Graham Chapman

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Graham Arthur Chapman (born January 8, 1941 in Leicester , † October 4, 1989 in Maidstone ) was a British actor , writer and member of the comedian group Monty Python . Among other things, he played the title role in The Life of Brian .


Chapman began his medical degree at Emmanuel College, Cambridge . He later studied at St Bartholomew's Medical College in London.

In Cambridge he met the law student and later comedian colleague John Cleese know. Both played theater at the Cambridge University Footlights Dramatic Club amateur theater and began writing skits for the BBC in the 1960s , including: B. for the sketch film How to Irritate People produced in 1968 , in which both also played leading roles. In 1969 they founded the group Monty Python together with other comedians .

In 1970 Graham Chapman publicly announced his homosexuality , which he said he had become aware of in 1965. It was around that time that the public learned of his liaison with the British writer David Sherlock . John Cleese reacted, as he later stated, "very, very, very surprised" to the coming out of his best friend and colleague.

Chapman suffered from alcoholism and nicotine addiction for years , which caused severe damage to his health. In order to play the main role in The Life of Brian , he managed to overcome his alcoholism in 1979; but when he moved to the United States a little later, he became addicted to cocaine instead . In November 1988 a malignant tumor of the tonsils was found and removed from the heavy smoker Chapman for the first time . As a result, more tumors in the throat and metastases on the spine were diagnosed, which ultimately made him dependent on a wheelchair. He had his last appearance in 1988 as a teacher in the video clip for Can I Play with Madness by the British band Iron Maiden . On October 4, 1989 - one day before the 20th anniversary of the Monty Pythons - Chapman died of complications from his illness. A memorial service in December 1989 turned into a bizarre spectacle in the spirit of the Monty Python member. John Cleese began his eulogy with a modification of the sketch The Parrot is Dead , which Chapman was co-authored by:

He has ceased to be, bereft of life, he rests in peace, he has kicked the bucket, hopped the twig,
bit the dust, snuffed it, breathed his last, and gone to meet the Great Head of Light Entertainment in the sky [...]

Analogous translation:

He is no longer, robbed of life, rests in peace, gave up the spoon, walked across the Jordan,
bit the grass, scratched it off, took the last breath, went to meet the chief light entertainment department in heaven [...]

Since Cleese was so obviously proud to have been the first person to say the word "shit" on British television, he claims to have heard Chapman whispered in his ear when he was writing the funeral speech that he should also be the first who said the word "fuck" at a British memorial service. The mourners finally sang the song Always Look on the Bright Side of Life .

In the stage show Monty Python Live (mostly) , which was performed ten times in London between July 1 and 20, 2014, Chapman was seen in numerous video recordings.

The asteroid (9617) Grahamchapman is named after Chapman.


watch TV



  • 1999: Pythons Night: 30 Years of Monty Python
  • 2005: Monty Python: In The Beginning

Web links


  1. ^ Entertainment, Queen Mary, University of London . Archived from the original on March 12, 2012. Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. Retrieved August 14, 2012. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /