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Entertainment & Arts

Monty Python stars John Cleese, Eric Idle fondly salute Terry Jones

Terry Jones
Monty Python co-founder Terry Jones died Tuesday night after a long battle with dementia.
(Associated Press)

John Cleese and Eric Idle were among the first to pay tribute to their fellow Monty Python alum Terry Jones in the wake of his death.

Jones died Tuesday night at age 77 “after a long, extremely brave but always good-humored battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD,” his agent told the Associated Press.

Cleese, Idle, Piers Morgan, Neil Gaiman, Stephen Fry and others took to Twitter Wednesday to honor the British actor, director, writer and comedy icon, highlighting favorite projects and quotes from his decades-long career.

Throughout the late 1960s and ’70s, Cleese, Idle and Jones brought joy to viewers with their revolving door of Monty Python personalities, revolutionizing the British comedic scene along with the troupe’s co-founders Michael Palin, Graham Chapman and Terry Gilliam. Chapman died in 1989.

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Jones’ agent says he died Tuesday evening. In a statement, his family said he died “after a long, extremely brave but always good-humored battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD.”

“It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away,” Cleese wrote. “Of his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of ‘Life of Brian.’ Perfection. Two down, four to go.”

“Thank you all for your kind thoughts and messages of support for our dearly beloved brother Terry,” Idle tweeted. “It is a cruel and sad thing. But let’s remember just what joy he brought to all of us.”

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The pair starred alongside Jones in Monty Python classics such as 1975’s “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” 1979’s “Life of Brian” and 1983’s “The Meaning of Life.”

“I loved him the moment I saw him onstage at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963,” Idle continued. “So many laughs, moments of total hilarity onstage and off we have all shared with him. It’s too sad if you knew him, but if you didn’t you will always smile at the many wonderfully funny moments he gave us.”

Jones is survived by his wife, Anna Soderstrom, and children Bill, Sally and Siri, who told AP, “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.”

See more social media tributes below.

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