Writer, actor, comedian, doer of good works, excellent good friend to the famous and not, Fry lives in his London SW1 flat and his Norfolk house when not traveling. Famous for his public declaration of celibacy in the "Tatler" back in the 1980s, Emma Thompson has characterised her friend as "90 percent gay, 10 percent other." He grew up in Norfolk (where his parents still reside) and attended Uppingham School and Stout's Hill. After his notorious three months in Pucklechurch prison for credit card fraud, he attended Queens College, Cambridge in 1979, finishing with a 2:1 in English in 1981/2. While at Cambridge, he was a member of the Cherubs drinking club, and Footlights with Thompson, Tony Slattery, Martin Bergman, and Hugh Laurie (to whom he was introduced by E.T.). His prolific writing partnership with Laurie began in 1981 with resulting Footlights revues for (among others) Mayweek, Edinburgh Festival, and a three month tour of Australia. In 1984, Fry was engaged to do the rewrite of the Noel Gay musical "Me and My Girl," which made him a millionaire before the age of 30. It also earned him a nomination for a Tony award in 1987. (Sidenote: It was upon SF's suggestion that Emma Thompson landed a leading role in the London cast of this show.) Throughout the 1980s, Fry did a huge amount of television and radio work, as well as writing for newspapers (e.g. a weekly column in the "Daily Telegraph") and magazines (e.g. articles for "Arena"). He is probably best known for his television roles in "Black-Adder II" (1986) and "Jeeves and Wooster" (1990).
His support of the Terence Higgins Trust through events such as the first "Hysteria" benefit, as well as numerous other charity efforts, are probably those works of which he is most proud. Fry's acting career has not been limited to films and television. He had successful runs in Alan Bennett's "Forty Years On," Simon Gray's "The Common Pursuit" with John Sessions, Rik Mayall, John Gordon Sinclair, and others. Michael Frayn's "Look Look" and Gray's "Cell Mates" were less successful for both Fry and their playwrights, the latter not helped by his walking out of the play after only a couple of weeks. Fry has published four novels as well as a collection of his radio and journalistic miscellanea. He has recorded audiotapes of his novels (an unabridged version of "The Liar" was released in 1995), as well as many other works for both adults and children.
His tall stature
Often works with Hugh Laurie
Son of Marianne Fry and physicist/inventor Alan Fry.
Older brother, Roger, and 7-year younger sister, Jo Foster (his agent).
Macintosh fanatic, Usenet lurker, Internet/WWW enthusiast.
Cricket fan, Sherlockian, charter member Groucho Club (Soho).
Rector of Dundee University and hon. doctorate from that institution (July 1995).
Flies his own classic biplane.
Claims the UK record for saying 'fuck' on television most times in one live broadcast.
He's regarded in the UK as 'Britain's Favourite Teddy Bear' and is a keen teddy bear collector himself.
He hosted the 2001 and 2002 British Academy Awards (BAFTAS), which have been their 2 most successful years.
Narrates the audiobook versions (British releases) of the wildly popular Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Was nominated for Broadway's 1987 Tony Award as one of several writers, including the deceased L. Arthur Rose and Douglas Furber as well as collaborator Mike Ockrent, as Best Book (Musical) for "Me and My Girl."
Smoked a pipe.
With Nick Green, co-founded the Bear Rescue Foundation, a charitable trust to rescue and nurture distressed bears.
Godfather of Hugh Laurie and Jo Green's three children.
A book has recently been published in the U.K. entitled 'Tish and Pish: How to Be of a Speakingness Like Stephen Fry' (author: Stewart Ferris). It's a humorous tribute to Stephen's wonderful use of the English language.
Is a fan of Jethro Tull.
Took part in a special celebrity edition of Blankety Blank on The Prince's Trust 30th Birthday: Live. He won against contestant Chantelle Houghton.
In the Independent on Sunday 2006 Pink List -- a list of the most influential gay men and women -- he came no. 23, down from 21.
He was a member of the Cambridge Footlights and in 1981, along with Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery, Emma Thompson, Penny Dwyer, and Paul Shearer, became the first winner of The Perrier Comedy Award at the Edinburgh fringe festival.
Suffers from bipolar disorder.
Is a big fan of the iconic 60s British comedy rock band, the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, and participated in their 40th anniversary reunion show at the Astoria in London on January 28, 2006 along with 'Adrian Edmondson', Paul Merton and Phill Jupitus.
Very fond of vintage British TV themes.
In the 1980s he shared a house in London with Hugh Laurie. They needed some plastering doing. The plasterers turned out to be Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson who were inspired by Fry and Laurie to have a go at comedy.
Won the 1998 Sidewise Award for Alternate History for his novel Making History.
He has been described as "deeply dippy for all things digital", claims to have owned the second Apple Macintosh sold in the UK (after friend Douglas Adams) and to have never encountered a smartphone that he has not bought.
When in London, Fry drives his own black cab for ease of transportation.
Ranked #44 in the 2008 Telegraph's list "the 100 most powerful people in British culture".
Is related to English sportsman, politician and all-round polymath C. B. Fry.
Blacks out his website as part of Internet Blackout Week NZ from Feb 16 to 23 to protest against the controversial New Zealand 'Section 92A' law which has ISPs disconnect users accused of copyright infringement.
Mentioned on Friday Night with Jonathan Ross (on a night when Tom Cruise was another guest) that he was offered a role in Valkyrie.
Speaks German. (Source: his entry on the "Who do you think you are?" TV series).
Of Austrian descent. (Source: his entry on the "Who do you think you are?" TV series).
His very recognisable crooked nose is a result of breaking it when he fell over in the school playground at the age of six.
Recorded an 'outro' for popular You-Tube vlogger, Charlie Mcdonnell. (aka. Charlieissocoollike).
Served as best man at friend Hugh Laurie and Jo Green's wedding (1989).
As good friend of Douglas Adams, he claims to know why Adams chose the number '42' as the Answer to Life, the Universe and Everything in his novel 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'. However, he refuses at length to disclose the reason, or will act as if the microphone magically malfunctions, as if the Universe itself is stopping him from making the revelation.
Is good friends with Carrie Fisher.
Fry fervently supports the return of the Elgin Marbles to Greece.
Supports Norwich City Football Club, regularly attending games (as his schedule allows) and is on the board of directors.
The e-mail of the species is more deadly than the mail.
How can one not be fond of something that the "Daily Mail" despises?
It is quite difficult to feel that I am placed somewhere between Alan Bennett and the Queen Mother, a sort of public kitten.
On being gay: "My first words, as I was being born... I looked up at my mother and said, 'that's the last time I'm going up one of those.'"
It only takes a room of Americans for the English and Australians to realise how much we have in common.
"Complete loose-stool-water. Arse-gravy of the very worst kind." (Speaking about Dan Brown's novel, "The Da Vinci Code.")
My father was all brain and little heart.
As someone who worked hard for a Labour victory in the Nineties, do I regret it? Not really. It was bound to happen. And it'll happen with the next government, and the one after it. Because all governments serve us. They serve the filth.
I sometimes wonder if you Americans aren't often fooled by our accent into detecting a brilliance that may not really be there.
When American TV and movies call for a twist of limey in their cocktail, it's usually a character they're after - supervillain, emotionally constipated academic, effete eccentric, that kind of thing.
Generally, we admire the thing we are not. On the set of "Bones" (2005) I have been amazed and impressed by the naturalness of the cast, and berate myself for sounding as if I'm speechifying instead of talking.
I've always believed Americans have one huge, ready-made gift when it comes to acting in front of a camera - the ability to relax. Take the supreme relaxed authenticity of a James Stewart or a George Clooney compared with the brittle contrivances of a Laurence Olivier or a Kenneth Branagh, marvelous as they are.
Of course, it would be unfair for me to comment. Douglas (Douglas Adams) told me in the strictest confidence exactly why 42. The answer is fascinating, extraordinary and, when you think hard about it, completely obvious. Nonetheless amazing for that. Remarkable really. But sadly I cannot share it with anyone and the secret must go with me to the grave. Pity, because it explains so much beyond the books. It really does explain the secret of life, the universe, and everything. (On the meaning of 42 in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005))
Digital devices rock my world.
It is true that I have a great admiration, sometimes only just short of reverence, for the elegances and brilliances that have emerged from my favourite address in the world: 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, the home of Apple Computers.
The BBC enriches the country in ways we will only discover when it has gone and it is too late to build it back up again. We actually can afford the BBC, because we can't afford not to. I genuinely cannot see that the nation would benefit from a diminution of any part of the BBC's great whole. It should be as closely scrutinized as possible of course, value for money, due humility and all that, but to reduce its economies of scale, its artistic social and national reach for misbegotten reasons of ideology or thrift would be a tragedy.
The week before we moved house, the BBC started a new drama, starring William Hartnell. An old man had a police phone box of the kind we saw in the street all the time. It turned out to be a magical and unimaginably wonderful time machine. I had never been so excited in all my life. (On "Doctor Who" (1963))
Although, of course, anybody can talk about snouts in troughs, and go on about it, for journalists to do so is almost beyond belief, beyond belief. I know lots of journalists; I know more journalists than I know politicians. And I've never met a more venal and disgusting crowd of people when it comes to expenses and allowances.
John Cleese said to me years ago that "you will never be happy unless you stop being so polite. I have spent much of my life trying to please people, trying to be what they wanted me to be rather than what I actually wanted to be.
Just as I was leaving prison, starting simultaneously my period on probation and at University, the way you do, the wind changed and Margaret Thatcher, the new Mary Poppins, descended into Downing Street, with new medicines for us to take, but very few spoonfuls of sugar to help them go down. I am not going to blame her or make political points. The wind had changed and she blew in with it and would one day be blown away by another change. But here she was and fundamental questions were asked, genuinely radical unthinkable thoughts were thought in an age of privatisation and anti-dirigiste, anti-statist conservatism.
I grew up in what seems now to me and to most cultural and broadcast historians to have been a golden age in television.
Thatcherism had seen the first concerted political opposition, ideological opposition to the way the BBC in particular was seen to run itself and to behave. The administration was perhaps getting its revenge on the BBC for its perceived participation in, and promulgation of, the poisonous ethos of the 1960s. Liberalism, permissive media encroachments on decency, disrespectful satire, outright socialistic dramas and documentaries were all cited as proof of the BBC's undemocratic doctrinaire partiality. The trick was conceived in which the BBC could be blamed for being at one and the same time old-fashioned, stuck in the mud, reactionary, elitist, hidebound, de haut en bas, patriarchal, top/down, patronising and simultaneously left-wing, trendy, bien pensant and unpatriotic, because radical now meant right-wing. Modern and progressive meant consumer-led and market-oriented. The Tebbits and the Thatchers of this world were not about to allow intellectuals, artists, liberals and Oxbridge nomenclatura of decadent self-appointed cultural apparatchiks to decide what was good for the public. The nanny state was bad enough in their eyes but the schoolmaster state, the don state was even worse.
Television as the nation's fireplace, the hearth and the heart of the country, the focus of our communal cultural identity, that television is surely dead. It seems unlikely ever to return. Instead of being the nation's fireplace, TV is closer to being the nation's central heating. It's conveniently on in every room, it's less discernible, less of a focus, more of an ambient atmosphere.
I love television in this country. I love the range and richness of the programming. I love its ambition, its scope, its innovation. I love the tradition, the technological innovation, the gossip, the corporate drama on the inside, the reach and influence on the outside. I admire the talent and the commitment of so many working in the field. I love everything about what television has been, what it still is and what it might yet be. If I criticise anything about it, I hope you will be able to see that I do so as with nationhood, from the point of view of love not enmity.
To be human and to be adult means constantly to be in the grip of opposing emotions, to have daily to reconcile apparently conflicting tensions. I want this, but need that. I cherish this, but I adore its opposite too. I'm maddened by this institution yet I prize it above all others.
There is as far as I know no profession in this country that likes to talk about itself more than broadcasting.
I love Britain, like most Britons I get desperately upset at her failings: when it goes wrong, when it gets it totally totally wrong, when it's shoddy, when it's inefficient, incompetent, rude, vulgar, embarrassing, when it slips into national torpor or boils into bouts of embarrassing national fever. I can moan about health and safety gone mad and leaves on the line, rail networks and crap service and crap weather and crap sporting achievements and crap politicians and crap newspapers and crap attitude. I can do all that. In fact it's the defining signature quality of my Britishness to talk like that, to complain and to self-castigate but does it mean that I don't love this damned country? Does it mean that I don't get weepy when I think of its history, its people, its countryside, its richness, its plurality, the cultural and artistic energy, the good humour, tolerance, the ability to evolve for good, achingly slow as that ability might be? Does it mean that I don't as it were stand to attention when I think of the sacrifice of our military, the selfless good of so many working in hospitals and schools and rescue services and the million acts of unremembered kindness, decency and good fellowship practised every day by unsung heroes and heroines in every walk of life? Of course it doesn't mean that I don't love and respect that. One carps and one criticises because one loves.
The only drama the BBC will boast about are "Merlin" (2008) and "Doctor Who" (2005), which are fine, but they're children's programmes. They're not for adults. And they're very good children's programmes, don't get me wrong, they're wonderfully written ... but they are not for adults. They are like a chicken nugget. Every now and again we all like it. Every now and again. If you are an adult you want something surprising, savoury, sharp, unusual, cosmopolitan, alien, challenging, complex, ambiguous, possibly even slightly disturbing and wrong. You want to try those things, because that's what being adult means.
I don't pretend to be a businessman. Spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations make me want to scream, gouge out my eyes and stab my ears. I have never been able to read a profit and loss account or a balance sheet, and I go swimmy and feel sick if I have to read a legal document because on the whole I'd rather watch television.
Happiness is no respecter of persons.
It is a cliché that most clichés are true, but then, like most clichés, that cliché is untrue.
I feel sorry for straight men. The only reason women will have sex with them is that sex is the price they are willing to pay for a relationship with a man, which is what they want. Of course, a lot of women will deny this and say, "Oh no, but I love sex, I love it!" But do they go around having it the way that gay men do?
To repatriate a power takes treaties, rows, enmities, alliances and betrayals. To repatriate a collection of stolen marbles take good will, moral courage and a decisive belief that right can be done. How can we British be proud until we sit down with Greek politicians and arrange for the return of their treasure? It's time we lost our marbles.
(January 2002) Still continues to do a lot of acting and make regular TV appearances.
(December 2006) Host of BBC quiz show, "QI", and continues to make regular TV and movie appearances.
(February 2008) Began providing Stephen Fry's Podgrams: free podcasts about his adventures, available via his official website.
|You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.|
|With our Resume service you can add photos and build a complete resume to help you achieve the best possible presentation on the IMDb.|
Click here to add your resume and/or your photos to IMDb.