(8 Jan 1941 – 4 Oct 1989)
Graham Arthur Chapman was an English comedian, writer, actor, author, and one of the six members of the British surreal comedy group Monty Python. He played authority figures such as the Colonel and the lead role in two Python films, Holy Grail and Life of Brian.
Chapman was born in Leicester and was raised in Melton Mowbray. He enjoyed science, acting, and comedy, and after graduating from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and St Bartholomew's Medical College, he turned down a career as a doctor to be a comedian. Chapman eventually established a writing partnership with John Cleese, which reached its critical peak with Monty Python in the 1970s. Chapman subsequently left Britain for Los Angeles, where he attempted to be a success on American television, speaking on the college circuit and producing the pirate film Yellowbeard, before returning to Britain in the early 1980s.
In his personal life, Chapman was openly homosexual and a strong supporter of gay rights, and was in a relationship with David Sherlock. He was an alcoholic during his time at Cambridge and the Python years, quitting shortly before working on Life of Brian. Chapman died of tonsil and spinal cancer on 4 October 1989, on the eve of Monty Python's 20th anniversary, and his life and legacy were commemorated at a private memorial service at St Bartholomew's with the other five Pythons.
Chapman published his memoirs, A Liar's Autobiography, in 1980, choosing the title because he said "it's almost impossible to tell the truth". He became involved with the extreme sports club Dangerous Sports Club, which popularised bungee jumping. Chapman was scheduled to perform a bungee jump himself, but it was cancelled due to safety concerns. [Read more]
Chapman was photographed numerous times while smoking his pipe.
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