Alternative Heroes - Sean Bean
I first saw Sean Bean as the gardener in the TV adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover, back in the early 90s. The main reason I watched the show was that the girl that I fancied at the time would fawn over the "bit of rough in the stately garden", so I was determined to see who this guy was, and why the said girl doted on him and barely acknowledged me.
My next dose of Sean Bean was in the TV series Sharpe, which has long remained my favourite British series of all time. In it he plays a similar type of character (working class, rough around the edges, but ruggedly handsome and in this case fearless and courageous in battle).
Next came the 007 film Goldeneye, and in a change of character Bean was allowed to trade witticisms with Bond, incarnated as an aristocratic secret agent turned bad. Since then Bean has made steady appearances in numerous films, most notably as Boromir in The Lord of the Rings.
Sean Bean is one of those actors that can play most roles well, though he is at his best playing a working class northerner, the kind of character that smokes, puts money he can't really afford on the horses or dogs and would never call in the morning.
So, for being better than Bond in Goldeneye, for all your escapes as Major Richard Sharpe, and for being absolutely the best deliverer of the line "you basted", Sean Bean, you are an alternative hero.