Terry Jones dies at 77

Tributes pour in for Monty Python star

by Jennie Kermode

Terry Jones with Graham Chapman in Life Of Brian
Terry Jones with Graham Chapman in Life Of Brian

Irrepressible writer, director and Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 77, it was announced today. The much loved comedian, who had been suffering from dementia for several years, has received hundreds of tributes from fellow professionals and fans of his work.

Summing up many of their feelings, Edgar Wright wrote that Jones was "not only 1/6 of the Pythons, Mr Creosote, Arthur Two Sheds Jackson, Dino Vercotti, Mandy Cohen, Prince Herbert, Cardinal Biggles and the Nude Organist, but also esteemed director of all time comedy classic, Life Of Brian."

Jones also starred in Life Of Brian as its hero's mother, one of the roles for which he is most fondly remembered. His work as a director included Monty Python And The Holy Grail and Erik The Viking, and he wrote the cult hit Labyrinth.

"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," said fellow Python Michael Palin.

Despite his illness, which rendered him unable to speak in later years, Jones still attended public events as late as 2017 and worked to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society. He loved spending time with his fans and was known for taking the time to reply to letters individually. He also had a reputation for lighthearted mischief, getting a young Neil Gaiman drunk during what was supposed to be an interview.

"We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man" said his family in a statement, reflecting on his "uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humour." They were at his bedside when he died in his London home. "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," they said.

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