Terry Jones was a Welsh actor, writer, comedian, screenwriter, film director and historian. He was a member of the Monty Python comedy team. Likewise, after graduating from Oxford University with a degree in English, Jones and writing partner Michael Palin (whom he met at Oxford) wrote and performed for several high-profile British comedy programmes, including Do Not Adjust Your Set and The Frost Report, before creating Monty Python’s Flying Circus with Cambridge graduates Eric Idle, John Cleese, and Graham Chapman, and American animator/filmmaker Terry Gilliam.
Jones was largely responsible for the programme’s innovative, surreal structure, in which sketches flowed from one to the next without the use of punchlines. He made his directorial debut with the team’s first film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, which he co-directed with Gilliam, and also directed the subsequent Python films Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.
Jones was born in the seaside town of Colwyn Bay, on the north coast of Wales, the son of Dilys Louisa (Newnes), a homemaker, and Alick George Parry Jones, a bank clerk. Furthermore, Jones attended Esher COE primary school, followed by the Royal Grammar School in Guildford, where he was school captain in the 1960–61 academic year. He read English at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, but “strayed into history”. Moreover, he became interested in the medieval period through reading Chaucer as part of his English degree. He graduated with a 2:1.
Jones married Alison Telfer in 1970, and they had two children together, Sally (born 1974) and Bill (born 1976). They had an open marriage. Since 2009, Jones left her for Anna Söderström, who was 41 years his junior. And with whom he had been in a relationship for five years. In September 2009 a daughter was born to Söderström and Jones. They got married in 2012.
Jones published a number of articles on political and social commentary, principally in newspapers The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent and The Observer. Many of these articles criticised the War on Terror. And belittling it as “declaring war on an abstract noun” and comparing it to attempting to “annihilate mockery”.
Health and death
He had first given cause for concern during the Monty Python reunion show Monty Python Live (Mostly). That was in July 2014 because of difficulties learning his lines. He became a campaigner for awareness of, and fundraiser for research into, dementia. By September 2016, he was no longer able to give interviews. By April 2017, Jones had lost the ability to say more than a few words of agreement. Jones died on 21 January 2020 from complications of dementia at his home in North London.
- Full Name: Terence Graham Parry Jones
- Date of Birth: 1 February 1942
- Birth Place: Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales
- Date of Death: 21 January 2020
- Aged: 77
- Death Place: London, England
- Alma mater: St Edmund Hall, Oxford
- Occupation: Actor, writer, comedian, film director, presenter, poet, historian, author
- Known for: Monty Python
- Spouse(s): Alison Telfer (m 1970; div. 2012), Anna Söderström (m since 2012)
- Books: Fairy Tales, The Saga of Erik the Viking, MORE
- Children: Bill Jones, Sally Jones, William George Parry Jones, Siri Jones, Sally Louise Parry Jones
- Net Worth: $15 Million
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