Celebrities & Pop Culture

Monty Python Legend Terry Jones Has Died At Age 77

This is sad news.

Terry Jones, one of the founding members of the beloved British comedy troupe “Monty Python” and the director of three Python franchise movies, died on Jan. 21. He was 77.

Jones created “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” an irreverent comedy sketch show along with John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin in 1969. The TV show ran until 1974, when the group decided to jump to the big screen with “Monty Python and The Holy Grail,” which premiered in 1975.

The movie, which Jones co-directed with Gilliam, became a comedy classic and paved the way for more films, including “Life of Brian” in 1979 — which Jones directed — and “The Meaning of Life,” which he also co-directed with Gilliam. The troupe’s antics led to books, live reunions and the hit Broadway musical “Spamalot.”

On screen, Jones often played what he called the “screechy middle-aged women.” As Brian’s mom in “The Life of Brian,” his character yells to a crowd gathered chanting, “Messiah! Messiah!”: “Now you listen here. He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”

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As news of his passing hit social media, fans and colleagues shared their tributes to the legendary performer of stage and screen. Cleese posted about Jones’ brilliance and even mused a little about the status of the rest of the Python troupe. (Graham Chapman died in 1989.)

Palin posted about Jones on his Facebook page, writing, “He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full.”

Jones’ family released a statement about the comedian’s passing, saying, “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-humored battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD. Over the past few days his wife, children, extended family, and many close friends have been constantly with Terry as he gently slipped away at his home in north London. 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.”

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After retiring from Monty Python, Jones later became a scholar of medieval history and authored children’s books set in that era. He was also a poet and documentary host, according to CNN.

He reunited with the rest of the Monty Python team over the years for film festivals and performed in a live London stage performance in 2014 called “Monty Python Live (Mostly): One Down, Five to Go.” Sadly, as Cleese said, four to go.