Stephen Fry is a national treasure, and by national treasure, I actually mean “national (bleeping) treasure.” He is not only an incredible actor, comedian, colleague of a Mr. Hugh Laurie, and brilliant host of QI, but he is also a whole multitude of things. His latest works have also benefited bipolar sufferers, the re-education of America, and the tech savvy. Here are 10 things I love about Stephen Fry.
1. Stephen Fry’s documentary work. Stephen Fry has worked — and starred in — several documentaries, including Who Do You Think You Are? (a poignant look into his Jewish ancestry) and The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, an Emmy-award winning documentary exploring the issues surrounding Bipolar Disorder. His latest documentary, Stephen Fry in America, explored the culture and history of all 50 states. His documentary work is what I love most about Stephen Fry, even if his intent was to educate, not amuse.
2. Stephen Fry’s Twitter. Stephen Fry may be a closeted “techie” — at least, you wouldn’t expect him to be interested in the Internet — but he regularly updates and visits several popular websites, including the microblogging website Twitter.com. He personally updates his Twitter with snippets from his daily life, including professional news, personal thoughts, and amusing “twitterings”. This isn’t what I love about Stephen Fry’s Twitter the most, however. He also personally responds to tweets. With nearly 160,000 followers watching his every move, this is quite an accomplishment — he has even set up a Twitter FAQ on his blog, which explains what and what not to expect from his Twitter.
3. Stephen Fry speaks German. He’s also quite good. Ich liebe deine Deutsch, Herr Fry!
4. Stephen Fry’s work to legitimately recognize Bipolar Disorder as a serious illness. Since his diagnosis in 1995, Stephen Fry has publicly talked about his ordeal with Bipolar Disorder, officially recorded in his documentary The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, which won an Emmy in 2006. His documentary revealed the possible causes — and treatments — for bipolar disorder, along with several interviews with high profile bipolar sufferers, including Carrie Fisher and Richard Dreyfuss. He even discussed his own battle with Bipolar Disorder and how he copes with it. Fry’s public coverage of Bipolar Disorder is perhaps one of the more important reasons why I love Stephen Fry (in a platonic sort of way, of course).
5. Stephen Fry is a positive role model for gays and lesbians. Although he is quiet about his homosexuality, Fry is vocal when it comes to prejudices against gays and lesbians, and even made strong remarks against homophobic Christians on his quiz show QI. The entire gay community certainly applauds him for his efforts, and his outstanding work in acting, writing, and being just Fry has championed respect for homosexuals all around the world.
6. Stephen Fry was almost American. In his documentary Stephen Fry in America, Fry revealed he almost became American, due to a job prospect offered to his father. Luckily he turned it down, but it’s fun to ponder what could have been. For those who don’t like to ponder, Fry did Stephen Fry in America, which delved into the idiosyncrasies, habits, histories, and curious cultures of American life.
7. Stephen Fry is a bloody good writer. Additionally, he has received national acclaim for his books, including his autobiography Moab is My Washpot. He also wrote The Ode Less Traveled: Unlocking the Poet Within, a guide for writing poetry and prose. Fry has a degree in English literature, so he does know what he’s talking about — if his witty commentary didn’t win you over already, that is. Personally, I love Fry’s book The Hippopotamus, followed by his autobiography Moab is My Washpot.
8. Stephen Fry is deeply passionate about technology. Fry also claims he bought the second Macintosh computer ever sold (the first was bought by the author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy). His official blog also includes reviews and Fryisms concerning various digital items, including digital cameras and the dreaded Wii. I love Stephen Fry’s “Dork Talk” columns, which discusses digital finds and typical Fry thoughts, and his column is also featured in The Guardian. If you’re a techie — and chances are you probably are — reading his blog is a real treat. No annoying celebrity meltdowns or diva-esque behaviors included.
9. Stephen Fry was perfect being “Wilde”. Oscar Wilde, that is. He famously played the late dramatist and novelist in the movie Wilde, which explored the rise — and downfall — of his life as a celebrated wit, author, and closeted homosexual. Fry was the perfect match for Wilde, who himself is considered the Wilde of this generation. Playing Wilde was probably the role that truly demonstrated Fry’s incredible ability to emulate.
This brings us to my last point about what I love about Stephen Fry, however, and it is…
10. Stephen Fry looks absolutely darling in a pair of spectacles. But that’s just me. Check it out for yourself — personally, I think he looks very fetching.
Dan Weddell, “WDYTYA? Series Two: Celebrity Gallery” (BBC.COM)
Anonymous, “Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive” (BBC.COM)
Tim Dowling and Elliot Smith, “I Was So Nearly An American (Video)” (The Guardian)
Stephen Fry, “Twitter” (StephenFry.com)
Stephen Fry, “Stephen Fry in America” (StephenFry.com)
Stephen Fry, “Welcome to Dork Talk” (The Guardian)