Terry Jones: Fellow Monty Python stars pay heartfelt tributes to beloved comic

22 January 2020, 15:27

Terry Jones was famed for masterminding Monty Python
Terry Jones was famed for masterminding Monty Python. Picture: PA

By Ewan Somerville

Celebrities including the line-up from Monty Python have paid tribute to beloved actor Terry Jones who has died aged 77 after a battle with a rare form of dementia.

Tributes have flooded in for Jones, from his co-stars and close friends, including John Cleese and Sir Michael Palin.

Mr Cleese wrote: "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.”

He added of his and Mr Jones’ fellow Monty Python writers Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Sir Michael Palin: “Two down, four to go”.

Mr Palin, who also appeared in the infamous show, hailed Mr Jones as "one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation".

"Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full,” he added.

The Welsh comedian died on Monday after living with FTD for several years. He was known for playing a range of famed characters on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, such as Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson and Cardinal Biggles of the Spanish Inquisition.

He was also credited as the mastermind behind Life of Brian, a 1979 comedy film about a young Jewish man who is mistaken for the Messiah after being born alongside Jesus, a storyline that Mr Jones branded “a very outrageous thing to do”.

In a tweet liked more than 17,000 times, TV personality Stephen Fry bid farewell to “a wonderful talent, heart and mind”.

“Farewell, Terry Jones,” he added. “The great foot has come down to stamp on you. My god what pleasure you gave, what untrammelled joy and delight.”

David Walliams paid gratitude “for a lifetime of laughter”.

In a statement, Mr Jones’ family remembered that his “uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humour has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades.”

They thanked “wonderful medical professionals and carers” for their support as Mr Jones “gently slipped away” from dementia, adding: “We hope that this disease will one day be eradicated entirely.”

"His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programmes, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath."