Stephen Fry

Born: August 24, 1957, Hampstead

Occupation: Comedian, Actor, Writer, Newspaper Columnist, Broadcaster and Film Director

Challenges overcome: Bipolar disorder

Successes, Achievements & Awards:

Stephen Fry is an actor, comedian and Non-Fiction, Fiction and Drama writer born in Hampstead London in 1957. Stephen Fry was brought up in Norfolk and studied English Literature at Queens College, Cambridge from 1979 Joining the Footlights Dramatic Club where he met Hugh Laurie, with whom he forged a highly successful writing partnership. His first Play, Latin! Or Tobacco and Boys, written for Footlights, won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival in 1980. He wrote again for theatre in 1984 when he rewrote Noel Gay’s musical Me and My Girl (1990) He is well known for his role in popular TV shows such as Blackadder, A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. He has also had many roles in feature films, radio and theatre.

He has written four novels and two autobiographies and frequently uses his popularity on social media to promote charities. Stephen hosts the popular comedy quiz show QI on the BBC.  Stephen was awarded a lifetime achievement award in cultural humanism by the humanist chaplainry at Harvard University in 2011.Stephen Fry is an outspoken activist for LGBT rights and mental health awareness and has made a documentary about bipolar and mental health in the UK in 2006; ‘The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive’.

Stephen Fry has also written for television and screen, and as a newspaper columnist – for the Literary Review, Daily Telegraph and The Listener.

Stephen Fry’s four novels are The Liar (1991), The Hippopotamus (1994), Making History (1996) and The Stars’ Tennis Balls (2000). He has also published a collection of work entitled Paperweight (1992); and Rescuing the Spectacled Bear: A Peruvian Journey (2002) – his diary of the making of a documentary on the plight of the spectacled bears of Peru. His book Stephen Fry in America was published in 2008. He is also the author of two books of autobiography – Moab Is My Washpot (1997) and The Fry Chronicles (2010).

Challenges Overcome

Stephen was diagnosed with bipolar at the age of 37, but had experienced mental health issues for most of his life. He is an active spokesperson for mental health issues and believes public awareness is essential to help people.

He suffered a nervous breakdown in 1995 and has had several suicide attempts. In 2012, Stephen began taking medications in an attempt to take control of his bipolar for the first time.

Disability Definitions

Bipolar Disorder

Bipolar disorder, also known as bipolar affective disorder (and originally called manic-depressive illness), is a mental disorder characterised by periods of elevated mood and periods of depression. The elevated mood is significant and is known as mania or hypomania depending on the severity or whether there is psychosis. During mania an individual feels or acts abnormally happy, energetic, or irritable. They often make poorly thought out decisions with little regard to the consequences. The need for sleep is usually reduced. During periods of depression there may be crying, poor eye contact with others, and a negative outlook on life.

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Information sources:

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Stephen Fry. (2015, March 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 13:38, April 2, 2015, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Stephen_Fry&oldid=654278108



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