Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 728, after having suffered from dementia, his agent has said.
A statement from his family said: “We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man.”
Fellow Python Sir Michael Palin described Jones as ” one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation.
John Cleese said: “It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away … “
He added:” Of his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of Life of Brian. Perfection. “
The Welsh comic actor, writer and director died on Monday, four years after contracting a rare form of dementia known as FTD .
Palin went on: “Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full.
“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. “
Other comedy figures paid tribute on social media.
David Walliams thanked his comedy hero for a lifetime of laughter “.
Simon Pegg – who acted in Jones’ final film as director, ‘s Absolutely Anything – said: “Terry was a sweet, gentle, funny man who was a joy to work with and impossible not to love. “
And comedian Eddie Izzard told BBC News:” It’s a tragedy – the good go too early. Monty Python changed the face of world comedy. It will live forever. It’s a terrible loss. “
Shane Allen, BBC controller of comedy commissioning, wrote that it was a “sad day to lose an absolute titan of British comedy “and” one of the founding fathers of the most influentia l and pioneering comedy ensembles of all time “.
Jones was born in Colwyn Bay and went on to study at Oxford University, where he met his future Python pal Palin in the Oxford Revue – a student comedy group.
Image copyright Getty Images
He appeared in the TV series Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the comedy collective’s films as a range of much-loved characters, including Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson, Cardinal Biggles of the Spanish Inquisition and Mr Creosote.
He also directed their film The Holy Grail in 1975, with fellow Python Terry Gilliam, and took sole charge of 1989 ‘s Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life in 1989.
Monty Python – a potted history
Monty Python’s Flying Circus, the groundbreaking comedy series that made Jones and his fellow cast members international stars, first aired on BBC One in October 1979
Surreal, anarchic and bawdily irreverent, the show’s blend of live-action sketches and animated interludes mocked both broadcasting conventions and societal norms.
Jones and Palin had met at Oxford, while Cleese, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle studied at Cambridge. After university, they took part in various comedy shows before forming Monty Python with US-born animator Terry Gilliam.
After four series, the troupe moved to the big screen to make Arthurian spoof Monty Python and the Holy Grail and Monty Python’s Life of Brian, a controversial parody of Biblical epics.
Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life, their final film as a collective, returned to the original series’ sketch-based format.
The surviving members reunited periodically after Chapman’s death in , most notably for a run of live shows at the O2 in London in .
Image copyright Monty Python
The statement from Jones’ family noted his “uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humor [that] has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades “.
” 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.
“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 family thanked Jones ” wonderful medical professionals and carers for making the past few years not only bearable but often joyful “.
They said:” 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.’ “
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