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Stephen Fry (1957)

Stephen John Fry

Type :  

  Summary  

Stephen John Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter, film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club.

After a troubled childhood and adolescence, during which he was expelled from a number of schools and eventually spent three months in prison for credit card fraud, he was able to secure a place at Queen's College, Cambridge, where he studied English Literature.

He first came to public attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation "The Cellar Tapes", which also included Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery. With Hugh Laurie, as the comedy double act Fry and Laurie, he co-wrote and co-starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie, and took the role of Jeeves in Jeeves and Wooster.

As an actor, Fry played the lead in the film Wilde, was Melchett in the BBC television series Blackadder, starred as the title character Peter Kingdom in the ITV series Kingdom, has a recurring guest role as Dr. Gordon Wyatt on the Fox crime series Bones and appeared as rogue TV host Gordon Dietrich in the dystopian thriller V For Vendetta. He has also written and presented several documentary series including the 2008 television series Stephen Fry in America, which saw him travelling across all 50 U.S. states. Since 2003 he has been the host of the quiz show QI.

As well as his work in television, Fry has contributed columns and articles for newspapers and magazines, and has written four novels and two volumes of autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot and The Fry Chronicles. He also appears frequently on BBC Radio 4, starring in the comedy series Absolute Power, being a frequent guest on panel games such as Just a Minute, and acting as chairman for I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, where he was one of a trio of hosts who succeeded the late Humphrey Lyttelton. Fry is also known in the UK for his audiobook recordings, particularly as reader for all seven Harry Potter novels.

  Biography  

 early life
Fry was born in Hampstead, London, on 24 August 1957, the son of Marianne Eve Fry (née Newman) and Alan John Fry, who was an English physicist and inventor. His maternal grandparents, Martin and Rosa Neumann, were Hungarian Jewish immigrants from Šurany, which is now in Slovakia, and his mother's aunt and cousins died in Auschwitz. Fry grew up in the village of Booton near Reepham, Norfolk, having moved from Chesham, Buckinghamshire at an early age.

Fry briefly attended Cawston Primary School, Cawston, Norfolk before going on to Stouts Hill Preparatory School at the age of seven, and then to Uppingham School, Rutland, where he joined Fircroft house. He was expelled from Uppingham when he was 15, and subsequently from the Paston School.

At 17, after leaving Norfolk College of Arts and Technology, Fry absconded with a credit card stolen from a family friend, was arrested in Swindon, and as a result spent three months in Pucklechurch Prison on remand.

Following his release he resumed his education at City College Norwich, promising administrators that he would study rigorously to sit the Cambridge entrance exams. He passed well enough to gain a scholarship to Queens' College, Cambridge. At Cambridge, Fry joined the Cambridge Footlights, appeared on University Challenge, and gained a degree in English literature. It was at the Footlights that Fry met his future comedy collaborator Hugh Laurie.

 career
 Television

Comedy

Fry's career in television began with the 1982 broadcasting of The Cellar Tapes, the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue which was written by Fry, Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery. The revue caught the attention of Granada Television, who, keen to replicate the success of the BBC's Not the Nine O'Clock News, hired Fry, Laurie and Thompson to star alongside Ben Elton in There's Nothing to Worry About!. A second series, re-titled Alfresco, was broadcast in 1983 and a third in 1984; it established Fry and Laurie's reputation as a comedy double act. In 1983, the BBC offered them their own show, which became The Crystal Cube, a mixture of science fiction and mockumentary that was axed after the first episode. Undeterred, Fry and Laurie appeared in an episode of The Young Ones in 1984, and Fry in Ben Elton's 1985 series, Happy Families. In 1986 and 1987 Fry and Laurie also performed sketches on the LWT/Channel 4 show Saturday Live.

Forgiving Fry and Laurie for The Crystal Cube, the BBC commissioned a sketch show in 1986 that was to become A Bit of Fry & Laurie. The programme ran for 26 episodes spanning four series between 1986 and 1995, and was very successful. During this time Fry starred in Blackadder II as Lord Melchett, made a guest appearance in Blackadder the Third as the Duke of Wellington, then returned to a starring role in Blackadder Goes Forth as General Melchett. In the 1988 television special Blackadder's Christmas Carol he played the roles of Lord Melchett and Lord Frondo.

Between 1990 and 1993, Fry starred as Jeeves (alongside Hugh Laurie's Bertie Wooster) in Jeeves and Wooster, 23 hour-long adaptations of P.G. Wodehouse's novels and short stories.

Towards the end of 2003, Fry starred alongside John Bird in the television adaptation of Absolute Power, previously a radio series on BBC Radio 4.

In 2010 Fry took part in a Christmas series of Short Films called 'Little Crackers'. Fry's short is based on a story from his childhood at school. He appeared as the Christian God in 2011's Holy Flying Circus.

Drama

Fry has appeared in a number of BBC adaptations of plays and books, including a 1992 adaptation of the Simon Gray play The Common Pursuit ; a 1998 Malcolm Bradbury adaptation of the Mark Tavener novel, In the Red, with Fry taking the part of the Controller of BBC Radio 2; and in 2000 Fry took the role of Professor Bellgrove in the BBC serial Gormenghast which were adapted from the first two novels of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast series. In 2011, Fry portrayed Professor Mildeye in the BBC adaption of Mary Norton's 1952 novel The Borrowers.

Fry narrates the English language version of the Spanish children's animated series Pocoyo.

From 2007 to 2009, Fry played the lead role in the legal drama Kingdom, which ran for three series on ITV1. He has also taken up a recurring guest role as psychiatrist Dr. Gordon Wyatt in the popular American drama Bones.

In 2010, having learned some Irish for the role, he filmed a cameo role in Ros na Rún, an Irish language soap opera broadcast in Ireland, Scotland and the United States.

Documentaries and other factual programmes
Fry made his first foray into documentary-making with the Emmy Award-winning The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive in 2006; also in 2006, he appeared in the genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are?, tracing his maternal family tree to investigate his Jewish ancestry. In 2007 he presented a documentary on the subject of HIV and AIDS, HIV and Me.

On 7 May 2008, Fry gave a speech as part of a series of BBC lectures on the future of public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, which he later recorded for a podcast.

His six-part travel series Stephen Fry in America began on BBC One in October 2008 and saw him travel to each of the 50 U.S. states; in the same year he narrated the nature documentaries Spectacled Bears: Shadow of the Forest for the BBC Natural World series.

In the 2009 television series Last Chance to See, Fry and zoologist Mark Carwardine sought out endangered species, some of which had been featured in Douglas Adams' and Carwardine's 1990 book and radio series of the same name Also in 2009, Fry briefly hosted CBBC series Horrible Histories, an educational TV show for school children.

In August 2011 Stephen Fry's 100 Greatest Gadgets was shown on Channel 4 as one of the 100 Greatest strand. His choice for the greatest gadget was the lighter which he described as "fire with a flick of the fingers".

In September 2011 Fry's Planet Word, a five-part documentary about language, aired on BBC HD and BBC Two.

QI
In 2003, Fry began hosting the TV game show QI , a British comedy panel game television quiz show. QI was created and co-produced by John Lloyd, and features permanent panellist Alan Davies. QI has the highest viewing figures for any show on BBC Four and UKTV G2 . In 2006, Fry won the Rose d'Or award for "Best Game Show Host" for his work on the series.

 Film
Having made his film debut in the 1985 film The Good Father, Fry had a brief appearance in A Fish Called Wanda and then appeared in the lead role for Kenneth Branagh's Peter's Friends in 1992. In the 1994 romantic comedy film I.Q., he played the role of James Moreland. Portraying Oscar Wilde in the 1997 film Wilde, he fulfilled to critical acclaim a role that he has said he was "born to play". A year later, Fry starred in David Yates' small independent film The Tichborne Claimant, and in 2001 he played the detective in Robert Altman's period costume drama, Gosford Park. In the same year he also appeared in the Dutch film The Discovery of Heaven, directed by Jeroen Krabbé and based on the novel by Harry Mulisch.

In 2003, Fry made his directorial debut with Bright Young Things, adapted by himself from Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies. In 2001, he began hosting the BAFTA Film Awards, a role from which he stepped down in 2006. Later that same year, he wrote the English libretto and dialogue for Kenneth Branagh's film adaptation of The Magic Flute.

Fry continues to make regular film appearances, notably in treatments of literary cult classics. He portrayed Maurice Woodruff in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, served as narrator in the 2005 film version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and in 2005 he appeared in both A Cock and Bull Story, based on Tristram Shandy, and as a non-conforming TV Presenter who challenges the fascist state in V for Vendetta. In 2006, he played the role of gadget-master Smithers in Stormbreaker, and in 2007 he appeared as himself hosting a quiz in St Trinian's. In 2007, Fry wrote a script for a remake of The Dam Busters for director Peter Jackson.


Fry was offered a role in Valkyrie but was unable to participate. Fry starred in the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland, as the voice of The Cheshire Cat. He played Mycroft Holmes in the sequel to Sherlock Holmes directed by Guy Ritchie. In 2010, Fry provided the voice of Socrates the Lion in the environmental animated film Animals United. He will portray the Master of Lake-town in the 2012 film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit.

Feature filmography
  • 1985: The Good Father – Creighton
  • 1988: A Fish Called Wanda – Hutchison
  • 1992: Peter's Friends – Peter
  • 1994: I.Q. – James Moreland
  • 1997: Wilde – Oscar Wilde
  • 1998: The Tichborne Claimant – Hawkins
  • 2001: Gosford Park – Inspector Thompson
  • 2003: Bright Young Things – Director
  • 2004: The Life and Death of Peter Sellers – Maurice Woodruff
  • 2005: V for Vendetta – Deitrich
  • 2005: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – The Narrator
  • 2006: The Magic Flute – Writer
  • 2006: Stormbreaker – Smithers
  • 2007: St. Trinian's – Himself
  • 2009: House of Boys - Dr Marsh
  • 2010: Alice in Wonderland – Cheshire Cat
  • 2010: Animals United – Socrates the Lion
  • 2011: Holy Flying Circus – God
  • 2011: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – Mycroft Holmes
  • 2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Master of Lake-town

 Radio
Fry came to the attention of radio listeners with the 1986 creation of his alter-ego, Donald Trefusis, whose "wireless essays" were broadcast on the BBC Radio 4 programme Loose Ends. In the 1980s he starred as David Lander in four series of the BBC Radio 4 show Delve Special, written by Tony Sarchet, which became the six part Channel 4 series This is David Lander in 1988. In 1988, Fry wrote and presented a six-part comedy series entitled Saturday Night Fry; frequent radio appearances have ensued (notably on panel games Just a Minute and I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue). In 2000, he began starring as Charles Prentiss in the Radio 4 comedy Absolute Power, reprising the role for three further series on radio and two on television. In 2002, Fry voiced Winnie-the-Pooh and was one of the narrators of A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. He presented a 20-part, two-hour series, The Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music, a "witty guide" to the genre over the past 1,000 years, on Classic FM.

In 2007, he hosted Current Puns, an exploration of wordplay, and Radio 4: This Is Your Life, to celebrate the radio station's 40th anniversary. He also interviewed Tony Blair as part of a series of podcasts released by 10 Downing Street.

In February 2008, Fry began presenting podcasts entitled Stephen Fry's Podgrams, in which he recounts his life and recent experiences. In July 2008, he appeared as himself in I Love Stephen Fry, an Afternoon Play for Radio 4 written by former Fry and Laurie script editor Jon Canter.

Since August 2008 he has presented Fry's English Delight, a series on BBC Radio 4 about the English language. As of 2011, it has been running for four series and 15 episodes.

In the summer 2009 series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, Fry was one of a trio of hosts replacing Humphrey Lyttelton .

 Theatre
Fry wrote the play Latin! or Tobacco and Boys for the 1980 Edinburgh Festival, where it won the Fringe First prize. It had a revival in 2009 at London's Cock Tavern Theatre, directed by Adam Spreadbury-Maher. The Cellar Tapes, the Footlights Revue of 1981, won the Perrier Comedy Award. In 1984, Fry adapted the hugely successful 1930s musical Me and My Girl for the West End, where it ran for eight years.
He was also cast in a lead role in Simon Gray's 1995 play, Cell Mates, which he left three days into the West End run, pleading stage fright. He later recalled the incident as a hypomanic episode in his documentary about bipolar disorder, The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. In 2007, Fry wrote a Christmas pantomime, Cinderella, which ran at London's Old Vic Theatre.

Fry is a long-standing fan of the anarchic 1960s British musical comedy group, the Bonzo Dog Band and, particularly, of its eccentric front man, the late Vivian Stanshall. Fry helped to fund an ill-fated 1988 London re-staging of Stanshall's acclaimed Stinkfoot, a Comic Opera, written by Vivian and Ki Longfellow-Stanshall for the Bristol-based Old Profanity Showboat. Fry performed several of Stanshall's numbers as part of the Bonzos' 2006 reunion concert at the London Astoria. He also appears as a shiny New Millennium Bonzo on their post-reunion album, Pour l'Amour des Chiens, on which he he recites a recipe for "Salmon Proust", plays a butler in "Hawkeye the Gnu", and voices ads for the fictitious "Fiasco" stores.

Following three one-man shows in Australia, Fry announced a "sort of stand-up" performance at The Royal Albert Hall in London for September 2010.

 Audio books
Stephen Fry has been the reader for the British versions of all of J.K.Rowling's Harry Potter series of audio books. He discussed this project in an interview with J.K. Rowling in 2005.
Fry has also been the reader for Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy film tie-in edition. He has also made recordings of his own books, such as The Stars' Tennis Balls and Moab Is My Washpot; and works by Roald Dahl, Michael Bond, A. A. Milne, and Anthony Buckeridge.

 Video games
Fry's distinctive voice has been featured in a number of video games, including an appearance as Reaver, a main character in Lionhead Studios games Fable II and Fable III, and as the narrator in LittleBigPlanet and its sequel on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. He also served as narrator on the first four Harry Potter games (Philosopher's Stone, Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and the Goblet of Fire).

 Advertisements
Fry has lent himself and his voice to many advertisements, starting with an appearance as "Count Ivan Skavinsky Skavar" in a 1982 advert for Whitbread Best Bitter. Fry has said in his memoirs that after receiving his payment for this work – £25,000 – he has never subsequently experienced "what one could call serious money troubles". He has since appeared in adverts for products and companies such as Marks and Spencer, Twinings, Kenco, Vauxhall, Direct Line, Calpol, Heineken, Alliance & Leicester, After Eights, Trebor, Panama cigars and Orange Mobile.

 Literature
Since the publication of his first novel, The Liar , Fry has written three further novels, several non-fiction works and two volumes of autobiography. Making History is partly set in an alternative universe where Adolf Hitler's father is made infertile and his replacement proves a rather more effective Führer. The book won the Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The Hippopotamus is about Edward Wallace and his stay at his old friend Lord Logan's country manor in Norfolk. The Stars' Tennis Balls is a modern retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo. Fry's book, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, is a guide to writing poetry.

When writing a book review for Tatler, Fry wrote under a nom de plume, Williver Hendry, editor of A Most Peculiar Friendship: The Correspondence of Lord Alfred Douglas and Jack Dempsey, a field close to Fry's heart as an Oscar Wilde enthusiast. Once a columnist in The Listener and The Daily Telegraph, he now writes a weekly technology column in the Saturday edition of The Guardian. His blog attracted more than 300,000 visitors in its first two weeks.

In May 2009, Fry unveiled The Dongle of Donald Trefusis, an audiobook series following Donald Trefusis (a fictional character from Fry's novel The Liar and from the BBC Radio 4 series Loose Ends), set over 12 episodes. After its release, it reached No. 1 on the UK Album Chart list.

Fry's use of the word "luvvie" in The Guardian on 2 April 1988 is given by the Oxford English Dictionary as the earliest recorded use of the word.

 Football
In August 2010, Fry joined the Board of Directors at Norwich City Football Club. A lifelong fan of "the Canaries" and a regular visitor to Carrow Road, he said on being appointed "Truly this is one of the most exciting days of my life and I am as proud and pleased as I could be."

 Twitter
In October 2008, Fry began posting to the social networking site Twitter, which he regularly updates. On 16 May 2009, he celebrated the 500,000-follower mark: "Bless my soul 500k followers. And I love you all. Well, all except that silly one. And that's not you."

Fry wields a considerable amount of influence through his use of Twitter. He is frequently asked to promote various charities and causes, often inadvertently causing their websites to crash because of the volume of traffic generated by his large number of followers; as Fry notes on his website: "Four thousand hits a second all diving down the pipeline at the same time for minutes on end." Fry uses his influence to recommend underexposed musicians and authors and to raise awareness of contemporary issues in the world of media and politics, notably the dropping of an injunction against The Guardian and the lambasting of Daily Mail columnist Jan Moir over her article on the death of Boyzone member Stephen Gately.

In October 2009 Fry again sparked debate amongst users when he announced his intention to leave the social networking site after criticism from another user on Twitter. He retracted the intention the next day. In October 2010, Fry left Twitter for a few days following press criticism of a quote taken from an interview he had given, with a farewell message of "Bye bye". After returning, Fry explained that he had left Twitter to "avoid being sympathised with or told about an article I would otherwise never have got wind of".

In November 2009 Fry's Twitter account reached one million followers. He commemorated the million followers milestone with a humorous video blog in which a 'Step Hen Fry' clone speaks from the year 2034 where MySpace, Facebook and Twitter have combined to form 'Twit on MyFace'.

In November 2010 Fry welcomed his two millionth follower with a blog entry detailing his opinions and experiences of Twitter.

 Acclaim

In 1995, Fry was presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of Dundee, which named their main Students' Association bar after his novel The Liar. Fry is a patron of its Lip Theatre Company. He also served two consecutive terms – 1992 to 1995 and 1995 to 1998 – as the student-elected Rector of the University of Dundee. Fry is considered to have been one of the most popular rectors the University has had, and was noted for his work to promote the University and his efforts to represent its students on the University Court. Such was his popularity, he was unopposed when he sought re-election to office in 1995, and by the time he completed his second term in office he had won the widespread admiration of the University's staff and students. He was awarded the AoC Gold Award in 2004, and was entered into their hall of fame. Fry was also awarded an honorary degree from Anglia Ruskin University in 2005. He was made honorary president of the Cambridge University Quiz Society and honorary fellow of Queens' College, Cambridge. On 13 July 2010, he was made an honorary fellow of Cardiff University and on 28 January 2011 he was awarded an honorary doctorate at the University of Sussex for his work campaigning for people suffering from mental health problems, bipolar disorder and HIV.

He is a Patron of the Norwich Playhouse theatre and a Vice President of The Noël Coward Society. Fry was the last person to be named Pipe Smoker of the Year before the award was discontinued.

In December 2006 he was ranked sixth for the BBC's Top Living Icon Award, was featured on The Culture Show, and was voted Most Intelligent Man on Television by readers of Radio Times. The Independent on Sunday Pink List named Fry the second most influential gay person in Britain in May 2007; he had taken the twenty-third position on the list the previous year. Later the same month he was announced as the 2007 Mind Champion of the Year in recognition of the success of his documentary The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive in raising awareness of bipolar disorder. Fry was also nominated in "Best Entertainment Performance" for QI and "Best Factual Series" for Secret Life of the Manic Depressive at the 2007 British Academy Television Awards. That same year, Broadcast magazine listed Fry at number four in its "Hot 100" list of influential on-screen performers, describing him as a polymath and a "national treasure". He was also granted a lifetime achievement award at the British Comedy Awards on 5 December 2007 and the Special Recognition Award at the National Television Awards on 20 January 2010.

BBC Four dedicated two nights of programming to Fry on 17 and 18 August 2007, in celebration of his 50th birthday. The first night, comprising programs featuring Fry, began with a sixty-minute documentary entitled Stephen Fry: 50 Not Out. The second night was composed of programs selected by Fry, as well as a 60-minute interview with Mark Lawson and a half-hour special, Stephen Fry: Guilty. The weekend programming proved such a ratings hit for BBC Four that it was repeated on BBC Two on 16 and 17 September 2007.

In 2011, he was the subject of Molly Lewis's song An Open Letter to Stephen Fry, in which the singer jokingly offers herself as a surrogate mother for his child. In February 2011, Fry was awarded the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism by the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University, the Harvard Secular Society and the American Humanist Association.

 personal life
Fry struggled to keep his homosexuality secret during his teenage years at public school, and has claimed not to have engaged in sexual activity for 16 years from 1979 until 1995. When asked when he first acknowledged his sexuality, Fry quipped: "I suppose it all began when I came out of the womb. I looked back up at my mother and thought to myself, 'That's the last time I'm going up one of those.'" Fry was in a 14-year relationship with Daniel Cohen, which ended in 2010. Fry has stated that he is 90% homosexual, but has been attracted to women on occasion.

Fry has a home in London and another in Hollywood. He also has a home near King's Lynn, Norfolk. When in London, Fry drives a black TX4 London cab.

Fry was an active supporter of the Labour Party for many years, and appeared in a party political broadcast on its behalf with Hugh Laurie and Michelle Collins in November 1993. Despite this, he did not vote in the 2005 General Election because of the stance of both the Labour and Conservative parties with regard to the Iraq War. Despite his praise of the Blair/Brown government's work on social reform, Fry has been critical of the Labour Party's "Third Way" concept. Fry appeared in literature to support changing the British electoral system from first-past-the-post to alternative vote for electing Members of Parliament to the House of Commons in the Alternative Vote referendum in 2011.

He is on cordial terms with Prince Charles , through his work with the Prince's Trust. He attended the Prince of Wales' and Camilla Parker Bowles' wedding in 2005.

Fry is a friend of British comedian and actor (and Blackadder co-star) Rowan Atkinson and was best man at Atkinson's wedding to Sunetra Sastry at the Russian Tea Room in New York City. Fry was a friend of British actor John Mills.

His best friend is Hugh Laurie, whom he met while both were at Cambridge and with whom he has collaborated many times over the years. He was best man at Laurie's wedding and is godfather to all three of his children.

A fan of cricket, Fry has claimed to be related to former England cricketer C.B. Fry, and was interviewed for the Ashes Fever DVD, reporting on England's victory over Australia in the 2005 Ashes series. Regarding football, he is a supporter of Norwich City, and is a regular visitor to Carrow Road.

He has been described as "deeply dippy for all things digital", claims to have bought the third Macintosh computer sold in the UK and jokes that he has never encountered a smartphone that he has not bought. He counts Wikipedia among his favourite websites "because I like to find out that I died, and that I'm currently in a ballet in China, and all the other very accurate and important things that Wikipedia brings us all."

Fry has a long-standing interest in Internet production, including having his own website since 1997. His current site, The New Adventures of Mr Stephen Fry, has existed since 2002 and has attracted many visitors following his first blog in September 2007, which comprised a 6,500 word "blessay" on smartphones. In February 2008, Fry launched his private podcast series, Stephen Fry's Podgrams, and a forum, including discussions on depression and activities in which Fry is involved. The website content is created by Stephen Fry and produced by Andrew Sampson. Fry is also a supporter of GNU and the Free Software Foundation. For the 25th anniversary of the GNU operating system, Fry appeared in a video explaining some of the philosophy behind GNU by likening it to the sharing found in science.

On 30 April 2008, Fry signed an open letter, published in The Guardian newspaper by some well known Jewish personalities, stating their opposition to celebrating the 60th anniversary of the founding of the State of Israel. Furthermore, he is a signatory member of the British Jews for Justice for Palestinians organisation, which campaigns for Palestinian rights.

Fry was among over 100 signatories to a statement published by Sense About Science on 4 June 2009, condemning British libel laws and their use to "severely curtail the right to free speech on a matter of public interest."

 Poland controversy


On 6 October 2009, Fry was interviewed by Jon Snow on Channel 4 News as a signatory of a letter to British Conservative Party leader David Cameron expressing concern about the party's relationship with Poland's opposition national conservative Law and Justice party in the European Parliament. During the interview, he stated:

There has been a history, let's face it, in Poland of a right-wing Catholicism which has been deeply disturbing for those of us who know a little history, and remember which side of the border Auschwitz was on and know the stories, and know much of the anti-semitic, and homophobic and nationalistic elements in countries like Poland.

The remark prompted a complaint from the Polish Embassy in London, an editorial in The Economist and criticism from British Jewish historian David Cesarani. Fry has since posted an apology in a six-page post on his personal blog, in which he stated:

 Health
Fry has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, specifically stating he suffers from Cyclothymia, referring to it as "bipolar lite". He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1995 while appearing in a West End play called Cell Mates and subsequently walked out of the production, prompting its early closure and incurring the displeasure of co-star Rik Mayall and playwright Simon Gray. Mayall's comedy partner, Adrian Edmondson, made light of the subject in his and Mayall's second Bottom live show. After walking out of the production, Fry went missing for several days while contemplating suicide. He abandoned the idea and left the United Kingdom by ferry, eventually resurfacing in Belgium.

Fry has spoken publicly about his experience with bipolar disorder, which was also depicted in the documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. In the programme, he interviewed other sufferers of the illness including Carrie Fisher, Richard Dreyfuss and Tony Slattery. Also featured were chef Rick Stein, whose father committed suicide, Robbie Williams, who talks of his experience with major depression, and comedienne and former mental health nurse Jo Brand. He is also involved with the mental health charity Stand to Reason.

In 2009, Fry lent his support to a campaign led by the human rights organisation Reprieve to prevent the execution of Akmal Shaikh, a British national who suffered from bipolar disorder. Despite calls for clemency, Shaikh was executed in the People's Republic of China for drug trafficking.

In January 2008, he broke his arm while filming Last Chance to See in Brazil. He later explained in a podcast how the accident happened: while climbing aboard a boat, he slipped between it and the dock, and, while stopping himself from falling into the water, his body weight caused his right humerus to snap. The damage was more severe than first thought: the resulting vulnerability to his radial nerve – he was at risk of losing the use of his arm – was not diagnosed until he saw a consultant in the UK.

As the host of QI, Fry has stated that he is allergic to both champagne and bumble bee stings.

Appearing on Top Gear in 2009, Fry had lost a significant amount of weight, prompting host Jeremy Clarkson to ask jokingly, "Where's the rest of you?" Fry explained that he had shed a total of , attributing the weight loss to doing a lot of walking while listening to downloaded Audiobooks.

Fry is between and in height.

 Business
In 2008, Fry formed SamFry Ltd, with long-term collaborator Andrew Sampson, to produce and fund new material, as well as manage his official website.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Stephen Fry", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.