Facts about Terry Jones

Terry Jones died at 77 years old
Birthplace: Colwyn Bay, Wales
Best known as: A founding member of Monty Python's Flying Circus

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Terry Jones Biography

Terry Jones was the comedian, director and author best known as an original member of the comedy troupe Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

Terry Jones was born during World War II in Wales, where his father was stationed with the Royal Air Force. He attended Oxford University, joining a theater club and meeting Michael Palin, another future member of the Python troupe. They both began writing for the BBC show The Frost Report in 1966. There they met Graham Chapman, Eric Idle and John Cleese; a few years later, the five joined with Terry Gilliam to create the sketch comedy show Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

The show ran for only 45 episodes from 1969-74, but its absurd and subversive humor won fans around the world. Jones wrote sketches and played pompous businessmen, frumpy housewives, game show hosts and Spanish cardinals. The  troupe moved into feature films, with Jones directing Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979) and Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983). Though the Pythons went their separate ways, they continued to reunite for occasional live performances in the decades that followed.

Jones later directed feature films including Personal Services (1987), Erik the Viking (1989) and the sci-fi comedy Absolutely Anything (2015). He also wrote children’s books like The Beast With a Thousand Teeth (1993) and was an expert on the 14th-century author Geoffrey Chaucer; his 1980 book Chaucer’s Knight: The Portrait of a Medieval Mercenary was well-received in academic circles.

Terry Jones announced in 2016 that he had the neurological disease known primary progressive aphasia, which destroys the ability to communicate and leads to dementia. He died early in 2020.

Extra credit

Terry Jones was married twice: to Alison Telfer (from 1970 until their divorce in 2012) and to Anna Soderstrom (from 2012 until his death)… With Telfer he had two children: Sally (b. 1974) and Bill (b. 1976)… Anna Soderstrom was 41 years his junior; they met when he was 62 and she was a 21-year-old undergraduate at Oxford. They had a daughter, Siri, in 2009.


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