Terry Jones, a founding member of Monty Python and a beloved comedian, screenwriter, film director, poet, historian and author, has died. He was 77.
His agent confirmed his death to the BBC. He had been suffering from dementia, which was revealed publicly by his son, Bill, in September 2016. It left him unable to speak.
“We are deeply saddened to have to announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Terry Jones,” his family said in a statement.
“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. 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.”
Renowned for his depictions of middle-aged housewives, often with hysterically falsetto voices, it was Jones who would famously scream the iconic line, “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy,” while playing mother to the titular not-quite-son-of-god in the 1979 comedy Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which he also directed. The line twice was voted the funniest in film history in U.K. polls.