Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 77, four years after a long battle with a rare form of dementia that robbed him of his speech.
“We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man,” says a statement from his family that announced that the actor and comedian died last night, January 21, 2020, with his wife by his side.
“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 added: “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.
“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. 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’.”
However, tributes have poured in for the comedian including from fellow Python star Sir Michael Palin.
Michael Palin described Jones as “one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation”.
He added: “Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was far more than one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation, he was the complete Renaissance comedian – writer, director, presenter, historian, brilliant children’s author, and the warmest, most wonderful company you could wish to have.
“I feel very fortunate to have shared so much of my life with him and my heart goes out to Anna, Alison and all his family.”
Fellow Python star John Cleese, 80, also said: “It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away.
“Of his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of ‘Life of Brian’. Perfection.”
He added: “Two down, four to go.”
In 2016 it was announced that Jones had been diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of frontotemporal dementia where symptoms get progressively worse over time.