Terry Jones, a beloved member of the Monty Python comedy troupe who directed many of its classic films, died Tuesday. He was 77.
According to the Associated Press, his family said he died “after a long, extremely brave but always good humored battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD.”
In 1969, Jones joined with Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman and lone American, Terry Gilliam, to form the Monty Python comedy troupe, launching a sketch series, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus,” that revolutionized comedy with its offbeat, nonlinear sensibility.
Movies soon followed, with Jones and Gilliam co-directing “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975) and “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life” (1983). Jones was also the solo director of 1979’s “Monty Python’s Life of Brian,” the biggest box office hit of the troupe’s history.
In addition to his work in entertainment, Jones was also a medieval historian who published scholarly books like 1980s “Chaucer’s Knight: The Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary” and hosted documentary series about medieval life and the so-called “barbarian” cultures conquered by the Roman Empire.
Tributes quickly poured in for Jones from the showbiz world.
Director Edgar Wright remembered Jones for some of his most beloved characters: “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.'”
Actor and writer Stephen Fry tweeted: “My god what pleasure you gave, what untrammelled joy and delight. What a wonderful talent, heart and mind.”
A very fond farewell to Terry Jones: 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. pic.twitter.com/PeBDlvGfsD
— edgarwright (@edgarwright) January 22, 2020
Farewell, Terry Jones. The great foot has come down to stamp on you. My god what pleasure you gave, what untrammelled joy and delight. What a wonderful talent, heart and mind
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) January 22, 2020
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. pic.twitter.com/fNBJZwOFcX
— Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) January 22, 2020