World-renowned British comedian Stephen Fry spoke out for the first time this week about a recent suicide attempt that nearly resulted in his untimely demise.
Fry revealed the incident to fellow comic Richard Herring during the latter's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast, which was recorded this past Monday in front of a live audience.
In response to a 12-year-old's question about "what it's like being Stephen Fry," the man best known for being the Oliver Hardy to Hugh Laurie's Stan Laurel opened up about trying to end his life while shooting on location last year.
"It was a close-run thing," Fry said. "I took a huge number of pills and a huge amount of vodka. The mixture of them made my body convulse so much that I broke four ribs – but I was still unconscious."
Luckily for Fry and his adoring fans, the film's producer entered his hotel room just in time to rush him to a hospital and save his life.
Though he made a full recovery, Fry, who suffers from bipolar disorder, said he still struggles with thoughts of suicide.
"You may say, 'How can anybody who’s got it all be so stupid as to want to end it all?'" Fry told the audience. "That’s the point, there is no 'why?' That’s not the right question. There is no reason. If there was reason for it, you could reason someone out of it."
Still, Fry felt it was necessary for him, as the president of the mental health charity Mind, to discuss his personal struggles in an open forum.
"[T]he whole point of my role, as I see it, is not to be shy about the morbidity and the genuine likelihood of death among people with certain mood disorders if they don’t look after it," he said.
Though he has exposed his most recent close call to light, Fry makes it clear that a darkness still resides in him.
Discussing what prevents him from following through on suicidal impulses, Fry said he imagines the expression on his parents' face, and that stops him.
"But there are other occasions when I can't stop myself," he said, "or at least I feel I can't."
[photo via AP]