The world has lost a comedy legend. Terry Jones, founding member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, has died at the age of 77. His family said in a statement he died at his home in London. His wife Anna Soderstrom was at his side as he succumbed to a “long, extremely brave, but always good humoured battle” with a rare form of dementia. Jones is also survived by his three children, Bill, Sally and Siri.
“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,” the family said. “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.”
It’s hard to imagine life without Monty Python. The iconic British sketch comedy group’s influence on the world of comedy and pop culture is immeasurable. And Terry Jones is as big a reason why as anyone. He was a hilarious performer and writer. Jones was also behind the camera for Monty Python‘s big screen forays. They remain classics to this day.
He co-directed 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail, still one of the most quoted comedies ever, with fellow group member Terry Gilliam. Jones then helmed arguably the group’s best film, The Life of Brian, by himself.
He also directed 1983’s The Meaning of Life. That film also captured maybe his most famous moment on screen: his role as Mr. Creosote, who was brought to his demise by an after-dinner mint that was only “wafer thin.”
Fellow Python member John Cleese paid tribute to his friend and colleague on Twitter.
Just heard about Terry J
It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away…
Of his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of ‘Life of Brian’. Perfection
Two down, four to go
— John Cleese (@JohnCleese) January 22, 2020
Michael Palin also released a statement about the passing of his longtime friend and partner.
Sir Michael Palin:
“He was far more than one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation, he was the complete Renaissance comedian – writer, director, presenter, historian, brilliant children’s author, and the warmest, most wonderful company you could wish to have.” pic.twitter.com/3bL0Gu7VXJ
— PA Media (@PA) January 22, 2020
It’s hard to imagine a world without Monty Python. But we know a world without Terry Jones is a lot less funny.
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