Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 77.
The actor and comedian, who had dementia, directed some of the comedy troupe’s most-loved works, including Life Of Brian.
He appeared in the TV series Monty Python’s Flying Circus in a variety of characters, and was known for his performances in drag.
In 2016 it was announced that Jones had been diagnosed with dementia.
Holy Grail and Life of Brian are both films that expanded my mind as a teen in how comedy could both approach taboo subjects and also be absolutely silly. They are some of the pivotal building blocks of what makes me laugh. RIP Terry Jones. pic.twitter.com/9Og26waZ5X
— Tiny Tommy (@FilmGuy4) January 22, 2020
“We are deeply saddened to have to announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Terry Jones,” his family said in a statement on Wednesday.
“Terry passed away on the evening of 21 January 2020 at the age of 77 with his wife Anna Soderstrom by his side after a long, extremely brave but always good humoured battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD.
The statement said Jones’ wife, children, other relatives and friends had been by his side as the comedian “gently slipped away” at his London home.
“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,” they said.
“His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programmes, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath.
” … 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’.”
— TIME (@TIME) January 22, 2020
The Welsh-born star suffered from primary progressive aphasia, which affects the ability to communicate.
Jones directed Monty Python And The Holy Grail in 1975 with Terry Gilliam.
The group’s Life Of Brian film in 1979, about a hapless man mistaken for Jesus, was attacked as blasphemous at the time but has since been voted the funniest classic comedy in a poll compiled by the magazine Total Film.
On-screen, his much-loved characters included Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson, Cardinal Biggles of the Spanish Inquisition and Mr Creosote, the monstrously obese restaurant patron.
Jones also directed The Meaning Of Life in 1983, the Pythons’ last film together.
Terry Jones was a true polymath. Actor, writer, director, historian and sometimes a really mean grannie. pic.twitter.com/95FiYCdLIf
— Reconsidering Cinema (@coenesqued) January 22, 2020
His other credits include The Wind In The Willows in 1996, with performances from Eric Idle, Michael Palin, and John Cleese, 2015 comedy Absolutely Anything, and Personal Services (1987).
Jones had two children with Alison Telfer, who he married in 1970, and became a father again at the age of 67, with second wife Anna Soderstrom.