British actor Stephen Fry reveals he attempted suicide last year
British actor Stephen Fry revealed on Wednesday that he attempted suicide last year.
The actor, comedian and writer, best known for his role in the long-running BBC comedy “Blackadder”, said he had taken a cocktail of pills and alcohol while filming abroad and was only saved because his producer discovered him unconscious in his hotel room.
“It was a close run thing,” the 55-year-old told comedian Richard Herring in a podcast interview transcribed on the British Comedy Guide website.
“I took a huge number of pills and a huge (amount) of vodka and the mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs, but I was still unconscious.
“And, fortunately, the producer I was filming with at the time came into the hotel room and I was found in a sort of unconscious state and taken back to England and looked after.”
Fry has spoken publicly of his struggle with manic depression and bipolar disorder.
He said he had decided to speak out about the suicide attempt as part of his role as president of the British mental health charity Mind.
He previously attempted suicide in 1995 after walking out of a play, and later talked at length about this dark time in a BBC documentary, “The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive”.
Describing some of the symptoms of his bipolar disorder in the new interview, he said: “If un-medicated, there are times when I am so exuberant, so hyper, that I can go three or four nights without sleeping.
“I’m writing and I’m doing stuff and I’m so grandiose and so full of self-belief that it’s almost impossible to deal with me.”
But he said there were often times during the filming of his comedy panel show QI — which he has hosted for a decade — when he laughed for the cameras but thought, “I want to die.”
Fry, one of Britain’s best known entertainers, has starred in several films including “V for Vendetta” and “Wilde”, in which he played his hero Oscar Wilde.
He is a prolific user of Twitter, where he has more than eight million followers.