Published: Wed, January 22, 2020
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Terry Jones: UK Comedy Legend & ‘Monty Python’ Co-Founder Dead At 77

Terry Jones: UK Comedy Legend & ‘Monty Python’ Co-Founder Dead At 77

"Monty Python" star Terry Jones has died aged 77, Britain's PA Media news agency has reported, citing his agent.

Jones's family said he died Tuesday evening at his home in London "after a long, extremely courageous but always good humoured battle with a rare form of dementia".

Jones died on Monday, less than five years after being diagnosed with a form of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) that progressively impaired his ability to communicate. In a statement, his family said he died "after a long, extremely courageous but always good humoured battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD". The poet and former Python had been suffering from dementia, which had been publicly revealed by his son, Bill, in September 2016, rendering him unable to speak.

Along with Eric Idle, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, and Terry Gilliam, Jones helped form Monty Python decades ago, making a number of movies and TV shows.

He also co-wrote and directed films for the troupe including "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975) and "Monty Python's Life of Brian" (1979). The five of them - along with Gilliam, whom Cleese had met in NY - would unite their comedic talents to launch Monty Python's Flying Circus in 1969, which ran for four seasons and became a British comedy staple.

Born in Wales in 1942, Jones attended Oxford University, where he began writing and performing with fellow student Michael Palin.

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In this Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 file photo from left, actors Michael Palin, John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle attend the IFC and BAFTA premiere of "Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyers Cut)", in NY.

"We are deeply saddened to have to announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Terry Jones", a statement from his family reads.

Cleese said: "It feels odd that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away..." "We hope that this disease will one day be eradicated entirely".

A man of many talents, Jones was also a prolific children's author publishing 20 fiction novels, including Fairy Tales and The Saga of Erik the Viking. "Two down, four to go".

The statement finished: "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".

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