Graham Chapman

Biography

Date of Birth 8 January 1941, Leicester, Leicestershire, England, UK Date of Death 4 October 1989, Maidstone, England, UK (spinal and throat cancer) Birth Name Graham Arthur Chapman Height 6' 2" (1.88 m) Graham Chapman was an English comedian, actor, writer and physician. He was one of the six Monty Python members and lead actor in their two narrative films, playing King Arthur in Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Brian in Life of Brian. Chapman was an alcoholic and was drinking heavily in the 1970s. It was his years of alcohol abuse and nicotine that would have a tragic effect on his body and ultimately claim his life. His drinking also affected his performance on the television recording set as well as on the set of Holy Grail. It was Christmas 1977 when he decided to stop drinking, and remarkably kept his word, which helped him with his performance in Life of Brian. Chapman kept his homosexuality a secret until the mid 1970s when he famously came out on a chat show hosted by British jazz musician George Melly, thus becoming one of the first celebrities to do so. Several days later, he came out to a group of friends at a party held at his home in Belsize Park where he officially introduced them to his partner, David Sherlock, whom he had met in Ibiza in 1966, and subsequently raised their son, John Tomiczek together. After Chapman made his homosexuality public, a member of the television audience wrote to the Pythons to complain that she had heard a member of the team was gay, and reminded Python that the bible recommends all homosexuals be stoned to death. With fellow Pythons already aware of his sexual orientation, Eric Idle replied, “Don't worry, we figured out who it was, dragged him outside, and stoned him.” Chapman was a vocal spokesman for gay rights, and in 1972 he lent his support to the fledgling newspaper the Gay News which publicly acknowledged his financial and editorial support by listing him as one of its ‘special friends’. Among Chapman's closest friends were Keith Moon of The Who, singer Harry Nilsson, and Beatle Ringo Starr. On his DVD in the set of Monty Python's favourite sketches, it was said that he was an incredibly odd man, who was not unknown to “crawl around on his knees at dinner parties and nibble the guests' knees.” Chapman died of pneumonia brought about by throat cancer, which had spread to his spine. He was diagnosed in November 1988 after visiting his dentist where a growth was found on his tonsils. Chapman was 48 at his death on 4 October 1989. Those at his side at the time of his passing were John Cleese, Michael Palin, David Sherlock, his brother John and John's wife. Cleese, who had never before seen anyone die, was overcome with grief and was escorted into another room.[citation needed] Terry Jones and Peter Cook visited earlier that day. Chapman's death occurred one day before the 20th anniversary of the first broadcast of Flying Circus with Jones commenting, “the worst case of party-pooping in all history.” A memorial service was held for Chapman in December 1989 in the Great Hall at St Bartholomew's Hospital. With Cleese delivering the eulogy, after his initial remarks, and using several expletives he scandalized the service as a final tribute to his former colleague shouting, “…good riddance to him, the freeloading bastard, I hope he fries!”[1] He explained that Chapman would have been offended had Cleese, the first person to say shit on British television, not used Chapman's own funeral as an opportunity to also become the first person at a British memorial service to use the word fuck. Afterward, Cleese joined Gilliam, Jones, and Palin along with Chapman's other friends as Eric Idle led them in a rendition of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” from the film, Monty Python's Life of Brian. Chapman's ashes were scattered over the summit of Snowdon, North Wales by David Sherlock on June 18, 2005. From Wikipedia

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Known For
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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

King Arthur / Voice of God / Middle Head / Hiccoughing Guard

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Monty Python's Life of Brian

Wise Man #2 / Brian Cohen / Biggus Dickus

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Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Chairman / Fish #1 / Doctor / Harry Blackitt / Wymer / Hordern / General / Coles / Narrator #2 / Dr. Livingstone / Transvestite / Eric / Guest #1 / Arthur Jarrett / Geoffrey / Tony Bennett

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Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different

Brother / British pedestrian / Mr. Harrison (Apricot) / Sergeant-Major / 'Hell's Grannies' policeman / Jimmy Blankensop / Sir Edward Ross / Restaurant patron #1 / Letter Writer / Oliver St. John Mollusk / Mountie / Town Guild Lady

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Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Barber #2 / Colin 'Bomber' Harris / Servant / Inspector / The Colonel / Yorkshireman #2 / Abuser / Lecturer / A humble woodcutter / Son / Mountie

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A Liar’s Autobiography

Graham Chapman / Narrator (voice)

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Iron Maiden: Visions of the Beast

Madman - in video 'Can I Play With Madness' (archive footage)

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How To Irritate People

Various

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At Last the 1948 Show

Various Characters (unknown episodes)

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Parrot Sketch Not Included: Twenty Years of Monty Python

Himself (cameo) / Various Roles (achive footage)

Starring In
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An Accidental Studio

(archive footage)

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Monty Python Live (Mostly)

The Colonel / Professor R.J. Canning / Batley Townswoman / Abe Seagull / Hegel / Tony Bennett (archive footage)

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A Liar’s Autobiography

Graham Chapman / Narrator (voice)

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Monty Python: Almost The Truth

Himself (unknown episodes)

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The Secret Life of Brian

Himself / Brian (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Iron Maiden: Visions of the Beast

Madman - in video 'Can I Play With Madness' (archive footage)

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The Life of Python

Various roles (archive footage) (uncredited)

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Monty Python's Flying Circus: Live at Aspen

Himself / Various Roles (archive footage)

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Parrot Sketch Not Included: Twenty Years of Monty Python

Himself (cameo) / Various Roles (achive footage)

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Yellowbeard

Captain Yellowbeard/de: Dotterbart

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Monty Python's The Meaning of Life

Chairman / Fish #1 / Doctor / Harry Blackitt / Wymer / Hordern / General / Coles / Narrator #2 / Dr. Livingstone / Transvestite / Eric / Guest #1 / Arthur Jarrett / Geoffrey / Tony Bennett

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Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl

Barber #2 / Colin 'Bomber' Harris / Servant / Inspector / The Colonel / Yorkshireman #2 / Abuser / Lecturer / A humble woodcutter / Son / Mountie

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Secret Policeman's Other Ball

Himself / Various Roles

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Monty Python's Life of Brian

Wise Man #2 / Brian Cohen / Biggus Dickus

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Pleasure at her majesty's & The mermaid frolics

Various

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Monty Python and the Holy Grail

King Arthur / Voice of God / Middle Head / Hiccoughing Guard

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Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different

Brother / British pedestrian / Mr. Harrison (Apricot) / Sergeant-Major / 'Hell's Grannies' policeman / Jimmy Blankensop / Sir Edward Ross / Restaurant patron #1 / Letter Writer / Oliver St. John Mollusk / Mountie / Town Guild Lady

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The Statue

News reader

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Doctor in Trouble

Roddy

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The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer

Fromage

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The Magic Christian

Oxford Crew (uncredited)

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How To Irritate People

Various

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At Last the 1948 Show

Various Characters (unknown episodes)

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