Welsh born actor Terry Jones died January 21 at the age of 77 in his London home as the result of complications from dementia.
A prolific writer and performer, Jones is best known for Monty Python. A founding member of the troupe
Terence Graham Perry Jones was born February 1, 1942 in Colwyn Bay, Wales. His father was in the Royal Air Force stationed in Scotland and India. A young Terry would be four years old before he saw his father. When he was five, the family moved to the suburbs of London.
While studying at Oxford, he joined up with Michael Palin and began writing. His first forray into writing for a comedy series was in the 1960’s with “The Frost Report” and “Do Not Adjust Your Set”.
In 1969 Jones, college mate Michael Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and Terry Gilliam came together to create “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. They mixed satire, surrealism, and good old British humour to change the way the country…and the world…looked at comedy. Jones was a part of the BBC television series and Monty Python movies. An all male troupe, it fell to Jones to portray many of the company’s female roles.
Jones made his acting debut in 1967 on “Twice a Fortnight”. From there he went on to appear in over 50 film and television productions including “Complete and Utter History of Britain”, “And Now for Something Completely Different”, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” and Monty Pythom films, an uncredited role in “The Great Muppet Caper”, “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles”, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”, “The Legend of Dick and Don”, and the “Secret Policeman’s Ball”.
Jones 50 plus writing credits include “Barbarians”, “Medieval Lives”, “Ancient Inventions”, “Blazing Dragons”, “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”, “Erik the Viking”, “Labyrinth”, “The Meaning of Life”, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”,and “The Frost Report”.
Jones wrote the screenplay “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, the film was later turned into a hit Broadway musical titled “Spamalot”. Jones appeared in the Broadway and touring productions of the musical; as well as, providing additional text for the musical revue “Cambridge Circus”.
After performing parodies and satires about biblical and ancient history, Jones turns to writing books, poetry, creating documentaries, and directing films.
It was during a 2014 reunion tour, that his fellow Mony Python mates saw Jones having trouble remembering his lines, but it would be another two years before it was revealed that Jones had contracted frontotemporal dementia – a rare form of dementia that gradually robs a person of the ability to write and speak.
Jones is survived by his second wife Anna Soderstrom and children Bill, Sally, and Siri.
Feature photo credit: By Eduardo Unda-Sanzana – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69939737