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Graham Chapman was born on January 8, 1941, in Leicester, England. He studied medicine at Cambridge in the early '60s, and even though he earned an M.D., practicing medicine was quickly replaced by an interest in comedy. While at Cambridge, Chapman met the performers that would ultimately become Monty Python. Premiering in 1969 on the BBC, Monty Python's Flying Circus became one of the most watched programs in Britain and was eventually broadcast in America on PBS in 1975. Chapman was often found playing roles of inept and hopelessly silly authority figures, and on numerous occasions, lampooned his own early career as a physician. The success of the TV show brought about several Python films, with Graham in leading roles for Monty Python and the Holy Grail as well as Life of Brian. It was during the early Python years that Chapman dealt with debilitating stage fright through the use of alcohol, and what began as a few drinks became incapacitating alcoholism by the start of Holy Grail. In 1979 Chapman beat his alcoholism and while Python were on periodic indefinite hiatus, he wrote for various BBC shows, starred in the films Odd Job (1978) and Yellowbeard (1983), toured the college lecture circuit, and most bizarrely, became a member of the Dangerous Sports Club. By 1988, his health began to deteriorate and he was diagnosed with throat and spinal cancer. Chapman died at the age of 48 on October 4, 1989, from complications of a stroke brought on by the cancer. ~ Al Campbell