Graham ChapmanDied when: 48 years 269 days
Star Sign: Capricorn
Graham Arthur Chapman (8 January 1941 – 4 October 1989) 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 (1975) and Life of Brian (1979). 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 Hospital Medical College, he turned down a career as a doctor to be a comedian instead. Chapman eventually established a writing partnership with John Cleese, which reached its critical peak with Monty Python during the 1970s. He 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 (1983), 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, but quit drinking shortly before working on Life of Brian. He later became an enthusiast and patron of the Dangerous Sports Club. In 1988 he appeared on stage at the 41st British Academy Film Awards where Monty Python received the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Contribution To Cinema. Chapman died of tonsil 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.
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