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A compendium of queer people in the 19th and 20th centuries // Drawn and researched by Michele Rosenthal

Graham  Chapman

Graham Chapman 1941to –1989

English comedian, writer, and actor, best known as one-sixth of Monty Python. He attended medical school and qualified as a physician before abandoning that career to write and perform with his school friend, John Cleese—they launched Monty Python’s Flying Circus in 1969. Chapman was considered the most subversive out of a subversive group, and is credited with inventing the parrot in the “Dead Parrot Sketch.” He was also arguably the best actor of the group, playing the lead roles of King Arthur in The Holy Grail and Brian in Life of Brian. He came out to his friends and fellow Pythons the same year that Flying Circus aired, introducing them to David Sherlock, who would remain his partner for the rest of his life. In 1972, he helped start the pioneering newspaper Gay News, and came out publicly (and drunkenly) on television. Chapman battled alcoholism for much of his life, but managed to quit when he realized it was affecting his ability to work.

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