Stephen Fry (born 24.8.1957)
Stephen Fry is a British TV presenter, writer, actor, comedian and film director.
Stephen Fry: Childhood
Stephen Fry was born to Marianne and Alan Fry, in Hampstead. His father was a physicist and inventor. He grew up in Booton, in Norfolk, having moved from Buckinghamshire as a child.
He attended Cawston Primary School in Norfolk, then Uppingham School in Rutland. At the age of 15, he was expelled, and sent to Paston School, from which he was also expelled.
Fry then studied at Norfolk College of Arts and Technologies. At the age of 17, having left college, he stole the credit card of a family friend and spent three months in prison.
Vowing to change his ways, he signed up at City College, Norwich, vowing to study hard enough to gain entrance to Cambridge University. He did just that, winning a scholarship to Queens' College. At Cambridge, he was a member of the Cambridge Footlights and also appeared on University Challenge.
Stephen Fry: Life in the Public Eye
Stephen Fry began his TV career with The Cellar Tapes in 1982. The show also featured Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Emma Thompson. The BBC soon offered Fry and Laurie their own show, which was named The Crystal Cube. They also appeared in The Young Ones, which starred Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson as well as an appearance in Ben Elton's Happy Families.
In 1986, the BBC commissioned the sketch show A Bit of Fry and Laurie. The series lasted for four series, between 1986 and 1995. During that time, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie also appeared in the Blackadder comedy series, starring Rowan Atkinson and Tony Robinson.
Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie then worked together again on Jeeves and Wooster, a series of adaptations of P.G. Wodehouse's writings.
In 2000, Stephen Fry landed the role of Professor Bellgrove in the TV adaptation of Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast. The series also featured Johnathan Rhys Meyers and Christopher Lee.
2003 saw Stephen Fry begin to host the panel show QI, a hugely successful show, which features Alan Davies as a permanent panelist.
Stephen Fry has also presented a number of documentaries, including 2006's The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive and 2007's HIV and Me. He has also been the subject of the BBC genealogy series Who Do You Think You Are? which traced his Slovak Jewish roots. In 2009, Fry featured in Last Chance to See, with Mark Carwardine, to honour the work that Carwardine had previously done with the author Douglas Adams.
The ITV1 series Kingdom had Fry at the helm as executive producer. The show ran from 2007-9 and starred Hermione Norris, Karl Davies and Phyllida Law.
Stephen Fry appeared in a number of films in the 1980s, including The Good Father and John Cleese's A Fish Called Wanda. In 1992, he starred in Kenneth Branagh's Peter's Friends. Two years later, he portrayed Oscar Wilde in Wilde. He then went on to play a detective on Robert Altman's Gosford Park, which also starred Michael Gambon, Richard E. Grant, Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren.
Fry's directorial film debut came in 2003 with Bright Young Things, an adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies. The film starred Emily Mortimer, Michael Sheen and James McAvoy.
In 2009, Stephen Fry appeared in Tim Burton's film version of Alice In Wonderland, alongside Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp.
Stephen Fry has also had a successful career, though one incident for which he is often remembered is his sudden departure from Simon Gray's 1995 play, Cell Mates. Fry disappeared for three days and later blamed the incident on severe stage fright.
He is also the author of a number of works of fiction and non-fiction. His debut novel, The Liar, was published in 1993. He has also written Making History, The Star's Tennis Balls and The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within. He now writes a technology column in the Saturday Guardian newspaper. An enthusiast of the social networking site Twitter, he announced in 2010 that he was switching off his connections with the outside world, so that he could write a second volume of his autobiography.