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Monty Python legend Terry Jones dies aged 77 after losing struggle against dreadful illness

Wednesday, January 22nd 2020 - 17:54 UTC
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Jones suffered from a rare form of dementia. Jones suffered from a rare form of dementia.

British acting legend Terry Jones, one of the founding members of comedy troupe Monty Python, has died on Tuesday at the age of 77, his family announced Wednesday.

Jones 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,” according to a family statement.

“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 statement continued.

Monty Python co-star John Cleese posted on Twitter that “[i]t feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away...”.

Cleese added that “[o]f his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of 'Life of Brian'. Perfection.”

Mrs Jones 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.”

She also pointed out that ”[h]is work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programs, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath.”

Jones, a native of Colwyn Bay, a small town on the Welsh coast, was an Oxford University graduate, as was his lifelong writing partner, Michael Palin.

Together with Cambridge University graduates Eric Idle, Graham Chapman and the aforementioned Cleese, as well as American director Terry Gilliam, the group formed Monty Python.

In a September 2019 interview, Palin had revealed Jones' dementia had become so severe he was unable to speak but there was still a “sparkle in the eye”.

Through their television series and movies, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Life of Brian” and “The Meaning of Life,” the group became one of the most influential comedy troupes in the history of popular culture.

In addition to his creative work, Jones was also a well-known medieval historian and a published author on the subject.

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