Monty Python Star Mourned as 'Complete Renaissance Comedian'

Comedy troupe founder Terry Jones dead at 77
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2020 8:24 AM CST
Monty Python Star Takes a Bow
Terry Jones arrives at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Aug. 21, 2010.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, file)

The comedy world is mourning a genius. Terry Jones of the Monty Python comedy troupe died Tuesday at age 77 after what family described as "a long, extremely brave but always good humored battle with a rare form of dementia." The Welshman, who died at his home in London, had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in 2016, per the BBC. With Eric Idle, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Graham Chapman, and Terry Gilliam, Jones formed Monty Python's Flying Circus, "whose anarchic humor helped revolutionize British comedy," per the AP. Jones appeared in the troupe's TV series and in 1975’s The Holy Grail, 1979's Life of Brian, and 1983's The Meaning Of Life, three films for which he received directorial credits. He was also the author of children's books, per the Guardian.

"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," reads a statement from wife Anna Soderstrom and Jones' three children. "We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative, and truly loving man whose uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect, and extraordinary humor has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades," they said. Palin also released a statement, praising Jones as "the complete Renaissance comedian" and "one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation." Fellow actor-comedian Stephen Fry also paid tribute in a tweet. "What pleasure you gave, what untrammelled joy and delight. What a wonderful talent, heart and mind," he writes.

(Read more obituary stories.)

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