Fry, Stephen

Stephen Fry is a comedian, writer, actor, presenter, and activist. He was born in London in 1957. Fry’s maternal grandparents were Hungarian Jews, and many of his relatives were killed by the Nazi regime. He claims that he does not follow Judaism but considers himself a Jew. In an interview he stated: “Sometimes one has to stand up against homophobia and similarly against anti-Semitism. But there is so much to celebrate in each” (Jewish Business News 2014).

Fry studied English literature at Queens’ College, Cambridge and while at university became involved in on-campus drama clubs such as the famous Cambridge Footlights. After his first year at university he wrote his debut play Latin! or Tobacco and Boys (1979). Together with fellow actor and friend Hugh Laurie, he formed the comedy duo Fry and Laurie and later co-wrote and co-starred in the sketch show A Bit of Fry and Laurie. After graduation, he revised the script of Noel Gay’s 1937 musical Me and My Girl which became a great success. Since 2003, Fry has been hosting the TV game show QI (Quite Interesting). Fry gained the lead role in American sitcom The Great Indoors (2016), however the show was cancelled after one season. More recently, in 2022, Fry made many TV appearances in shows such as The Big Night In, The Dropout (Hulu, 2022), The Sandman (Netflix, 2022) and Heartstopper (Netflix, 2022). In 2023, he portrayed a fictional King in Red, White & Blue, an LGBTQ romanitic comedy, and later also presented Stephen Fry: Willem & Frieda – Defying the Nazis.

Aside from his television work Fry has appeared in a number of movies such as the Golden Globe nominated Wilde (1997). He made his Broadway debut as an actor playing Malvolio in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (2013). In 2015, Fry shared the role of Narrator in the theatre production of The Rocky Horror Show and from May to July 2018, Fry starred in the stage version of his book, Mythos, in the Shaw Festival Theatre, Ontario, Canada. The show had it’s European Premier in 2019, at the Edinburgh International Festival.

Fry has published numerous books, but most notably, The Liar (1991), The Hippopotamus (1994), and Making History: A Novel (1996), as well as a multi-volume autobiography and a Greek Mythology series, consisting of Mythos (2017), Heroes (2018) and Troy (2020).

In addition to writing, Fry also records numerous audible books, including, but not limited to, his own works and Sherlock Holmes: The Definititve Collection– the full collection of Sherlock Holmes stories.

Frx has recieved 11 BAFTA nominations for his television work. He won an Emmy Award for the production of the documentary Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (2006), describing his experience of battling mental illness. In 2017, Fry became the latest patron of the Norwich Film Festival. Fry’s most recent honour to date is Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix, awarded by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, for his contribution to the enhancement of knowledge about Greece in the UK and reinforcing the ties between the two countries (2021).