Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 77 following a years-long battle with frontotemporal dementia, an uncommon form of dementia that he had been diagnosed with in 2015. Jones, who directed Monty Python's Life Of Brian and The Meaning Of Life and co-directed The Holy Grail, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 21 with his wife Anna by his side, his family confirmed in a statement to Metro.
"We are deeply saddened to have to announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Terry Jones," the statement from his family began. "Terry passed away on the evening of 21 January 2020 at the age of 77 with his wife Anna Soderstrom by his side after a long, extremely brave but always good humoured battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD."
"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 continued. "We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man whose uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humour has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades."
"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," the family wrote.
"We, his wife Anna, children Bill, Sally, Siri and extended family would like to thank Terry's wonderful medical professionals and carers for making the past few years not only bearable but often joyful," they added. "We hope that this disease will one day be eradicated entirely. 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.'"
Born in Wales in 1942, Jones became involved in theater at the Oxford University, where he met his long-term collaborator and friend, Michael Palin. After performing a number of revues together for the university's theatre club, the duo appeared in the 1967 TV sketch comedy Twice a Fortnight. Just two years later, they created The Complete and Utter History of Britain. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the comedy sketches appeared on the show Do Not Adjust Your Set, which introduced Jones and Palin to Eric Idle and later John Cleese and Graham Chapman. Together, along with Terry Gilliam, the five created Monty Python's Flying Circus, which ran on the BBC from 1969-74.
In 1975, Jones made his directorial debut with Monty Python And The Holy Grail, going on to direct Life Of Brian in 1979 and later The Meaning Of Life in 1983.