my lines, but they still laughed so they said they'd do my lines with someone else. So then I did a little bit of filming, then I went home and I got the money. That's significant. Then a month later, they said: "Er, Rik, we're sorry about this, but you're not in the film. We've cut you out of the film." It was three weeks later, so I was in the film for around three weeks and then they cut me out. But I still got the money. So that is the most exciting film I've ever been in, because I got the oodle and I wasn't in it. Fantastic.
[on his five day coma after a near-fatal biking accident in 1998] The accident was over Easter and, as you know, Jesus our Lord was nailed to the cross on Good Friday. The day before that is Crap Thursday, and that's the day Rik Mayall died. And then he was dead on Good Friday, Saturday, Sunday, until Bank Holiday on Monday.
There's a quality about me that you don't quite trust.
It's difficult for me, to look into eyes of a journalist and trust him to present it as you say.
I'm frightened of interviews.
I would love to do more on the stage; having actual contact with the audience is great. You can give them a good seeing to!
You perform for a different audience each night. People who don't understand just think that you go out there every night and do the same thing, but you don't - you have to find out who they are and give it to them.
When you're an experienced celeb - which I am - you sometimes just need a bit of space, when you're not 'on'. I'm always on!
I don't have moments of weakness. I'm Rik Mayall.
I had a very happy childhood, happy teenage years and I was famous by the time I was 22. A charmed life.
Other people get moody in their forties and fifties - men get the male menopause. I missed the whole thing. I was just really happy.
Words on the page don't have the same impact as somebody saying the words to you.
I don't want people to know who I am.
With 1,000-seater venues, rather than 5,000-seaters, there are richer opportunities for sucking the audience in.
I ought to be groovy and be able to say the enemy is this and the enemy is that... but I've never been very good at... I don't want to have to answer questions I don't know the answer to properly. I have an opinion.
I've always had live audiences.
With an audience it's now, there are no editors around. It's just me and the audience and it's what I like best.

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