Stephen Fry reveals he attempted suicide in 2012

Stephen Fry: "I took a huge number of pills" in 2012 suicide attempt

Related Stories

Stephen Fry has revealed he had to be brought back to the UK to be "looked after" last year after attempting suicide while filming abroad.

In an interview for Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, Fry said: "I took a huge number of pills and a huge [amount] of vodka."

The actor revealed his producer found him in an "unconscious state".

Fry, who has bipolar disorder, has discussed his struggle with mental health issues in the past.

During the recording with Herring, in front of a live audience at the central London theatre, Fry said it was the first time he had said in public that he is "not always happy".

"I am the victim of my own moods, more than most people are perhaps, in as much as I have a condition which requires me to take medication so that I don't get either too hyper or too depressed to the point of suicide."


Fry was filming a two-part BBC Two documentary at the time, which sees him confronting anti-gay campaigners in Russia and Uganda.


  • Previously known as manic depression, it is a condition that causes extreme mood swings
  • People with the condition have periods of depression where they feel low and lethargic - and mania where they feel very high and overactive

Due to be broadcast later this year, Stephen Fry - Out There also features him meeting campaigners in the US who claim to be able to "cure" homosexuality.

Fry revealed the incident took place in a hotel room, adding the mixture of drugs and alcohol "made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs".

"It was a close-run thing," he said.

"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 told the audience that in light of his role as president of the mental health charity, Mind, he wanted to be open about his feelings.

"The whole point in my role, as I see it, is not to be shy and forthcoming about the morbidity and genuine nature of the likelihood of death amongst people with certain mood disorders."

He said there is "no reason" for someone wanting to take their own life.

"There is no 'why', it's not the right question. There's no reason. If there were a reason for it, you could reason someone out of it, and you could tell them why they shouldn't take their own life," he said.

The actor and comedian attempted suicide after walking out of the West End play Cell Mates in 1995 - an event he recounted in a documentary for BBC Two called The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.

The actor made his return to the West End stage in November 2012 as Malvolio in Twelfth Night.

He will feature in the Lord of the Rings prequel, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as Mayor of Laketown, due for release in December.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Entertainment & Arts stories



  • OrangemanPunctured pride?

    How would N Ireland's Orangemen feel if Scotland left the union?

  • Sheep on Achill IslandMass exodus

    Why hundreds of thousands of people have left Ireland

  • MarchionessThames tragedy

    Survivors and victims' families remember Marchioness disaster

  • A teenaged mother in the Zaatari campUntold misery

    The plight of Syria's refugee child brides

  • Michael MosleyMeat feast?

    Which is the best eco option - eating beef, chicken or mussels?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.