Stephen Fry

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  • Trivia

    • Stephen Fry held a speech on the twitter phenomenon and compared the early critique and doubt regarding twitter to the early days of e-mail. Both would have been initially for nerds only. The aim of twitter would be foremost social and emotional; he calls it human-shaped, not business-shaped.

      He also hypothesized that twitter must be very upsetting for journalists because the relationship between celebrities and audience is not dependent on them anymore. He gave examples when his credit or blame (critique of an article, a political decision) was overemphasized. He did not start those topics, he merely participated in the debate. He acknowledges his influence because of his followers but the community would decide what to pick up. You had to experience twitter to understand it.

    • Stephen Fry was among the celebrities who responded to children at Oakwood Primary School in Leeds, asking for items they would otherwise have thrown away - his was a plastic dinosaur and a Hong Kong two dollar coin.
      He also contributed a Doodle to the National Doodle Campaign, which auctions off celebrity doodles for charity.

    • In 2001, Stephen Fry was a guest on Room 101, a BBC comedy show. The basic premise is to name things that are hated, loathed, or despised and put them into Room 101. Stephen went so far as to put Room 101 itself into Room 101 since it only focuses on negative things. He would like to add a Room Lovely.

    • As a teenager, Stephen wrote to PG Wodehouse, and received an autographed photograph in response.

    • Stephen abstained from sex for 16 years due to a lack of personal confidence.

    • Stephen Fry as a host
      Stephen Fry hosted the 2001 and 2002 British Academy Awards (BAFTAS), which have been their two most successful years.
      In 2002, he presented the trophy to the winning team on the University Challenge 40th Anniversary special. Stephen had previously been a panelist on the show as a student.

    • Support for campaigns
      Stephen Fry has endorsed the campaign to save Bletchley Park, as the UK Government will not extend its museums funding to support it.
      He has also endorsed the Money Advice Hub's new campaign to become "the most authoritative source of data relating to debt, credit and money advice in the UK", particularly in relation to mental health.

    • Listings in polls
      In a BBC Worldwide poll in 2003 to celebrate 40 years of Doctor Who, 130 MPs (Members of Parliament) put Stephen Fry forward as their choice for the next Doctor.
      In the BBC poll for the Greatest Living Icon, Stephen was ranked 6th.
      In the Independent on Sunday's annual Pink List - the Top 100 powerful and influential and openly gay - Stephen was No. 2 in 2007, rising from No. 23 in 2006, but dropped again to No. 12 in 2008.
      In the 2008 Guardian Media 100 (UK Media power list), Stephen was a new entry at 54.

    • Much of Stephen's mother's family were sent to concentration camps during World War II. They were Jewish.

    • When he grew up, Stephen Fry's mother was embarrassed by him telling elderly relatives he wanted to be an actor. In consequence, he spent three years pretending to want to be a barrister.

    • In December 2006, Stephen was banned from driving for 6 months for speeding.

    • Work as a writer and journalist: Stephen Fry has written the following novels: The Liar (1991), The Hippopotamus (1994), Making History (1996), The Star's Tennis Balls(aka Revenge)(2000). His non-fiction books are the following: Paperweight (1992), Moab is my Washpot (1997), Rescuing the Spectacled Bear (2002),Stephen Fry's Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music (2004),The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within(2005), Stephen Fry in America (2008),The Fry Chronicles (2010). He wrote a play called Latin! while being in Cambridge. Stephen Fry has been a newspaper columnist for Literary Review, The Listener and The Daily Telegraph.

    • In September 2006, BBC aired Fry's two- part documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, in which he recounts his own experiences with manic depression (also known as bipolar disorder) and talks with several people, including Carrie Fisher, Richard Dreyfuss, Tony Slattery, and many non-celebrities, about their experiences and how they deal with the disease.

    • Stephen Fry's favorite joke is: How do you make God laugh? - Tell him your plans.
      Stephen Fry's two favorite quotations are "We are all of us in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars" (Oscar Wilde) and "If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the kind of people he gives it to." (Unknown).
      If he could invite anyone he wished to a hypothetical dinner party, Fry would invite Oscar Wilde, for his wit and charm, and Queen Elizabeth I, because she was also very witty and an extraordinary woman.
      If he had a time machine, Fry would travel to London during the Regency era (1811-1820) because the combination of style, language, and energy appeals to him.

    • Awards:
      In 2002, Stephen won a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by the Cast of a Theatrical Motion Picture for the movie Gosford Park. Fry played Inspector Thompson, and the movie itself won the Best Ensemble/Cast awards from the Screen Actors Guild, the International Press Academy Satellite Awards, the Online Film Critics Society, Florida Film Critics Circle, and Broadcast Film Critics Association.
      Stephen Fry's c FM show The Incomplete and Utter History of cal Mustic with Stephen Fry was nominated for a "Sony Radio Award" in 2003.
      Fry received the BAFTA TV Award (the British equivalent of the Emmys) nominations for Best Entertainment Performance for his work on the show QI in both 2004 and 2005.
      Stephen was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2007 British Comedy Awards.
      Stephen Fry's The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive won Best Documentary in the 2007 Emmy Awards.

      Nominations:
      Fry was nominated for the Best Actor Golden Globe for his performance as Oscar Wilde, the title role in Wilde (1997). For that performance, he won the Best Actor award at Seattle International Film Festival, and was nominated for awards from the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film and the International Press Academy Satellite Awards.
      Bright Young Things (2003), Fry's directorial debut, was nominated for awards from the British Independent Film Awards and the Emden International Film Festival. Fry also produced the movie; wrote the screenplay, adapted from the Evelyn Waugh novel Vile Bodies; and wrote one of the songs for the film.
      Stephen was nominated in two categories in the 2007 Television BAFTAs - Best Entertainment Performance for QI but lost out to Jonathan Ross, and Best Factual Series for The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive but lost out to Ross Kemp on Gangs.

    • The title of Fry's autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot, is from the Bible verse Psalms 108:9, "Moab is my washpot; over Edom will I cast out my shoe; over Philistia will I triumph." The verse refers to the victories of King David and the Israelites over those nations, and has the more general meaning of how vanquished difficulties can revive and refresh a person.

    • Stephen writes in the second volume of his autobiography,The Fry Chronicles (2010): "[I am] only 90 per cent gay which is of course pretty damned gay but every now and again on my path through life I have met a woman in the ten per cent bracket."

    • Stephen claims the UK record for saying 'f**k' on television most times in one live broadcast.

    • Stephen narrates the audiobook versions (British releases) of the wildly popular Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.
      In May 2008, it was announced that Stephen was to read the audio version of new Paddington Bear books.

    • Preferences and hobbies:
      Stephen Fry revealed his secret pleasures in Guilty, a programme shown by the BBC to celebrate his 50th birthday. Those include Countdown, Darts, ABBA, Georgette Heyer and Farley's Rusks.
      Stephen Fry is also an avid Conan Doyle fan, especially of Sherlock Holmes. He is a member of London's Sherlock Holmes and Oscar Wilde societies. Also, when he appeared on Mastermind his specialist subject was Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.
      Stephen Fry is regarded in the UK as "Britain's Favourite Teddy Bear" and is a keen teddy bear collector himself. He also co-founded the Bear Rescue Foundation with Nick Green, a charitable trust to rescue and nurture distressed bears.
      He admits to be a MAC fanatic, Usenet lurker, and a Internet enthusiast.
      Stephen Fry is a noted pilot, owns a classic biplane, and is a charter member of the Groucho Club (Soho).
      He is a major cricket fan.
      Stephen Fry is regularly seen smoking a pipe.

    • Stephen is 6' 4½" (1.94 m) tall and has blue eyes and brown hair.

  • Quotes

    • Stephen Fry: It's not called social change or heavy debate, it's called twitter. I mean the clue is in the name.

    • Stephen Fry: (when asked about his character in Kingdom, who is single) I think the fact that I'm so well known to be gay makes it very difficult to have a convincing relationship with a woman on screen. (He then went on to comment on people congratulating straight actors playing gay roles, and how the reverse is never true.) It wouldn't be at all difficult for me to kiss a woman - I'll kiss a frog if you like. It's difficult to ride bareback backwards while unicycling, but to kiss someone isn't difficult. It's just part of the insanely irrational way that the human mind works.

    • Stephen Fry: (on his partner Daniel Cohen's culinary skills) He is very good indeed, he does Simon Hopkinson's wonderful roast chicken, with his own variations. Lamb with anchovy, which is very good. And I call him the world's premier saladeer, he is an incredible maker of salads and dressings. He'll find a pomegranate, carrot, and a piece of bread and he'll somehow make a salad out of them that is just delicious.

    • Stephen Fry: (on his guest appearance on Bones) My agent in America asked if I would do this series, Bones, which I have to confess I hadn't heard of, but they sent round a DVD and I watched it and it seemed very charming.

    • Stephen Fry: QI isn't really about pointless information, or shoring up vast banks of trivia, It's about finding undiscovered connections and seeing hidden patterns, just like the best comedy. It ought to become a cherished institution - Have I Got News for You with added fibre - and looking at a bestseller list headed by Bill Bryson and Ben Schott, I have feeling it will find its level as their TV counterpart very quickly. After all, curiosity is hardwired in all of us; we just lose the ability to indulge it.

    • Stephen Fry: (when confronted that he was being asked to run as a Member of Parliament) And I always said no. And the reason I said no was that I like being able to speak my mind. My observation of friends of mine who went into politics, and people I have met who have been in politics, is that charming as they can be in private, and charming as they can be round a dinner table, or in any other circumstance, the moment a camera or a microphone is in front of them they have to. And it is not their fault, it is not through some sort of disease, they have to retreat to a kind of blandness, they can't actually say what they think, they can't even make a light joke without offending a quarter of the population.

    • Stephen Fry: (on his bipolar mood swings) For some of us, and I'm one, the highs and the creativity from that and the excitement and the thrill of being in an elevated mood does, in the long-term, make up for the downs. But it won't be worth it if in two weeks time I go and kill myself.

    • Stephen Fry: (on his travels in Peru) It has changed my fear of making such journeys. I think of myself as at home in a large armchair, writing, smoking cigarettes, and occasionally wandering down to the shop. But I thrived on the experience, which has given me a taste to do a lot more.

    • Stephen Fry: (on British actors receiving US awards, like Academy Awards and Golden Globes) I shouldn't be saying this - high treason, really - but I sometimes wonder if Americans aren't fooled by our accent into detecting brilliance that may not really be there.

    • Stephen Fry: (on "Paddington Bear", which inspired his trip to Peru and his interest in the spectacled bear) I've always had great respect for Paddington because he is amusingly English and eccentric. He is a great British institution and my generation grew up with the books and then Michael Horden's animations.

    • Stephen Fry: It's rather splendid to think of all those great men and women who appear to have presented symptoms that allow us to describe them as bipolar. Whether it's Hemingway, Van Gogh... Robert Schumann has been mentioned... Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath... some of them with rather grim ends.

    • Stephen Fry: Taste every fruit of every tree in the garden at least once. It is an insult to creation not to experience it fully. Temperance is wickedness.

    • Stephen Fry: (when asked what sign he would be if he could create his own zodiac) Skepsis. I am a true skeptic, born under the noble sign of skepsis, the sign of the man who knows that all astrology is absolutely and without reservation the bullest of bullsh*t that ever there was. It is a senseless delusion that does not even have the benefit of being harmless fun. It is a harmful bore. Harmful to the human spirit, harmful to the dignity and wonder of the real universe and the real power of the mind to think for itself. I hate astrology with a fervor that is almost frightening.

    • Stephen Fry: (on what he would like to mark his grave) An iMac computer on whose screen were a pair of tragedy and comedy masks, below it crossed cricket bats resting on a pile of books. I think that would more or less do.

    • Stephen Fry: (on the day in his life he would be most eager to replay) I think the day I met Hugh Laurie and we started writing straight away. We were both students and had no idea it might lead to anything, it was just fun and delightful.

    • Stephen Fry: (on the side he would be on, were he to appear in Star Wars) Definitely the dark side. Better lines, better costumes, better music, and better opportunities to show off. Just what an actor likes best really.

    • Stephen Fry: (on his least favorite words) "Hopefully" and "disinterested" are nearly always used wrongly and, although it's silly to be pedantic, it annoys me. But the worst is "energy" when used in a meaningless, new-age sort of way, as in "positive energy" and all that arse-wallop.

    • Stephen Fry: (on his writing) I get an urge, like a pregnant elephant, to go away and give birth to a book.

    • Stephen Fry: (on when he realized that he was gay) It all began when I came out 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."

    • Stephen Fry: It only takes a room of Americans for the English and Australians to realise how much we have in common.

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