Stephen Fry: biography
Stephen John Fry is an English writer and actor who gained his glory for his sense of humor and intellect. His role of Oscar Wilde in the movie under the same title is considered the etalon.
Childhood and youth
Stephen was born on August 24, 1957, in Hampstead, London, into an intelligentsia family. The father Alan John Fry was known for his inventions related to physics; the mother Marianne Eve Fry graduated from a historical faculty and devoted her life to the family. She was a Jewish from Hungary, and many of her relatives died during the Second World War. The couple had three children: the elder sons Roger and Stephen and the younger daughter Joanna. Steve spent his childhood in a small village Booton, Norfolk. The family atmosphere was idyllic.
Although the parents did their best to provide the children with a good education, Stephen did not work hard at school. He did not show his intellect and misbehaved a lot. He had his nose broken on a sports ground when he was a primary school student. The boy transferred from Stouts Hill school to the prestigious Uppingham school. He was expelled twice: for the first time, it was after a theft; later, he skipped classes for many days.
The desperate parents had the 15-year-old teenager transferred to the Paston school from which the young man was also expelled. At the early age, Stephen was diagnosed with asthma that also gave him hard time. Fry tried to commit suicide at 17 – this is how his bipolar disorder manifested itself.
Despite his numerous expulsions from school and arrests by the police, Stephen mended his ways and passed the entrance exams to Queens’ College, Cambridge. As Fry studied at the Philological Faculty, he got interested in theater and took part in several performances by the student troupe “Footlights” and the acting program “University Challenge.” At this period, he met Hugh Laurie who became his friend for many years. Together with his theater group, Stephen toured in Great Britain each year. In 1981, the student theater became the laureate of the Edinburgh Festival which gave the young actors the opportunity to tour in Australia.
Stephen Fry debuted on television in 1982 with the humorous revue “The Cellar Tapes.” After the TV success, the group of artists was offered to collaborate with BBC. The satiric series was being broadcast for several years. In 1987, the program “ A Bit of Fry & Laurie” came out for the first time; it existed until 2005.
Besides, Stephen Fry became the show host in John Lloyd’s humorous program “QI” in 2003. The program remains popular; it has been considered the best program of the year for several times. On the third year, Stephen Fry won the Rose d'Or as the best TV host. The comedian has been working in this program for 12 years.
Stephen Fry took up writing when he was a student. However, the most significant works appeared only when he was adult: “Making History,” “The Hippopotamus,” “The Stars' Tennis Balls,” “The Liar,” “The Fry Chronicles,” and “Moab Is My Washpot.”
In 2006, the original edition of “The Book of General Ignorance” created by John Lloyd and coauthored by Stephen Fry and Alan Alan Davies was out. The book contained more than 230 descriptions of false facts that are believed to be true for some reason. This collection of intriguing articles became a specific literary version of the intellectual quiz that the authors worked on.
Fry appeared in movies in the early 1980s. His role in the well-known comedy series “Blackadder” was one of his first projects. By the moment “A Bit of Fry & Laurie” had been broadcast for several years, the comedy movie “Jeeves and Wooster” based on the TV program was aired by BBC.
After the series succeeded, Stephen Fry had come through depressive attacks which led to a new suicide attempt. The actor moved to the USA to clear his head. He spent a year in America and starred in several movies in his home country: “The Tichborne Claimant,” “Cold Comfort Farm,” and “Bright Young Things.” Fry received much recognition for his role of Oscar Wilde in the biographical drama about the famous writer’s life. The British actor Jude Law became Stephen Fry’s stage partner and played Bosie.
Fry has starred in more than 40 movies altogether. In the early 2000s, the movies “Relative Values,” “Sabotage!,” “V for Vendetta,” “Tom Brown's Schooldays,” and “Stephen Fry in America” were released. Apart from his acting career, Stephen also writes scripts, produces, directs, and voices movies.
The actor has an impeccable British accent, so he has been often offered to voice cartoons, movies, audiobooks, and computer games. Stephen’s voice can be heard in all versions of the game console “Harry Potter.” Fry took part in many world’s blockbusters: the fantasy movie “Alice in Wonderland,” Peter Jackson’s trilogy “The Hobbit,” and Guy Ritchie’s action movie “Sherlock Holmes.”
Since his youth, Stephen Fry did not keep in secret his homosexuality even though it made the communication with his peers more difficult. Daniel Cohen was Fry’s first official partner; the couple was together for 15 years. Later, the actor underwent some changes, and the men split up.
In 2010, Stephen had a new relationship with the actor Steven Webb who also presented himself as a gay. The affair did not last long. After the breakup, Fry had hard episodes of depression which, however, were short. Elliott Spencer brought Stephen back to life: as Fry met him, his emotional spirits improved. On January 2015, the couple married in a small town in Norfolk.
Nowadays, Fry actively takes part in the movie industry. In 2016, the movie “Alice Through the Looking Glass” where he starred came out. In the same year, the travel program “Stephen Fry in Central America” appeared on TV.
The wonderful adventures of the British movie legend in the American rainforest shed light on the history of ancient ghost towns and unknown Indian civilizations. In 2016-2017, the new comedy sitcom “The Great Indoors” was broadcast on CBS. Stephen Fry took one of the leading parts.
In one of his interviews, Stephen Fry severely criticized God and called him a monster and maniac. He attacked Him because the world is full of injustice and wars; children have cancer; animals and insects kill each other. Fry confirmed he was an atheist and an avid theomachist.
“I am a lover of truth, a worshipper of freedom, a celebrant at the altar of language and purity and tolerance. That is my religion, and every day I am sorely, grossly, heinously and deeply offended, wounded, mortified and injured by a thousand different blasphemies against it.”
“I suppose the thing that I would have like to have known or be reassured about is that in the world, what counts more than talent, what counts more than energy or concentration or commitment or anything else, is kindness. And the more in the world you encounter kindness, just the better the world always is. And all the big words - virtue, justice, truth - are dwarfed by the greatness of kindness.
“It is a little theory of mine that has much exercised my mind lately, that most of the problems of this silly and delightful world derive from our apologizing for those things which we ought not to apologize for and failing to apologize for those things for which apology is necessary.”
- “Blackadder” - (1983—1989)
- “A Handful of Dust” - (1988)
- “Jeeves and Wooster” - (1990—1993)
- “Peter's Friends” - (1992)
- “I.Q.” - (1994)
- “Wilde” - (1997)
- “A Civil Action” - (1998)
- “Relative Values” - (2000)
- “The Discovery of Heaven” - (2001)
- “The Divorce” - (2003)
- “MirrorMask” - (2005)
- “Stormbreaker” - (2006)
- “The Kingdom” - (2007)
- “Stephen Fry in America” - (2008)
- “Alice in Wonderland” - (2010)
- “Stephen Fry's 100 Greatest Gadgets” - (2011)
- “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” - (2011)
- “Doors Open” - (2012)
- “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” - (2013)
- “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” - (2014)
- “Alice Through the Looking Glass” - (2016)
- “The Great Indoors” - (2016 - 2017)