Fri, Jan 24, 2020 - Page 4 News List

Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at age 77 in London


Monty Python’s Flying Circus star Terry Jones, right, carries his dog Nancy as he gestures to Talula, the dog of Python actor Carol Cleveland, outside the Angel pub in Highgate, north London, on Sept. 6, 2012.

Photo: Reuters

Monty Python star Terry Jones on Wednesday died at the age of 77 after a long battle with a rare form of dementia, sparking an outpouring of tributes.

“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,” his family said in a statement.

They said the Welsh-born writer, actor, comedian and director died late on Tuesday at his home in north London with his wife at his side.

Jones directed some of the comedy troupe’s most-loved works, including the 1979 movie Life of Brian, about a man mistaken for the Son of God, which sparked criticism from the church.

Playing Brian’s mother, Mandy Cohen, he memorably delivered the line: “Now, you listen here! He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!”

Fellow Python Michael Palin, with whom Jones also collaborated on the cult series Ripping Yarns, said his friend was generous, supportive and passionate and believed in living life to the full.

“He was far more than one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation,” Palin said.

Jones appeared as a variety of characters in the BBC television series Monty Python’s Flying Circus, often portraying middle-aged ladies, and also its famous naked organist.


His second wife, Anna, and children Bill, Sally and Siri said he had fought an “extremely brave but always good-humored battle” with frontotemporal dementia, which impaired his ability to speak.

They called him a “true polymath,” adding: “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.’”

Born in North Wales on Feb. 1, 1942, his family moved to Surrey, southwest of London, when he was four.

He developed an interest in medieval history while studying at Oxford University, where he joined forces with Palin.

Jones wrote books and presented medieval television programs throughout his career, and was an expert on the works of Geoffrey Chaucer, the English poet and author of The Canterbury Tales.

His college, St Edmund Hall, said it was “deeply saddened” at his death.

“He studied English here, was an honorary fellow and donated over 700 books to the library,” it said. “He will be sorely missed.”

After Oxford, he starred in television shows like Do Not Adjust Your Set and wrote for David Frost before a meeting in a curry house in 1969 gave birth to Monty Python.

Jones and Palin teamed up with Cambridge graduates Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle and US animator Terry Gilliam to discuss working together on a new BBC comedy.

Monty Python’s Flying Circus ran for 45 episodes over four series between 1969 and 1974 and the surreal sketch show broke the boundaries of TV comedy.

Jones’ much-loved characters included Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson, Cardinal Biggles of the Spanish Inquisition and Mr Creosote, a monstrously obese restaurant patron.

Another of his best-known lines was “Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam,” playing a waitress running through a menu made up entirely of the canned pork meat product.

Jones co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 1975 with Gilliam, and was sole director on Life of Brian and 1983’s The Meaning of Life.

He also wrote the screenplay for the 1986 fantasy film Labyrinth, starring David Bowie.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top