British comedian and Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones has died at the age of 77.
Jones’ agent confirmed his death to the BBC. A statement from his family said he died Tuesday night after “a long, extremely brave but always good humored battle with a rare form of dementia.”
The native of Colwyn Bay, a seaside community on the north coast of Wales, was best known for founding the British comedy group Monty Python that led to his roles co-writing and co-directing the 1975 comedy Monty Python and the Holy Grail. In 1984, he received a BAFTA nomination for best original song for 1983’s “The Meaning of Life.” He also received an Emmy nomination in 2004 for outstanding writing for nonfiction programming for an episode of Medieval Lives.
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Formed in 1969, the British Monty Python comedy troupe also starred Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and Eric Idle.
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“It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away,” Cleese tweeted on Wednesday. “Of his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of ‘Life of Brian’. Perfection.”
It was revealed in 2016 that Jones had been diagnosed with a rare form of dementia, Primary Progressive Aphasia, that affected his ability to communicate. Following that news, his friend and costar Palin posted a message on Facebook about addressing his Monty Python costar’s diagnosis.
“Terry J has been my close friend and workmate for over 50 years,” Palin wrote. “The progress of his dementia has been painful to watch and the news announced yesterday that he has a type of aphasia which is gradually depriving him of the ability to speak is about the cruelest thing that could befall someone to whom words, ideas, arguments, jokes and stories were once the stuff of life.”
Jones is survived by his wife, Anna Soderstrom, and three children Bill, Sally and Siri. Read on for more tributes from Neil Gaiman, Edgar Wright, and others.
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