Monty Python star Terry Jones dead at 77

 

Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 77 after a long battle with a rare form of dementia.

The comedian died at his home in North London on the evening of January 21 with his wife Anna Soderstrom by his side, a statement from his family said.

"Over the past few days his wife, children, extended family and many close friends have been constantly with Terry as he gently slipped away," it read.

"We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man whose uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humour has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades."

 

An early photo of (L-R) John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Michael Palin in the Monty Python group. Picture: ABC TV
An early photo of (L-R) John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Jones, Eric Idle and Michael Palin in the Monty Python group. Picture: ABC TV

Jones was part of the Monty Python comedy group alongside Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin.

Together they delighted fans with TV series and films including Monty Python and the Holy Grail and The Life of Brian.

"His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programs, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath," his family said.

"We, his wife Anna, children Bill, Sally, Siri and extended family would like to thank Terry's wonderful medical professionals and carers for making the past few years not only bearable but often joyful. We hope that this disease will one day be eradicated entirely."

Jones suffered from frontotemporal dementia, a form of the disease which affects behaviour and language often presenting as being insensitive or rude.

"We ask that our privacy be respected at this sensitive time and give thanks that we lived in the presence of an extraordinarily talented, playful and happy man living a truly authentic life, in his words 'lovingly frosted with glucose'," his family added.

 

Jones died after a battle with dementia, his family said. Picture: Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire
Jones died after a battle with dementia, his family said. Picture: Myung Jung Kim/PA Wire

Fellow Monty Python star Sir Michael Palin led the tributes for Jones on Wednesday, describing him as "kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full".

Cleese also paid homage to his friend's "many talents" and "endless enthusiasm".

"Two down, four to go," he joked on Twitter.

 

 

Comedian Stephen Fry remembered Jones as a "wonderful talent" who brought joy and pleasure to many.

"Farewell, Terry Jones. The great foot has come down to stamp on you. My god what pleasure you gave, what untrammelled joy and delight. What a wonderful talent, heart and mind," he said.

 

Jones was born at Colwyn Bay in North Wales in 1942, but later moved to Surrey in country England.

He founded the Monty Python group with his co-stars in 1969, after meeting Palin at Oxford University and writing several revues together for the university's theatre club.

The group's TV show, Monty Python's Flying Circus, aired on the BBC until 1973. Jones then directed the troupe's 1975 movie, The Holy Grail, as well as the controversial Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983).

The Monty Python group gave us movies including The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. Picture: Supplied
The Monty Python group gave us movies including The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life. Picture: Supplied


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