Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 77.
Jones, who had been battling dementia, passed away on Tuesday evening (January 21, 2020), his agent told the BBC.
The comedian, filmmaker and writer rose to fame as a member of the beloved British comedy troupe in the 1960s, directing the group’s films Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life, and co-directing their debut 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
“We are deeply saddened to have to announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Terry Jones,” a statement from his family began.
“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-humored 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 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.”
The funnyman’s spokesman revealed he had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) – a type of dementia affecting the brain’s frontal lobe – in 2016 before he was honored with a lifetime achievement gong at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Cymru (Wales) Awards.
The star’s Monty Python colleagues and his family had been helping him through his illness, with Michael Palin taking him on visits to the pub.
“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,” the statement continued.
“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.'”
He is survived by his wife Anna Soderstrom, his ex-wife Alison Telfer, and his three children.