Monty Python star Terry Jones died last night at the age of 77 with his wife by his side after battling a rare form of dementia that robbed him of his speech, his family announced today.

The actor and comedian directed some of the comedy troupe’s most-loved works, including Life Of Brian.

Tributes have poured in for Jones including from fellow Python star Sir Michael Palin who said he was ‘kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full’. 

He added: ‘Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. 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.

‘I feel very fortunate to have shared so much of my life with him and my heart goes out to Anna, Alison and all his family.’

A message from the official Monty Python Twitter account read: ‘Farewell dear Terry J. Two down, four to go. Love Terry G, Mike, John & Eric.’ 

In 2016 it was announced that Jones had been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of frontotemporal dementia where symptoms get progressively worse over time. 

Fellow Python star John Cleese, 80, also said: ‘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.’ He added: ‘Two down, four to go.’

Terry Jones passed away last night at the age of 77 with his wife Anna Soderstrom, 36, by his side after a ‘long, extremely brave but always good humoured’ battle with a rare form of dementia known as frontotemporal dementia

Jones in what is believed to be his last picture. Last May, his friend Michael Palin shared the picture of the pair online, saying: 'Moving moment with Terry J.' He described how during a visit to Jones's home in London, he read from Dr Fegg's Encyclopeadia of All World Knowledge, a 'compendium of humorous facts' they wrote together in 1985

Jones in what is believed to be his last picture. Last May, his friend Michael Palin shared the picture of the pair online, saying: ‘Moving moment with Terry J.’ He described how during a visit to Jones’s home in London, he read from Dr Fegg’s Encyclopeadia of All World Knowledge, a ‘compendium of humorous facts’ they wrote together in 1985

The actor and comedian directed some of the comedy troupe's most-loved works, including Life Of Brian (Jones is pictured right in the film). Eric Idle, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam also starred in the film

The actor and comedian directed some of the comedy troupe’s most-loved works, including Life Of Brian (Jones is pictured right in the film). Eric Idle, Michael Palin, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam also starred in the film

Terry Jones with his wife Anna Soderstrom and child Siri at the Ham Yard Hotel in London in 2015. Jones had two children with Alison Telfer, who he married in 1970, and became a father again, at the age of 67, with second wife Ms Soderstrom (pictured here alongside Jones)

Terry Jones with his wife Anna Soderstrom and child Siri at the Ham Yard Hotel in London in 2015. Jones had two children with Alison Telfer, who he married in 1970, and became a father again, at the age of 67, with second wife Ms Soderstrom (pictured here alongside Jones)

Fellow Python star John Cleese, 80, was among those paying tribute to Jones following news of his tragic passing. Others to tweet included Charlie Brooker, Stephen Fry and BAFTA

Fellow Python star John Cleese, 80, was among those paying tribute to Jones following news of his tragic passing. Others to tweet included Charlie Brooker, Stephen Fry and BAFTA

 

And Python actor Eric Idle said that he loved Terry Jones ‘the moment I saw him on stage at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963’ and recalled the ‘many laughs, moments of total hilarity onstage and off we have all shared with him’. 

Jones’ family revealed the news of his passing today. A statement said: ‘We are deeply saddened to have to announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Terry Jones.

‘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 humoured 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.’ 

The statement added: ‘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.

‘His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programmes, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath.

‘He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!’ Terry Jones’ best lines 

Terry Jones leaves behind an astonishing legacy and a body of ground-breaking work. He was responsible for some of the best loved and most quoted lines in British comedy. Here are some of them.

‘Now, you listen here! He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!’

His most quoted line, from his role as Brian’s mother in Monty Python’s Life Of Brian.

‘I’m alive, I’m alive!’

His naked hermit in the hole gives away the location of a hiding Brian in Monty Python’s Life Of Brian.

‘I shall use my largest scales.’

Jones plays pompous knight Sir Belvedere as he oversees a witch trial in Monty Python And The Holy Grail.

‘What, the curtains?’

Prince Herbert reacts to the news: ‘One day, lad, all this will be yours’ in Holy Grail.

‘Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam.’

Jones plays a greasy spoon waitress running through a menu in a Monty Python sketch.

‘We use only the finest baby frogs, dew picked and flown from Iraq, cleansed in finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and then sealed in a succulent Swiss quintuple smooth treble cream milk chocolate envelope and lovingly frosted with glucose.’

He plays a confectionery kingpin Mr Milton, the owner of the Whizzo Chocolate Company, briefing some horrified hygiene officers in the sketch from Monty Python.

‘We, his wife Anna, children Bill, Sally, Siri and extended family would like to thank Terry’s wonderful medical professionals and carers for making the past few years not only bearable but often joyful. We hope that this disease will one day be eradicated entirely.

‘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”.’ 

The Welsh-born star suffered from primary progressive aphasia, which affects the ability to communicate.

It is a form of frontotemporal dementia where symptoms get progressively worse over time as the brain tissue which is important for speech and language deteriorates. 

Its effect on Jones was visible at the 2014 Python reunion at London’s O2 arena in which the comedian appeared to keep forgetting his lines. One Python was missing. Graham Chapman had died of cancer in 1989.

The live stage show, which featured an extended cast of dancers, a full orchestra and special effects, delighted thousands of fans. 

Actress Carol Cleveland, who appeared in Monty Python’s Flying Circus, said Jones had indicated he was having memory problems at the time.

Lines were put on boards in front of the stage to help in case he forgot his words. Jones later said at an event to help publicise his condition that he could no longer write.

Palin also told The Observer: ‘The thing that struck me was how Terry reacted to his diagnosis. He was very matter of fact about it and would stop people in the street and tell them, ‘I’ve got dementia, you know. My frontal brain lobe has absconded’.

‘He knew exactly what was affecting him and he wanted to share that knowledge – because that is the way that Terry is.

‘FTD may cause loss of inhibition, but Terry was never very inhibited in the first place.’

Jones married Alison Telfer in 1970, and they had two children together. He became a father again, at the age of 67, with his second wife Anna Soderstrom.

Tributes have poured in for the renowned comedian, including from Stephen Fry, who said: ‘My god what pleasure you gave, what untrammelled joy and delight. What a wonderful talent, heart and mind.’   

He also directed Life Of Brian, a film which sparked outrage after its 1979 release but is now an undisputed comedy classic

He also directed Life Of Brian, a film which sparked outrage after its 1979 release but is now an undisputed comedy classic

Jones, who was unable to speak in his later years, directed Monty Python's Life Of Brian and The Meaning Of Life, and co-directed The Holy Grail

Jones, who was unable to speak in his later years, directed Monty Python’s Life Of Brian and The Meaning Of Life, and co-directed The Holy Grail

Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones from Monty Python at a photocall before a series of live performances at the O2 Arena. Jones, who had dementia, has died at the age of 77

Eric Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Terry Jones from Monty Python at a photocall before a series of live performances at the O2 Arena. Jones, who had dementia, has died at the age of 77

Writer Charlie Brooker, also tweeted: ‘RIP the actual genius Terry Jones. Far too many brilliant moments to choose from.’ 

Tweeting a clip of the famous Mr Creosote sketch from The Meaning Of Life, Brooker added: ‘Here’s one random wafer-thin mint.’  

TV star and writer David Walliams tweeted: ‘Thank you Terry for a lifetime of laughter.’

And the BFI tweeted: ‘We’re deeply saddened to hear of the passing of comedy great Terry Jones.’   

FELLOW PYTHON STARS PAY TRIBUTE TO TERRY JONES 

Sir Michael Palin said in a statement: ‘Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full.

‘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.

‘I feel very fortunate to have shared so much of my life with him and my heart goes out to Anna, Alison and all his family.’

Fellow Python star John Cleese, 80, also said: ‘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.’ He added: ‘Two down, four to go.’

Python star Eric Idle has said that he loved Terry Jones ‘the moment I saw him on stage at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963’ and recalled the ‘many laughs, moments of total hilarity onstage and off we have all shared with him’.  

Bafta also paid tribute to Jones, tweeting a message alongside a photograph of him and Sir Michael Palin in 2016.

Its tweet said: ‘We’re saddened to hear of the passing of Terry Jones. Here he is receiving the Special Award For Outstanding Contribution to Film & Television from friend and fellow Python Michael Palin, at the 2016 @BAFTACymru Awards.’   

Queen guitarist Brian May paid tribute to Terry Jones on Instagram.

He said: ‘So sad to hear of the passing of genius comedy star and wonderful guy, Terry Jones. What a legacy to the world. Deepest condolences to his family and the other beyond fabulous Pythons.’

The Alzheimer’s Society tweeted: ‘We’re very sorry to hear the sad news that Monty Python star Terry Jones passed away today aged 77.

‘Terry had been living with dementia since 2015 and we fondly remember his support at our Memory Walks. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.’

Good Omens and America Gods writer Neil Gaiman shared a memory of Jones on Twitter.

He wrote: ’36 years ago I met Terry Jones. I was meant to interview him. I asked for tea, so he opened a bottle of Chablis & got me drunk.

‘He was funny, brilliant and honest. He was irrepressible and is seen here repressing the very young me. Rest in Peace, Terry. You were an inspiration.’

Along with the tweet, Gaiman shared a picture taken during their interview of Jones jokingly pushing the top of his head.

The picture was captioned: ‘Neil at the feet of the master.’

Comic Rufus Hound tweeted: ‘You may not have the kind of affection for The Pythons that comedy fans of my vintage have, but know that if you’ve ever enjoyed any flavour of surreal, silly anti-comedy, you owe them.

‘And Terry Jones was the beating heart of it all. What a man.’ 

Baby Driver director Edgar Wright bid a ‘very fond farewell’ to Jones on Twitter, adding: ‘Not only 1/6 of the Pythons, Mr Creosote, Arthur Two Sheds Jackson, Dino Vercotti, Mandy Cohen, Prince Herbert, Cardinal Biggles & the Nude Organist, but also esteemed director of all time comedy classic; Life Of Brian. He will be missed.’

Former Monty Python stars John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Carol Cleveland and Terry Gilliam attending a charity screening of their film Life Of Brian at London's Leicester Square to celebrate their 30th anniversary

Former Monty Python stars John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Carol Cleveland and Terry Gilliam attending a charity screening of their film Life Of Brian at London’s Leicester Square to celebrate their 30th anniversary

Monty Python star Terry Jones attending the European premiere of Fierce Creature at The Empire in Leicester Square, London in 1997

Monty Python star Terry Jones attending the European premiere of Fierce Creature at The Empire in Leicester Square, London in 1997

And comedian Richard Herring tweeted: ‘Many things to be thankful to Terry Jones for, but his book about Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale got me through my English A level.

‘Was just thinking yesterday (as I listened to Palin’s Erebus) what a supremely intelligent group of men Python were/are.’   

Jones directed the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail in 1975 with Terry Gilliam.

The group’s Life Of Brian film in 1979, about a hapless man mistaken for Jesus, was attacked as blasphemous at the time but has since been voted the funniest classic comedy.

PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE APHASIA; RARE DISEASE THAT SILENCED STAR 

Primary progressive aphasia (PPA) is a rare type of dementia which affects speech and communication.

In 2016, it was announced that Monty Python’s Terry Jones had been diagnosed with the condition. He died on Wednesday aged 77.

It is a form of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) where symptoms get progressively worse over time as the brain tissue which is important for speech and language deteriorates.

It is caused by clumps of abnormal protein forming inside brain cells, mainly in the front and side of the brain, that control language and behaviour.

These are thought to stop cells working properly by damaging them. 

The first symptoms of PPA are problems with speech and language, such as struggling to find the right word or remember somebody’s name.

Speech can become slow and hesitant, with sufferers reluctant to join in conversations.

As the condition progresses, other symptoms can include changes in personality, memory loss and movement difficulty.  

On screen, Jones’s much-loved characters included Arthur ‘Two Sheds’ Jackson, Cardinal Biggles of the Spanish Inquisition, and Mr Creosote, the monstrously obese restaurant patron. 

Shane Allen, controller of BBC comedy commissioning, also paid tribute, saying: ‘Sad day to lose an absolute Titan of British comedy. One of the founding fathers of the most influential and pioneering comedy ensemble of all time, he created a wealth of highly regarded and enduring work across TV, film and print. He will be long cherished by comedy fans and dearly missed.’

And comedian and actor Adrian Edmondson tweeted: ‘Terry Jones was the only Python who agreed to appear in The Young Ones. It was like affirmation from God himself.

‘This was the man who’d directed what was, and still is, the funniest feature film ever made. We loved him for it, and always will. Sadly, he’s eaten his last mint…’ 

Chris Tarrant also paid tribute to Terry Jones, who was a regular guest on his ITV children’s show Tiswas.

He said: ‘Terry Jones was a regular guest on ITV’s Tiswas in the 70s and 80s. His was a wonderful and very special presence in the studio. We all looked forward to his visits.

‘He had a natural sense of the absurd which, added to his huge talent, made him one of the greats. I am so sorry to have this news. He is sadly missed.’

Last May, Jones’ friend and fellow Python star Michael Palin shared a picture of the pair online, saying: ‘Moving moment with Terry J.’

He described how during a visit to Jones’s home in London, he read from Dr Fegg’s Encyclopedia of All World Knowledge, a ‘compendium of humorous facts’ they wrote together in 1985.

‘He can say very little these days, but he can and did laugh as I read some of the pages,’ said Palin at the time. ‘And what really impressed me was that he laughed only at the things he’d written!’

Palin previously described how things still ‘click’ between them and that they understood each other.   

Monty Python’s sound engineer of 50 years also paid tribute to Terry Jones as a man who ‘loved life and lived it to the full’. 

Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Eddie Izzard dressed as Gumbies for a sketch for 'Python Night' in 1999

Terry Jones, John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam and Eddie Izzard dressed as Gumbies for a sketch for ‘Python Night’ in 1999

Terry Jones attending A Very Special Afternoon Tea with Prue Leith (left) and nutritionist to the stars Jane Clarke to launch a campaign to help people living with cancer and dementia through the power of good food

Terry Jones attending A Very Special Afternoon Tea with Prue Leith (left) and nutritionist to the stars Jane Clarke to launch a campaign to help people living with cancer and dementia through the power of good food

Andre Jacquemin, 68, met the late actor and comedian at Sir Michael Palin’s house in 1970 during recording sessions for the first Monty Python album, titled Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

He worked with the comedy troupe across numerous projects including their last film, 1983’s The Meaning Of Life, earning a Bafta nomination for his music for the song Every Sperm Is Sacred.

WHERE ARE THE PYTHONS NOW? 

John Cleese

The star of Fawlty Towers and Monty Python still works as an actor and recently appeared in a film called The Naked Wanderer. He was well-known for appearing as Q in the James Bond franchise during the Pierce Brosnan era.

He recently spoke of how he was moving to Nevis in the Caribbean. He wrote to his 5.6 million Twitter followers in 2019 that ‘London was not really an English city anymore.’

Terry Gilliam

The filmmaker, who became famous in the late 1960s as the American member of British comedy group Monty Python, is still making movies. 

His most recent work was The Man Who Killed Don Quixote starring Adam Driver. He has a television series coming out called Time Bandits.  

Eric Idle

Eric Idle was born in South Shields in 1943. He was a member of the Cambridge Footlights and in 1969 he joined the Monty Python team, starring in the TV series and five movies.

Jokingly dubbed the ‘sixth-nicest member’ of the Python troupe, Idle lives in Los Angeles with his second wife, Tania Kosevich. 

Michael Palin

The former Python now works as a writer and broadcaster. He was dubbed a knight by William in 2019 for services to travel, culture and geography, making him the first star of the sketch show to receive the honour. 

So far, Sir Michael, 76, is the only Python to be knighted – but he said John Cleese has turned down the chance. Palin lives in north London.

Graham Chapman 

Chapman died of tonsil cancer on October 4, 1989, on the eve of Monty Python’s 20th anniversary.

He was the only Python to miss out on the the 2014 reunion at London’s O2 arena. The live stage show, which featured an extended cast of dancers, a full orchestra and special effects, delighted thousands of fans.

Terry Jones

Jones died on January 21, 2020 at the age of 77 with his wife by his side after battling a rare form of dementia that robbed him of his speech. 

Tributes poured in for the comedian including from fellow Python stars Sir Michael Palin, John Cleese and Eric Idle.

Jacquemin said: ‘Our friendship was quite intense. Obviously, I have been involved in doing all their sound for such a long time. Going round his place for dinner was an experience. He would do all the cooking and he was a fantastic cook.

‘He would be able to knock up a great dinner with lots of bibs and bobs just laying around. He was a lot of fun and just loved life and lived it to the full. He was an amazing person and a very clever man.

‘He was well-versed in many aspects of life, which helped his creativity. He was also quite experimental.

‘There were lots of times when we would do something and it wasn’t quite right and we would have to twist it around with all the ideas being thrown into the pan. We’d stir it around and we would come out with something very, very good. He was amazingly talented and very quick-witted – very fast indeed.’

Describing his own role within the Pythons, Jacquemin joked: ‘My job was also to make sense of their terrible filming, really.’

Jacquemin, who co-owns Redwood Recording Studios in London’s Soho, continued to work with the Pythons individually after their split in 1983.

He last saw Jones in October 2019 at Camden’s Roundhouse venue, where the Pythons celebrated their 50th anniversary with a Guinness World Record for the ‘largest gathering of people dressed as Gumbys’ – a recurring character in their sketches.  

Jones was born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, in 1942, moving to Claygate, Surrey, at the age of five. 

At Oxford University he became involved in the theatre scene and met fellow Python-to-be Michael Palin, with whom he went on to write TV series Ripping Yarns.

The pair wrote and performed revues for the university’s theatre club. 

Later, Jones worked on TV shows like The Frost Report, Do Not Adjust Your Set, Broaden Your Mind and The Complete And Utter History of Britain.

TV history was created after Jones sat down at a tandoori restaurant in north London, in 1969, with Palin, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle and US animator Terry Gilliam to discuss working together on a new BBC comedy.

They wanted to move away from the punchlines and structure of traditional sketch comedy.

Irreverent TV series Monty Python’s Flying Circus was born, making its debut late on a Sunday night on BBC One on October 5, 1969, just before the weather bulletin.

Some 45 episodes of the show, with its surreal, stream-of-consciousness style, aired until 1974, and it snapped up Bafta awards and even led to a German spin-off.    

Terry Jones and Michael Palin Arqiva British Academy Television Awards, show, Royal Festival Hall, London in 2013

Terry Jones and Michael Palin Arqiva British Academy Television Awards, show, Royal Festival Hall, London in 2013

Terry Jones performed monologues and skits with Peter Cook. The two comedians are pictured together

Terry Jones performed monologues and skits with Peter Cook. The two comedians are pictured together

Jones often appeared in drag, sometimes as a ‘haggard housewife,’ or nude, while his other characters included Arthur ‘Two Sheds’ Jackson, Cardinal Biggles of the Spanish Inquisition and Mr Creosote, the monstrously obese restaurant patron.

He made his directorial debut, alongside Gilliam, with Monty Python And The Holy Grail in 1975.

Jones later directed Life Of Brian (1979), about a hapless man mistaken for Jesus. 

He also went on to direct The Meaning Of Life (1983), the Pythons’ last film together.

It featured loosely linked sketches and the unforgettable song, Every Sperm Is Sacred.

After the Pythons went their separate ways, Jones directed Personal Services (1987), a fictional biopic starring Julie Walters and inspired by real-life madam Cynthia Payne.

He also went behind the camera for Erik The Viking (1989), based on his own children’s book.

His other credits include The Wind In The Willows (1996), with performances from Idle, Palin, and Cleese, and 2015 comedy Absolutely Anything, as well as presenting documentaries

Many have shared their favourite moments from Jones' career including his performances on Monty Python - many episodes and films of which he directed (above and below)

Many have shared their favourite moments from Jones’ career including his performances on Monty Python – many episodes and films of which he directed (above and below)

 

Terry Jones: The North Wales boy who went to Oxford and turned the world of comedy upside down 

The comedian was born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, in 1942, moving to Claygate, Surrey, at the age of five.

At Oxford University he became involved in the theatre scene and met fellow Python-to-be Michael Palin, with whom he went on to write TV series Ripping Yarns.

The pair wrote and performed revues for the university’s theatre club.

Later, Jones worked on TV shows like The Frost Report, Do Not Adjust Your Set, Broaden Your Mind and The Complete And Utter History of Britain.

TV history was created after Jones sat down at a tandoori restaurant in north London, in 1969, with Palin, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle and US animator Terry Gilliam to discuss working together on a new BBC comedy.

The six members of the Monty Python team, 1969. Left to right: Terry Jones, Graham Chapman (1941 - 1989), John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin

The six members of the Monty Python team, 1969. Left to right: Terry Jones, Graham Chapman (1941 – 1989), John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin

They wanted to move away from the punchlines and structure of traditional sketch comedy.

Irreverent TV series Monty Python’s Flying Circus was born, making its debut late on a Sunday night on BBC One on October 5, 1969, just before the weather bulletin.

Some 45 episodes of the show, with its surreal, stream-of-consciousness style, aired until 1974, and it snapped up Bafta awards and even led to a German spin-off.

Jones often appeared in drag, sometimes as a ‘haggard housewife,’ or nude, while his other characters included Arthur ‘Two Sheds’ Jackson, Cardinal Biggles of the Spanish Inquisition and Mr Creosote, the monstrously obese restaurant patron.

He made his directorial debut, alongside Gilliam, with Monty Python And The Holy Grail in 1975.

Jones later directed Life Of Brian (1979), about a hapless man mistaken for Jesus.

The film was attacked as blasphemous but has since been voted the funniest of all time.

Jones also went on to direct The Meaning Of Life (1983), the Pythons’ last film together.

It featured loosely linked sketches and the unforgettable song, Every Sperm Is Sacred.

Less than a year after the Pythons called time in 1983, Jim Henson, the puppeteer creator of the Muppets, was in talks with Jones to pen the script for his new fantasy film.

Bowie was eventually cast as Jareth the Goblin King in the adventure fantasy film Labyrinth, while Jones was brought in to pen the words.

Terry Jones Introduces his wife Anna Soderstrom and their daughter Siri to John Cleese in 2010

Terry Jones Introduces his wife Anna Soderstrom and their daughter Siri to John Cleese in 2010

But, by the time the feature was released in 1986, the script had gone through several rewrites and much of Jones’ work had been removed.

Jones also directed Personal Services (1987), a fictional biopic starring Julie Walters and inspired by real-life madam Cynthia Payne.

He also went behind the camera for Erik The Viking (1989), based on his own children’s book.

His other credits include The Wind In The Willows (1996), with performances from Idle, Palin, and Cleese. 

He further explored his surrealist comedy in 2015’s Absolutely Anything, an absurdist tale about a downtrodden schoolteacher given the chance to do anything he wants by aliens. 

Despite a stellar cast of Simon Pegg, Kate Beckinsale and Robin Williams, the film was a critical failure.   

Aside from a cameo in Gilliam’s Jabberwocky in 1977 and a memorable turn as a drunken vicar in The Young Ones, Jones rarely acted outside of his own projects.

He appeared in two French films by Albert Dupontel – Le Createur (1999) and Enfermes Dehors (2006).

And between 2009 and 2011 he narrated the CBBC programme The Legend Of Dick And Dom, which starred the well-loved children’s presenting duo as two young princes on a quest.

In 2014, Jones took part in a reunion of remaining Monty Python members – Graham Chapman died of cancer in 1989.

The live stage show, which featured an extended cast of dancers, a full orchestra and special effects, delighted thousands of fans.

But in 2016 it was announced that Jones had been diagnosed with dementia.

He suffered from primary progressive aphasia, which affects the ability to communicate. 

‘He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!’ Watch Terry Jones’ funniest moments after Monty Python star’s death aged 77

By Danyal Hussain for MailOnline

Monty Python star Terry Jones directed some of the comedy troupe’s most loved and famous works, including the Life of Brian. 

Following his death last night at the age of 77, after a battle with a rare form of dementia, tributes have poured in from his legions of fans, as well as his co-stars.

Jones co-directed Monty Python And The Holy Grail with fellow Python Terry Gilliam, and he was the sole director on Life Of Brian and The Meaning Of Life. 

He was responsible for some of the most iconic lines in British comedy, ones that would go on to make a huge impact on society.

That includes his most quoted line, from his role as Brian’s mother in Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, where he says: ‘Now, you listen here! He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!’

Here, you can relive some of his most famous – and hilarious – moments.

Terry Jones' most-quoted line from his role as Brian's mother in Monty Python's Life Of Brian, where he says: 'Now, you listen here! He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!'

Terry Jones’ most-quoted line from his role as Brian’s mother in Monty Python’s Life Of Brian, where he says: ‘Now, you listen here! He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!’

Monty Python’s Flying Circus: The Complete and Utter History of Britain – Pt 1 – 1969 

The Complete and Utter History of Britain aired in 1969 and was created and written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones  

It was the last series any of the Pythons made before getting together to make Monty Python’s Flying Circus in 1969. 

Jones and Palin played several roles in the show, which replayed key moments in history and imagined how they would have played out if TV had been around at the time. 

Monty Python’s Hell’s Grannies – 1971

The Hell’s Grannies sketch is from the eight episode of Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Full Frontal Nudity.    

Terry Jones, Michael Palin, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman play a gang of old ladies attacking young men and causing general mayhem. 

Meanwhile, John Cleese, Idle, Chapman, Jones and Palin play a gang of baby snatchers, men dressed as babies, who steal a woman’s husband. 

Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus – 1972

Monty Python’s popularity soared in the 1970s, reaching Europe after a compliation of sketches won a second place prize at the Montreux Festival in 1971.

This prompted Alfred Biôlek, a producer from Bavaria Films, contacted Ian MacNaughton to propose a Python show for German television, leading to ‘Monty Python’s Fliegender Zirkus.’

The Pythons ended up filming two 45-minute shows for Bavarian television, very close in style to the BBC series, with the first shot in German. 

Jones later said they soon realised they’d bitten off more than they could chew by doing the show in German. 

The Holy Grail 

Monty Python and the Holy Grail trailer – 1975 

Released in 1975, Monty Python and the Holy Grail saw the group tackle the Arthurian legend. 

It was written and performed by Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin, and directed by Gilliam and Jones. 

It was conceived during the hiatus between the third and fourth series of their BBC series Monty Python’s Flying Circus. 

The film, parodying King Arthur’s search for the holy grail, is widely hailed as one of the greatest comedy movies of all time.  

40th anniversary trailer

In 2015, the iconic movie received a special 40th anniversary screening to celebrate its success. 

Monty Python and the Holy Grail was shown in UK cinemas nationwide for one night only in a special sing-along version.

The screening was preceded by a special introduction from actors John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Eric Idle.

Constitutional peasants in Holy Grail

A popular scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, it shows King Arthur speaking to two peasants. 

He tries to get the man, Dennis, and an unnamed peasant woman to tell him who lives in the nearby castle. 

To his irritation, the peasants refuse to recognise his authority over them, with Dennis saying: ‘Oh, king eh? Very nice. And how’d you get that, eh? By exploiting the workers. By hanging on to outdated imperialist dogma which perpetuates the economic and social differences in our society.’

King Arthur insists he is the King, to which the peasant woman, quips: ‘Well, I didn’t vote for you.’

LIFE OF BRIAN CLIPS 

Monty Python’s Life of Brian trailer- 1979 

Monty Python’s Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, was released in 1989 and directed by Jones. 

It starred and was written by Jones, Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin.  

The film tells the story of Brian Cohen, a young Jewish man who is born on the same day as—and next door to—Jesus Christ, and is subsequently mistaken for the Messiah.

‘He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!’ 

Perhaps the most iconic scene in British comedy, here Terry Jones utters his famous ‘He’s not the Messiah’ line. 

Playing Brian’s mother in the Life of Brian, he angrily tells a huge group of worshippers to ‘shove off’, insisting her son is not a diving figure and is instead a ‘very naughty boy’.

Unfortunately, the crowd refuse to heed her desires.

The iconic line is perhaps Jones’ most-quoted and fondly referenced by fans frequently. 

Blessed are the big noses

This clip, also from the Life of Brian, shows a crowd of worshippers gathered around Jesus Christ. 

Unfortunately, however, none can quite make out what he is saying as he addresses the masses. 

This triggers an argument among some members of the crowd, while a woman tells her husband not to pick his nose. 

Others tell the couple to shut up, with one member of the crowd dubbing the man ‘Big Nose’. 

A brawl ensues.  

Are there any women here? 

In this clip, John Cleese plays a Jewish official and asks if any women are present at the stoning of Mathias.

Hilariously, they all shake their heads, huddling together to avoid any scrutiny. 

Women were banned from the stoning.  

OTHER CLIPS 

Monty Python’s Meaning of Life – 1983

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, also known simply as The Meaning of Life wasw released in 1983 and directed by Terry Jones. 

It was the last film to feature all six Python members before Graham Chapman’s death in 1989.

Unlike Holy Grail and Life of Brian, the film’s that came before the Meaning of Life, this one saw the troup return to a sketch format instead of a coherent story.  

Terry Jones introducing outtakes from The Holy Grail

 A 35th-anniversary edition of the Holy Grail was released on Blu-ray was released in the US in March 2012.

The edition included outtakes and extended scenes with Python member and the movie’s co-director Terry Jones. 

The Meaning of Life LIVE trailer  

Monty Python – The Meaning of Live was a feature length documentary directed by Roger Graef and James Rogen which offered unprecedented access to the preparations and staging of ‘Monty Python Live (mostly) – One Down Five to Go’ reunion shows. 

The show, from, took place at The O2, London.



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