Having seen nothing of Fry as an actor, I tend to think of him as a novelist and memoirist first. He's not so damn bad at it, either, although he has an ugly habit of tacking mawkishly happy endings onto otherwise pleasingly savage novels. He's funny as hell, he's obscene, and he can write. Highly recommended.

In roughly chronological order, he's written the following:
  1. The Liar, a novel
  2. Paperweight, a collection of essays, rants, etc.
  3. The Hippopotamus, a novel
  4. Making History, a novel
  5. Moab Is My Washpot, a memoir
  6. The Stars' Tennis Balls, a novel
I can recommend all of the above except Making History, which is still on my new arrivals shelf. Those with tender sensibilities should be aware that there's sex in most of the above, and much of the sex is the kind without girls, so, like, don't say I didn't warn you.

Much later: I've since read Making History. It didn't change my life but it's good, up until the usual depressingly happy ending.

Even much later . . . er: Okay, he's got a new one called The Stars' Tennis Balls. We'll have to have a look at that . . . won't we?!
In case you Stateside people dont know him, Stephen Fry is a British actor, comedian and novelist and very well known in the UK.

I was walking to my office in Soho (London, not NYC) and turn the corner only to bump straight into a large sized man chatting jovially into a mobile phone. I am not short, but my head hit him just above his chest. Anyway, I look up, straight into the face of someone I grew up watching on the Blackadder series. Not a good way to meet someone who's work I respect very much. Especially when he has to stop the conversation with the Important Person on the Other Side to say "Ooops, terribly sorry" in a very proper British lilt. In a moment of clarity, I said "No problem, Stephen.." like he was a friend of mine or I was just used to half tackling celebrities in the street. I hurriedly sought solace in my office before the cops showed up.

British comedian, cricket fan, novelist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and actor Stephen John Fry was born on the 24th August 1957 in Hampstead, London to Marianne Fry and physicist/inventor Alan Fry.

He was brought up in the rural wilds of Norfolk, and started his education at Cawston Primary School, but at the age of seven he was sent to Stout's Hill School, following in the footsteps of his elder brother, Roger. He moved on Uppingham School to where he developed his loathing of physical activity, and his unhappiness at school caused things to start going downhill. Stephen started honing his already spectacular talent for lying and spoke to no one about his confused feelings for other boys. He was violently raped by an older boy, and was suspended for stealing from the school Matron's handbag, the only time this chronic thief actually got caught before his criminal career culminated in him spending three months in Pucklechurch prison for credit card fraud.

After his release he completed his education at The Norfolk College of Arts and Technology and then worked as a schoolmaster for a year in a local prep school. He was accepted to study at Queens College, Cambridge in 1979, from where he graduated with a 2:1 in English. Whilst attending Cambridge he was a member of the notorious Cherubs drinking club, and the Cambridge Footlights, alongside Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Emma Thompson, as well as writing his first play, called Latin! or Tobacco and Boys, set in an old-fashioned English preparatory school.

After his graduation, Fry went on to pursue a prolific writing partnership with Hugh Laurie began in 1981 with the Footlights revues, and in 1984, he won the part of Lord Melchett in the second series of Blackadder, In the same year he was commissioned to do the rewrite of the Noel Gay musical "Me and My Girl", which made him a millionaire before the age of 30. He returned in the fourth series of Blackadder where he played the clinically insane General Melchett.

In 1986 Stephen and Hugh continued working together, appearing on Saturday Night, Live which led to creating the hit double act, A Bit of Fry & Laurie, which first aired as a half hour show in December 1987. The first six-part series aired in 1989, with new series in 1990, 1991 and 1995. It has been described as ‘A unique blend of sophisticated linguistic banter, musical jokes, mockery of the man in the street, satire and sharply humourous characterisations’, and was an immediate hit

The success continued with Jeeves and Wooster, based on the works of P.G. Wodehouse, where the duo stuck together, with Laurie playing the non-stop socializing upper-class feather-brained Bertie Wooster and Fry taking the part of Jeeves the commanding and dry witted valet. At the time this was one of their most successful works, but the irony is that they almost turned it down for fear of becoming typecast. There were four series of the show, which aired in Britain in 1990, 1991, 1992 and 1993, and in the U.S. in 1990, 1992, 1993 and 1995.

In 1995, Stephen became Rector of Dundee University, and later on that year he hit the headlines when he absconded and disappeared shortly before he was due to perform alongside Rik Mayall in Simon Gray's play Cell Mates in London's West End after suffering a nervous breakdown after consistently bad reviews. It transpired that he had taken a ferry to Zeebrugge and travelled through Belgium, Holland, and to Germany, to escape the pressures of work and media attention.

The role for which he was lauded by the ‘serious’ acting world was for his definitive portrait of his nineteenth century alter ego, Oscar Wilde, in Wilde (1997). The role is thought to have prompted him to change his claim that he was gay but celibate, and it was a relief to all his friends when Stephen acquired a boyfriend.

When asked what he is most proud in his career, he claims that it is his UK record for saying 'fuck' on television most times in one live broadcast.

Stephen Fry’s Filmography

Thunderpants (2002)
The Discovery of Heaven (2001) .... Onno
Gosford Park (2001)
Comic Relief Presents Have I Got Buzzcocks All Over (2001) (TV) .... Himself
Comic Relief: Say Pants to Poverty (2001) (TV) .... Himself
Comic Relief Short Pants (2001) (TV) .... Himself
Baddiel's Syndrome (2001) TV Series .... The Psychiatrist
Londinium (2000) .... Nigel Steele (Therapist)
Sabotage! (2000) .... Wellington
Relative Values (2000) .... Crestwell
Best (2000) .... Frazer Crane
Gormenghast (2000) (mini) TV Series .... Professor Bellgrove
Longitude (2000) (TV) .... Sir Kenhelm Digby
Fire Island (1999) TV Series .... Narrator
Watership Down (1999) TV Series (voice) .... Cowslip
The Nearly Complete and Utter History of Everything(1999) (TV) .... Himself
The Comedy Trail: A Shaggy Dog Story(1999) (TV) .... Himself
Blackadder Back and Forth (1999) .... Bishop Flavius Melchett/Melchett/General Melchecus/Welligton
Whatever Happened to Harold Smith? (1999) .... Dr. Peter Robinson
The Magician's House (1999) (TV) (voice) .... Jasper the Owl
The Book Quiz (1998) (TV) .... Himself
Live from the Lighthouse (1998) (TV) .... Himself
The Tichborne Claimant (1998) .... Hawkins
A Civil Action(1998) .... Pinder
A Royal Birthday Celebration (1998) (TV)
In the Red (1998) (TV) .... Controller, Radio 2
Spice World (1997) .... Judge
Wilde (1997) .... Oscar Wilde
The Wind in the Willows (1996/I) .... The Judge
Laughter and Loathing (1995) (TV) .... Juvenal
Cold Comfort Farm (1995) (TV) .... Mybug
I.Q. (1994) .... James Moreland
The Steal(1994) .... Wimborne
A Christmas Night with the Stars (1958) TV Series .... Host (1994)
Stalag Luft (1993) (TV) .... James Forrester
Comic Relief: The Invasion of the Comic Tomatoes (1993) (TV) .... Himself
Peter's Friends (1992) .... Peter Morton
Common Pursuit (1992) (TV) .... Humphrey
Mr. Roadrunner (1991) (TV) .... Narrator
Jeeves and Wooster (1990) TV Series .... Reginald Jeeves (1990-1993)
Blackadder Goes Forth (1989) TV Series .... General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett
A Night of Comic Relief 2 (1989) (TV) .... Himself
Old Flames (1989) (TV) .... Daniel Davenport
A Bit of Fry and Laurie (1989) TV Series .... Himself/Various (1989-1995)
This Is David Lander (1988) TV Series .... David Lander
Blackadder's Christmas Carol (1988) (TV) .... Lord Melchett/Frondo
A Handful of Dust (1988) .... Reggie
A Fish Called Wanda (1988) .... Hatchison
Blackadder: The Cavalier Years (1988) (TV) .... King Charles
The Good Father(1987) .... Creighton
Kung-Fu Master (1987) (archive footage) (uncredited) .... Himself
The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987)
The Laughing Prisoner (1987) (TV) .... No. 2
Saturday Night Live (1986) TV Series .... Himself/Various
Dangerous Brothers Present: World of Danger (1986) (V)
Blackadder II (1986) TV Series .... Lord Melchett
Happy Families (1985) TV Series .... Dr. De Quincy
Alfresco (1983) TV Series .... Various roles

Moab is My Washpot - fantastic book, go and buy it

Aside from his careers as an actor and a novelist, Stephen Fry is known for his readings of the British audiobook editions of the Harry Potter novels. Contrasted to fellow British thespian Jim Dale's performances of the American editions, Fry comes across as substantially more reserved, and with different portrayals for certain characters (most notably Severus Snape and Draco Malfoy).

Stephen Fry's reading of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was broadcast for a solid, history-making 8 1/2 hours over BBC radio on Boxing Day, 2000. Said BBC Radio 4 's controller in an NPR Weekend All Things Considered interview, "I got an email today saying my three children told us they won't be available on Boxing Day, because they're planning their day around Harry Potter."

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