Tributes pour in for Monty Python’s Terry Jones who has died aged 77

"We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man," his family have said

The Monty Python actor and comedian Terry Jones has passed away at the age of 77, his agent confirmed today (January 22).

Fellow Python member and close collaborator 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.”

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Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to…

Posted by Michael Palin on Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Eric Idle, another Python member, also shared a heartfelt tribute on Twitter. “I loved him the moment I saw him on stage at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963,” Idle said. “So many laughs, moments of total hilarity onstage and off we have all shared with him. It’s too sad if you knew him, but if you didn’t you will always smile at the many wonderfully funny moments he gave us.”

Tributes have been pouring in on social media for the seminal comedic actor, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2016. 

“Farewell Terry Jones,” tweeted Stephen Fry. “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.”

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Black Mirror creator Charlie Brooker has also paid his respects online, calling Jones “the actual genius.”

The Thick of It writer Simon Blackwell tweeted: “Lovely Terry Jones, the heart of Python. Ripping Yarns remains so gloriously funny, and Bert Fegg’s Nasty Book For Boys & Girls made me laugh like a small fool when I was eight. Very sad to see him go.”

Comedian David Walliams shared a photo of his comedy hero, thanking him for “a lifetime of laughter.”

Actor and comedian John Cleese echoes the praise for Jones and Life of Brian in particular. “It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away…” Cleese said. “Of his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of ‘Life of Brian’. Perfection.”

Edgar Wright remembered Jones as the polymath who both performed and directed in so many of Monty Python’s outputs, tweeting: “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.”

Jonathan Ross praised the “brilliant, funny, adorable” comedian, while Russell Brand touched on a Monty Python joke in his tribute.

Jones was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia in 2016, a severe variant of dementia which affects his ability to communicate.

In a statement, Jones’ family 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. 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.

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. (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

“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.

“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.”

“Terence Graham Parry Jones, born 1 February 1942 died 21 January 2020.”

The Welsh performer joined the Monty Python comedy team after graduating from Oxford University with future castmate Michael Palin.

Jones co-directed Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam, one of the series’ most beloved instalments.

In 2016, BAFA Cymru honoured Jones with a Lifetime Achievement award for his outstanding contribution to television and film.

More details will be shared as they come in.

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