Terence “Terry” Graham Parry Jones was born in Colwyn Bay, North Wales, on Feb. 1, 1942. He passed away in his home in the Highgate neighborhood of North London on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. He was 77 years of age at the time of his death. The actor, comedy writer, director, and author was diagnosed with dementia back in 2015. In 2016, Jones announced that he had primary progressive aphasia, a neurological disease that impairs the ability to communicate.
Jones was a co-founder of Monty Python and was instrumental in creating the wacky, absurd style comedy that made Monty Python famous. He directed two of the English comedy group’s most successful films, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” and “Monty Python’s Life of Brian.” In “Life of Brian,” Jones played Mandy Cohen, mother of the titular Brian, and appeared before a crowd to deliver probably his most famous comically squawky voice line, “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!” Jones also wrote the screenplay for the 1986 cult classic, “Labyrinth” starring David Bowe.
Jones was nominated for a BAFTA for best original song for “Every Sperm is Sacred” from “Monty Python’s the Meaning of Life” in 1983. Jones was nominated in 2004, for an Emmy for his work on the BBC documentary series “Medieval Lives.” Jones received a standing ovation when he received the BAFTA Special Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television in October 2016. His fellow Python, Michael Palin, and Jones’ son spoke on his behalf due to his physically being unable to make the speech himself.
Jones’ wife and three children said that they 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.”
Jones and Palin told the U.K. news agency, Press Association that “He (Jones) 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.”
By Sheena Robertson
NBCNews: Monty Python star Terry Jones dies at 77, 5 years after dementia diagnosis
NYTimes: Terry Jones, Monty Python Founder and Scholar, Is Dead at 77
Variety: Terry Jones, Monty Python Co-Founder, Dies at 77
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