Terry Jones, a founding member of Monty Python and a beloved comedian, screenwriter, film director, poet, historian and author, has died. He was 77.
His agent confirmed his death to the BBC. He had been suffering from dementia, which was revealed publicly by his son, Bill, in September 2016. It left him unable to speak.
“We are deeply saddened to have to announce the passing of beloved husband and father, Terry Jones,” his family said in a statement.
Renowned for his depictions of middle-aged housewives, often with hysterically falsetto voices, it was Jones who would famously scream the iconic line, “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy,” while playing mother to the titular not-quite-son-of-god in 1979 comedy Monty Python’s Life of Brian, which he also directed. The line twice was voted the funniest in film history in U.K. polls.
Although rarely receiving the same acclaim as Monty Python’s other members, Jones also was widely regarded within the group as its underrated but passionate heart, known for his good-natured enthusiasm and a deep well of intelligence across a broad range of subjects.