Tongue Tied

Anthony Declan James "Tony" Slattery (born 9 November 1959) is an English actor and comedian.


Slattery was born in Stonebridge, north London, into a working-class background, the fifth and last child of Irish immigrants, Michael and Margaret Slattery. He was much younger than his sister, Marlene, and his triplet brothers, Christopher, Michael and Stephen, and he tended to be a loner. He achieved a black belt in judo before he was 16. He was educated at Gunnersbury Boys' Grammar School in west London and won a scholarship to study Modern and Medieval Languages at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, specialising in French literature and Spanish poetry.

At the University of Cambridge, Slattery discovered a love of the theatre, taking delight in making people laugh. He met Stephen Fry, who invited him to join the Cambridge Footlights. Other members at that time included Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Sandi Toksvig and Richard Vranch. In 1981, Slattery, Fry, Laurie, Thompson and Toksvig won the inaugural Perrier Award for their revue The Cellar Tapes. The following year, Slattery was made President of the Footlights. During his tenure, the touring annual revue was Premises Premises.

In the mid-1990s, after leaving Whose Line Is It Anyway?, Slattery suffered what he described as a "mid-life crisis" – triggered by excessive drinking and cocaine use (spending up to £4,000 per week on the drug) – culminating in 1996 with a six-month period as a recluse, during which he did not answer his door or telephone, "or open bills, or wash... I just sat". Eventually, one of his friends broke down the door of his flat and persuaded him to go to hospital. He was diagnosed as suffering from bipolar disorder. He discussed this period and his subsequent living with the disorder in a 2006 documentary made by Stephen Fry, The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, claiming that he spent time living in a warehouse and "throwing [his] furniture into the Thames". He has said "I’m happily described as gay," and has been in a relationship with the actor Mark Michael Hutchinson since 1986.


He has appeared on British television regularly since the mid-1980s, most notably as a regular on the Channel 4 improvisation show Whose Line Is It Anyway? His serious and comedic film work has included roles in The Crying Game, Peter's Friends, and How to Get Ahead in Advertising.


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Selected Filmography