Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957) is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, poet, comedian, television presenter and film director, and a director of Norwich City Football Club. He first came to attention in the 1981 Cambridge Footlights Revue presentation “The Cellar Tapes”, which also included Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson and Tony Slattery. With Hugh Laurie, as the comedy double act Fry and Laurie, he co-wrote and co-starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie, and the duo also played the title roles in Jeeves and Wooster.
As a solo actor, Fry played the lead in the film Wilde, was Melchett in the BBC television series Blackadder, starred as the title character Peter Kingdom in the ITV series Kingdom, and is the host of the quiz show QI. He also presented a 2008 television series Stephen Fry in America, which saw him travelling across all 50 U.S. states in six episodes. Fry has a recurring guest role as Dr. Gordon Wyatt on the Fox crime series Bones.
Apart from his work in television, Fry has contributed columns and articles for newspapers and magazines, and has written four novels and two volumes of autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot and The Fry Chronicles. He also appears frequently on BBC Radio 4, starring in the comedy series Absolute Power, being a frequent guest on panel games such as Just a Minute, and acting as chairman for I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, where he was one of a trio of hosts who succeeded the late Humphrey Lyttelton. Fry is also known in the UK for his audiobook recordings, including as reader for all seven Harry Potter novels.
Having made his film debut in the 1985 film The Good Father, Fry had a brief appearance in A Fish Called Wanda (in which he is knocked out by Kevin Kline, who is posing as an airport security man) and then appeared in the lead role for Kenneth Branagh’s Peter’s Friends in 1992. In the 1994 romantic comedy film I.Q., he played the role of James Moreland. Portraying Oscar Wilde (a man of whom he had been a fan since the age of 13) in the 1997 film Wilde, he fulfilled to critical acclaim a role that he has said he was “born to play”. A year later, Fry starred in David Yates’ small independent film The Tichborne Claimant, and in 2001 he played the detective in Robert Altman’s period costume drama, Gosford Park. In the same year he also appeared in the Dutch film The Discovery of Heaven, directed by Jeroen Krabbé and based on the novel by Harry Mulisch.
In 2003, Fry made his directorial debut with Bright Young Things, adapted by himself from Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies. In 2001, he began hosting the BAFTA Film Awards, a role from which he stepped down in 2006. Later that same year, he wrote the English libretto and dialogue for Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of The Magic Flute.
Fry continues to make regular film appearances, notably in treatments of literary cult classics. He portrayed Maurice Woodruff in The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, served as narrator in the 2005 film version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and in 2005 he appeared in both A Cock and Bull Story, based on Tristram Shandy, and as a non-conforming TV Presenter who challenges the fascist state in V for Vendetta. In 2006, he played the role of gadget-master Smithers in Stormbreaker, and in 2007 he appeared as himself hosting a quiz in St Trinian’s. In 2007, Fry wrote a script for a remake of The Dam Busters for director Peter Jackson.
In 2008, he participated in a film celebrating the 25th anniversary of GNU, Happy Birthday to GNU. Fry was offered a role in Valkyrie but was unable to participate. Fry starred in the Tim Burton version of Alice in Wonderland, as the voice of The Cheshire Cat. He will play Mycroft Holmes in the sequel to Sherlock Holmes directed by Guy Ritchie. In 2010, Fry provided the voice of Socrates the Lion in the environmental animated film Animals United. He will portray the Master of Lake-town in the 2012 film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.