Terry Jones, a founding member of famed British comedy troupe Monty Python, has died aged 77.
In a statement, his family said he died “after a long, courageous but always good-humored battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD.”
Jones was diagnosed in 2016 with primary progressive aphasia (PPA), a severe form of dementia that affected his ability to communicate.
With Eric Idle, John Cleese, Michael Palin, the late Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam, Jones formed Monty Python’s Flying Circus, whose anarchic humour helped revolutionise British comedy.
Jones appeared in the troupe’s TV series and films including Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Life of Brian, and The Meaning of Life.
One of Jones’s famous scenes was as Brian’s mother in Life of Brian, in which he uttered the line: “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”.
Jones’s wife, Anna Soderstrom, and children Bill, Sally and Siri, said: “we have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man whose uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humor has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades.”
“His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programs, poems, and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath,” they said.
News of Jones’s death has prompted an outpouring of emotion from his peers and fans around the world.
Author and comedian Stephen Fry said “the great foot has come down to stamp on you”, a reference to the animated foot that would crush characters during Python shorts.