English comedian, author, and actor Rik Mayall was also an actress. He was most known for his performances with his comedic partner Ade Edmondson, one of the first and most well-known alternative comedians in the UK. Mayall made his acting debut at the age of seven in one of his father’s theater productions. He was born to drama professors. He met his future bandmate Edmondson while a student at Manchester University, and the two immediately started touring together. Mayall had acted in a number of cult classic sitcoms over his career, including “The Young Ones,” “The New Statesman,” and “Filthy Rich & Catflap.” He also made appearances in a variety of comedies, the most well-known of which were “Guest House Paradiso” and “Drop Dead Fred.” Mayall won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his voice work in the film “The Willows in Winter.” His comedy approach was sometimes described as enthusiastic “post-punk.” He gained notoriety as a writer because to his contribution to the 1989 movie “The Young Ones.” He passed away in 2014 at the age of 56. Today, many remember the late performer for his “truly brilliant” humor and distinctive stage presence. A whole generation of comic stars have been influenced by his comedic and acting abilities, as well as his sitcom-making strategy. Mayall is still regarded as the king of alternative comedy by many budding comedians.
Early Childhood & Life
Richard Michael “Rik” Mayall was born on March 7, 1958, to theater professors John Mayall and Gillian in Harlow, Essex, England. He grew up with his younger sisters Kate and Libby, as well as his older brother Anthony.
He relocated to Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, with his family when he was three years old, where he appeared in his parents’ theatre productions.
Mayall attended King’s School in Worcester before moving on to study theater at the University of Manchester. There, he met Ade Edmondson, his buddy and potential comedy collaborator. He also met the author Lise Mayer, his future girlfriend, at the university.
Career of Rik Mayall
Early in the 1980s, Rik Mayall and Edmondson gave their first appearances at The Comedy Store. In addition to playing in their duo shows, Mayall also performed stand-alone comedy sets utilizing characters including Kevin Turvey and Rick, an anarchist poet.
Along with fellow comics Edmondson, Alexei Sayle, Peter Richardson, Nigel Planer, Pete Richens, Arnold Brown, and French and Saunders, he later founded the comedy club known as “The Comic Strip.”
In the 1981 first episode of the sketch program “A Kick Up the Eighties,” Mayall started portraying his character Kevin Turvey. A short while afterwards, he made an appearance in the American dark comedy movie Shock Treatment. He also had a small part in the horror film “An American Werewolf in London” during this period.
The comedian and Edmondson kept on performing together, frequently making an appearance as “The Dangerous Brothers”. The two soon started performing in short films as “The Comic Strip Presents,” along with the other members of their Comic Strip group. Mayall had a number of characters during the long-running series, which started on November 2, 1982, and ran for several seasons.
In 1982, Mayall went on to develop and star in the BBC sitcom “The Young Ones.” He continued his double-act with Ade Edmondson in the sitcom. Mayall portrayed Rick, a sociology student, and Edmondson made an appearance as Vyvyan, a violent punk rocker. After the first series’s success, the second one debuted in 1984.
In the music video for “Peter Gunn” by Art of Noise, the English comedian took on the role of a detective. He then made a comedic comeback on “Saturday Live,” the British equivalent of “Saturday Night Live” in the United States. He made an appearance in ‘Blackadder II’ in 1985.
He starred as Richie Rich alongside Edmondson, Elton, and Planer in the 1987 sequel to “The Young Ones,” “Filthy Rich & Catflap.” For a charitable cause, Mayall and the rest of the cast of “The Young Ones” collaborated with Cliff Richard to record the song “Living Doll.”
In the drama “The New Statesman,” Rik Mayall started portraying Alan Beresford B’Stard in 1987. The successful drama lasted for four seasons. He played the lead role in a run of “Grim Tales” television programs for ITV in 1989. After that, he appeared in a ton of Nintendo game and system advertising.
He played the lead role in the Waiting for Godot West End production, which had its world premiere at the Queen’s Theatre in 1991. Later that year, he and Edmondson both went on to star in the sitcom “Bottom.” ‘Bottom: Live’ is the name of the duo’s stage production of the show, which was created after the second season of the program.
In 1992, along with other alternative comedians, Mayall starred in the movie “Carry On Columbus.” He provided vocal work for the 1872 children’s story “The Princess and the Goblin” that was adapted for the screen that same year.
He then made an appearance in the drama “Cell Mates.” He started providing the voice for Kehaar on the animated television series “Watership Down” in 1999. Shortly after, he provided all of the voices for the video game “Hogs of War.” He portrayed Professor Adonis Cnut in the comedy “Believe Nothing” in 2002.
In 2004 and 2005, he provided voiceovers for the BBC’s “Shoebox Zoo.” The English actor appeared in the ITV series “All About George” around the same time.
He performed The New Statesman 2006: Blair B’stard Project by Marks and Gran in 2006, reprising the character of Alan B’Stard. He then played a supporting character in the TV drama “Midsomer Murders.”
Motivation Records published Mayall’s “Noble England” England Football anthem in April 2010 in preparation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. A co-narrated audiobook featuring Mayall was also released in September of that same year.
He had an appearance on “Let’s Dance for Comic Relief” in 2011. Next, he co-wrote and performed in the six-episode audio drama “The Last Hurrah.” Soon after, Mayall began narrating a variety of children’s stories on the Me stories app.
He made an appearance in the October 2013 episode of ‘Man Down’ on Channel 4. His last episode of television was the first one of the second season of “Crackanory” in 2014.
Bigger Works of Rik Mayall
Rik Mayall played the lead role in “Rik Mayall Presents” in 1993. The six stand-alone comic dramas in the series were entitled “Micky Love,” “Dancing Queen,” “Briefest Encounter,” “Dirty Old Town,” “The Big One,” and “Clair de Lune.” Mayall performed a variety of characters in the show, and for his outstanding work, he won the Best TV Comedy Actor award at the British Comedy Awards that year.
Individual Life of Rik Mayall
Rik Mayall wed Barbara Robbin, a makeup artist, in 1985. ‘A Kick Up the Eighties’ was being filmed when the pair first met and started dating covertly. Mayall already had a girlfriend at the time named Lise Mayer. Mayall split from Mayer after learning that Robbin was expecting their child. Rosie, Sidney, and Bonnie were the third child(ren) born to Mayall and Robbin.
The actor was involved in a terrible bike accident on April 9, 1998. He had a skull injury and was flown to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth. He spent several days in a coma before regaining consciousness.
At his London home on June 9, 2014, Mayall passed away from a heart attack. He had just arrived home after his jog. At the time of his passing, he was 56. His remains were interred in the East Allington, Devon, family ranch.
At Mayall’s birthplace in Harlow, Essex, street artist Gnasher erected a 20-foot-tall mural of him in 2014. On Hammersmith Broadway, a bench in honor of Mayall was put in place the same year. The bench is located where Queen Caroline Street and Hammersmith Bridge Road converge.
Estimated Net Worth of Rik Mayall
The estimated net worth of Rik Mayall is around $1 million.
He frequently portrayed annoying and selfish characters, and his comedic performances were hysterical!
Mayall loved video games a lot. He also loved comic books a much.
He was a strong advocate for LGBT rights and a self-described feminist.
Comedy icon Spike Milligan described to him as “the arsehole of British comedy”!