Terry Jones, best known as a founding member of the comedy group Monty Python, died on Saturday at age 77.

Jones is best known for his acting career, where he starred most notably in the legendary Monty Python films, including 1979’s Life of Brian where he uttered the iconic line, “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy!”

However, Jones was also an accomplished writer, director, historian and poet. Jones co-created and co-directed the first Monty Python film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), directed the next two films, Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983), in addition to writing and directing a plethora of other films throughout his career. He was also the author of several books, fiction and non-fiction, including some about medieval history.

Prior to his death, Jones had suffered with primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of dementia. His family said in a statement that Jones passed away Saturday evening with his wife by his side.

“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,” the statement reads. His family says that Jones’s “uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humour has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades.”


The surviving members of Monty Python –  John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Michael Palin – have now paid tribute to Jones. The other founding member of the group, Graham Chapman, died in 1989.

“HE WAS A VERY NAUGHTY BOY!!…and we miss you. Terry was someone totally consumed with life.. a brilliant, constantly questioning, iconoclastic, righteously argumentative and angry but outrageously funny and generous and kind human being,” Gilman tweeted. He then followed up with an additional tweet, writing that Jones was “very often a complete pain in the ass” and that  “one could never hope for a better friend.”

Palin, whom Jones was particularly close to, tweeted a picture of the two together, writing, “You will be very missed old friend. I feel very fortunate to have shared so much of my life with Terry.”


Idle said that he loved Jones “the moment [he] saw him on stage” and that Jones death is “too sad if you knew him, but if you didn’t you will always smile at the many wonderfully funny moments he gave us.”

“Just heard about Terry J,” John Cleese tweeted.

“It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away…

Of his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of ‘Life of Brian’. Perfection

Two down, four to go.”

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