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One of the six members of the absurd comedy troupe Monty Python, Graham Arthur Chapman was an English comedian, actor, and writer. He not only performed comedy but also starred in several films and television shows. Chapman was raised in Melton Mowbray by his policeman father Walter Chapman and his wife Edith Towers after being born in Leicester. As a young man who enjoyed science, he attended St. Bartholomew’s Medical College to study medicine. He chose to pursue comedy instead of a career as a doctor, though. Later on, Chapman continued to compose and had a productive literary partnership with John Cleese. The two enjoyed enormous success in the 1970s thanks to their work with “Monty Python.” Before coming to England in the early 1980s, the comedian eventually made his way to Los Angeles, where he worked on a number of American TV shows. Graham Chapman was a fervent advocate for gay rights and an openly homosexual man in his personal life. He lived with writer David Sherlock for 24 years, and they had a very open relationship. John Tomiczek, a teenage boy, was also adopted and reared by the couple. Long-time drinker and smoker Chapman developed tonsil and spinal cancer, which ultimately claimed his life in 1989. He passed away while he was only 48 years old.

Early Childhood & Life

On January 8, 1941, Graham Arthur Chapman was born in Leicester, England. His mother Edith Towers worked as a homemaker, while his father Walter Chapman was a police officer. John Chapman, his elder brother, was born in 1936.

He went to Melton Mowbray Grammar School for his education. He shown a keen interest in athletics, science, and amateur dramatics throughout this time.

He began his medical studies at Cambridge’s Emmanuel College in 1959. He joined the Cambridge Footlights club at this time, where he initially collaborated on writing with John Cleese.

Chapman performed in the Footlights production “Cambridge Circus” and toured New Zealand after receiving his degree. He enrolled in St. Bartholomew’s Medical College after the tour. He was torn between pursuing a career in medicine and breaking into the entertainment industry at this point. He ultimately made the decision to pursue comedy.

The Career of Graham Chapman

When Footlights was a success, Graham Chapman and Cleese started penning stories for the BBC. In addition, Chapman created the radio program “I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again” and went on to contribute to the programs “This Is Tom Jones,” “This Is Petula Clark,” and “The Illustrated Weekly Hudd.”

Chapman later made an appearance in the television comedy series “At Last the 1948 Show,” alongside Tim Brooke-Taylor and John Cleese. Chapman’s debut in a key role as an actor and writer was on this show.

Once more working with Cleese, the up-and-coming comedian wrote for the TV comedy series “Doctor in the House.” Numerous episodes of its follow-up, called “Doctor in Charge,” were co-written by Chapman as well.
Together with Eric Idle, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, and Terry Jones, Chapman and Cleese founded the absurdist comedic troupe Monty Python in 1969. The ensemble appeared in movies, theater productions, television series, and stage plays.

In the 1975 Python movie “Holy Grail,” Chapman portrayed the title character. He also co-wrote the pilot for the TV show “Out of the Trees” that same year. Soon after, he began work on “Yellowbeard,” a 1983 pirate movie that was eventually produced. In the film, he also played Captain Yellowbeard.
The English artist relocated to Los Angeles in the late 1970s. He played Arthur Harris in the 1978 comedy film “The Odd Job,” which he also wrote and produced. He had an appearance in ‘Monty Python’s Life of Brian’ the following year.

In the year 1980, he released his autobiography under the title “A Liar’s Autobiography.” After the release of “Yellowbeard,” he subsequently went back to England.
Following his work with the other Pythons on the film “The Meaning of Life,” Graham Chapman started a run of college tours across the United States.

He played Detective Inspector Palmer in the 1987 television movie “Still Crazy Like a Fox.” He had an appearance in Iron Maiden’s “Can I Play with Madness” music video the following year. He also appeared in the television film “Jake’s Journey” that same year.

His health had started to worsen by the late 1980s, and he was unable to perform as much. His final appearance was an uncredited one in the independent movie “Stage Fright” from 1989.

Bigger Works of Graham Chapman

Graham Chapman received widespread acclaim for his participation to the “Dead Parrot sketch” from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. A confrontation between an irate customer and a shopkeeper is shown in the drawing as they disagree about whether or not a newly bought parrot is dead. For numerous television programs and live stage performances, the team performed several iterations of the sketch.

Individual Life of Graham Chapman

David Sherlock and Graham Chapman first crossed paths in 1966. The couple relocated to Belsize Park two years later. They took in teenage John Tomiczek as their son in 1971. Later, in 1992, Tomiczek passed away after a heart attack.

In 1972, Chapman came out as gay on a television program. One of the first famous people to come out was him.
He smoked and drank excessively. His drinking has started to have an impact on his effectiveness by 1973. In 1977, Chapman gave up drinking, and he remained abstinent for the remainder of his life.

The actor was given a tonsil tumor diagnosis in 1988. The cancer had progressed to his spinal cord by the next year. During his final months, Chapman underwent a number of operations and rounds of chemotherapy. Finally, though, his cancer was determined to be incurable.

Following complications from a stroke, Chapman passed away at Maidstone Hospital on October 4, 1989. One of the factors contributing to his death was his protracted illness, according to reports.
The other five Pythons honored his legacy at a private memorial service conducted at St. Bartholomew’s two months after his passing.

The “Graham Chapman Archives” were written by author Jim Yoakum with permission from David Sherlock in 1997. ‘Graham Crackers: Fuzzy Memories, Silly Bits, and Outright Lies’ was a book that was released later that same year.

The British Comedy Society dedicated a blue plaque in Chapman’s honor at The Angel bar in North London in September 2012.

Estimated Net Worth of Graham Chapman

The estimated net worth of Graham Chapman is around $1 million.