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Monty Python star Terry Jones dies aged 77 after battling rare form of dementia

Monty Python star Terry Jones dies aged 77 after battling rare form of dementia

FILE PHOTO: British comedian Terry Jones smiles as he leaves The Rolls Building in central London on Nov 30, 2012. (Photo: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett)

Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 77, his family said Wednesday (Jan 22), after a long battle with a rare form of dementia.

He died late Tuesday with his wife Anna Soderstrom at his side 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 humour has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades," his family said in a statement.

"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."

Jones directed some of the comedy troupe's most-loved works, including the 1979 movie Life Of Brian, about a man mistaken for the Son of God, which sparked criticism from the Church.

Playing Brian's mother, Mandy Cohen, he memorably delivered the line "Now, you listen here! He's not the Messiah. He's a very naughty boy!"

He appeared as a variety of characters in the television series Monty Python's Flying Circus, and was known for his performances in drag.

His family – wife Anna and children Bill, Sally, Siri – said he had fought an "extremely brave but always good-humoured battle" with frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

"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'," they added.

A message from the official Monty Python Twitter account read: "Farewell dear Terry J. Two down, four to go. Love Terry G, Mike, John & Eric."

Many celebrities have paid tribute to Jones, including actor Stephen Fry who tweeted: "Farewell, Terry Jones. The great foot has come down to stamp on you. My god what pleasure you gave, what untrammelled joy and delight. What a wonderful talent, heart and mind."

Queen guitarist Brian May wrote on Instagram that Jones was a "genius comedy star and wonderful guy".

Source: AFP/ga