Entertainment

'Monty Python' co-founder Terry Jones dies at 77

Key Points
  • Terry Jones, comedy legend, screenwriter, film director and co-founder of Monty Python, has died.
  • He had been suffering from dementia, which was revealed to the public by his son Bill in September 2016.
  • "His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programs, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath," his family's statement said.
Actor Terry Jones attends the American Cinematheque presents Monty Python's Terry Jones in conversation with Edgar Wright held at the American Cinematheque's Egyptian Theatre on December 14, 2014 in Hollywood, California.
Tommaso Boddi

Terry Jones, comedy legend, screenwriter, film director and co-founder of Monty Python, has died.

Jones died Tuesday, his agent told BBC on Wednesday. He had been suffering from dementia, which was revealed to the public by his son Bill in September 2016. The condition left him unable to speak.

"We are deeply saddened to have to announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Terry Jones," his family said in a statement. He died at his home in north London. His wife, Anna Soderstrom, was "by his side after a long, extremely brave but always good humoured battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD," the statement said.

Born in North Wales, Jones went to Oxford, where he met fellow comedian Michael Palin. He, Palin, Terry Gillam, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman went on to found the comedy troupe Monty Python. Chapman died of cancer in 1989 at age 48.

Jones was well-known for portraying middle-aged housewives with high-pitched voices on "Monty Python's Flying Circus" as well as in "Monty Python's Life of Brian."

Jones co-directed "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" with Gillam and was the sole director of "Life of Brian" and "Monty Python's the Meaning of Life," two other Monty Python films.

Jones also was a prolific writer of screenplays, comedy pieces, history books and poetry.

"His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programs, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath," his family's statement said.

"We hope that this disease will one day be eradicated entirely," the statement continued. "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.'"

In addition to Soderson, his second wife, survivors include their daughter Siri, who was born in 2009, along with two children from his first marriage, Sally and Bill.