We've got some incredibly sad news to pass along today as Terry Jones, a founding member of the famous Monty Python comedy team, has passed away. For the past several years, Jones had been battling a rare form of dementia called primary progressive aphasia, which had severely affected his ability to communicate. Due to complications from his dementia, Jones reportedly died on Saturday evening with his wife, Anna, by his side. The comedy legend was 77 years old.
"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," reads a statement from Jones' family, confirming his passing. The statement goes on to add: "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."
Sir Michael Palin, Jones' writing partner and fellow Monty Python star, also spoke about the news. "Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full," Palin says of Jones. "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."
Born in Colwyn Bay in 1942, Jones met Palin while studying at Oxford University, paving the way for both of their careers as entertainers. By 1969, they had formed the legendary comedy Monty Python comedy team along with John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Eric Idle, and Terry Gilliam. They all wrote and starred in the sketch comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus, which aired on the BBC for four series. Following the end of the show, the group moved on to film, making a handful of widely-beloved movies.
In 1975, Jones took a seat in the director's chair to co-direct Monty Python and The Holy Grail alongside Gilliam. As a solo director, Jones also helmed the Monty Python movies Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, appearing in all of these films as a performer as well along with the rest of the troupe. Jones' other works include the movies Erik the Viking, The Wind in the Willows, and Personal Services. The comedy legend's final movie came in 2016 when Jones co-directed and narrated the movie Boom Bust Boom - a documentary about the history of speculative bubbles.
Also expressing their desire to one day see dementia totally eradicated, the Jones family closed out their statement on his passing with a sentiment all of us can agree on, referring to Jones as an "extraordinarily talented, playful and happy man living a truly authentic life, in his words 'Lovingly frosted with glucose.'" RIP. There's no one else quite like him, nor will there ever will be, and his legacy will live on forever. This news comes to us from BBC News.