Born as Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis in Wellington, New Zealand on 8 November 1956, Richard Curtis moved to England when he was 11 years old. At the University of Oxford, Curtis met and began working with Rowan Atkinson, after they both joined the scriptwriting team of the Etceteras revue, part of the Experimental Theatre Club. They kept working together, creating comedy sketches for Not The Nine O’Clock News, Blackadder and the two Mr. Bean films. Curtis also wrote the song Do Bears…, performed by Rowan Atkinson and Kate Bush for Comic Relief, the British charity Comic Relief he co-founded with Lenny Henry.

In 2007, Curtis received the BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award, the highest award the British Film Academy can give a filmmaker. He received the BAFTA Humanitarian Award at the 2008 Britannia Awards, for co-creating Comic Relief and contributions to other charitable causes. In 2008 he was ranked number 12 in The Telegraph’s list of the “100 most powerful people in British culture”. In 2012, Curtis was among the British cultural icons selected by artist Sir Peter Blake to appear in a new version of his most famous artwork – the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover – to celebrate the British cultural figures of his life.