Actor, comedian, novelist, columnist, noted wit, vocal gay rights advocate, and general bon vivant, Stephen Fry is nothing if not one of the more versatile and outspoken talents to come along in the latter half of the 20th century. Since beginning his creative partnership with Hugh Laurie in 1981, Fry has become a fixture on British television with programs such as A Bit of Fry and Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. In addition, he has made a number of films and established himself as a respected commentator on the various happenings in British society.
Born in London on August 24, 1957, Fry was the second of three children born to a homemaker mother and physicist/investor father. The family moved to Norfolk when Fry was very young and he was sent off for a public school education at the age of eight. Over the course of his education, first at Uppingham and then at Stout's Hill, Fry got into lavish amounts of trouble thanks to his tendency to lie, cheat, and steal, a habit that would land him in jail for three months when he was 18. After serving time at Pucklechurch prison for credit card fraud, Fry began to turn his life around, beginning with an acceptance to Queens College, Cambridge. It was at Cambridge that he began doing comedy, performing with the legendary Cambridge University Footlights Club (previously home to various Monty Python members, among others). Other Footlighters at the time included Emma Thompson, Tony Slattery, and Hugh Laurie, the last of whom was introduced to Fry by Thompson.