R.I.P. Terry Jones, founding member of Monty Python

The actor, director, and screenwriter was 77 years old.

Image: The Life of Brian / Warner Bros.

Terry Jones, one of the founding members of British comedy powerhouse Monty Python, passed away on January 21, 2020.

The Monty Python troupe, best known for its pioneering sketch series Monty Python's Flying Circus and films Monty Python and the Holy GrailMonty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python and the Meaning of Life, was an influence on a whole generation of comedians.

Beginning in 1969, founding members Terry Jones, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin went on to become household names. The phrase "Pythonesque" even became a common description in English households as a way to describe the type of absurdist comedy the group performed.

Jones, like the rest of the group, performed multiple roles in their comedies. Viewers familiar with Monty Python and the Holy Grail will recognize him most as Sir Bedivere the Wise, who conducts a witch trail by seeing if a witch is heavier than a duck. He also appeared as Prince Herbert, a prince who doesn't want to marry but wants to sing show tunes instead.

In the film Life of Brian, he is famously known as Brian's mother who would screech, "He's not the messiah — he's a very naughty boy!" The line was voted the funniest in U.K. film history twice.

Along with appearing in the film, Jones made his directorial debut with Holy Grail, co-directing alongside Terry Gilliam. He went on to be the sole director of Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

In 2015 he directed the comedy Absolutely Anything starring Simon Pegg and Robin Williams in his final film role. Absolutely Anything was the first movie to feature all living members of Monty Python since 1983.

He additionally wrote the original screenplay for the cult classic 1986 David Bowie movie Labyrinth.

In 2015, Jones revealed that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, a form of dementia. The aphasia made it difficult to learn lines and give interviews as time went on.

The actor was 77 years old when he passed.

Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

11 Comments

Post a comment
JimKlaisle 6 days ago
He is still alive! Josh gates just interviewed him on "Josh Gates Tonight"
IdaKnow56 5 months ago
"I'm not dead!" No, Terry, you never will be as long as we can see Monty Python on a screen of any size. God bless you and may you inspire young comedians for years to come.
scp 5 months ago
I ate a Spam sandwich in tribute.
Brian 5 months ago
That screechy voice from the Mom is "Life Of Brian" is the same voice (to me) in the older, yet just as famous I hope, Spam shtick on one of their comedy albums, and in one of their TV skits. Not sure which was first: album Spam or TV Spam. If you've never heard or seen the Python Spam shtick, it's likely on You Tube (perhaps search for "Monty Python Spam"). "...SPAM, SPAM, AND SPAM!" and the chorus signs "Spamity, Spamity..." OK, so I'm easily amused. Terry was so funny; so, so, SO funny. Thank you for making me laugh when I often really needed to, Terry!
Moody 5 months ago
He was also a historian & did some shows on medieval history over the years. They were very good & of course had his own unique twist on historical events. He will be greatly missed! RIP!
GoUTVols1961 5 months ago
My youth is vanishing very quickly! RIP Terry
daDoctah 5 months ago
Jones wrote the novelization of Douglas Adams' "Starship Titanic" after they agreed his own stipulation that he would work in the nude. Guess that organist character of his was closer to the portrayer than anyone realized.
Utzaake daDoctah 5 months ago
Terry Gilliam originated the nude organist in the Live from the Grill-O-Mat episode's Blackmail sketch. Terry Jones made it famous in the opening of the show's introduction during the third season. We lost a magnificent one today. RIP Terry Jones.
AgingDisgracefully 5 months ago
If this were a quiz, there'd be 16 tons of idiot Score Reporting. Or as we call it today, Conversation.
But just 2 comments?
What a world.
Thanks, Terry Jones.
harlow1313 5 months ago
I have great affection for "The Life of Brian," and "The Holy Grail."

And now for something completely different. I want to use "Pythonesque" in a sentence. Here goes: The current state of politics in the United States is Pythonesque.
teire 5 months ago
“What, the curtains?”
Thank you for the laughter.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?