Terry Jones

Active - 1971 - 2016  |   Born - Feb 1, 1942 in Colwyn Bay, Wales  |   Died - Jan 21, 2020   |   Genres - Comedy

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Biography by Hal Erickson

Unlike many of his fellow Monty Python-ites, who were educated at Cambridge, actor/writer/director Terry Jones attended Cambridge's arch-rival Oxford, where he worked with the Experimental Theatre Club. Upon his graduation, Jones was hired as a BBC staff writer. From 1969 to 1972, he was one of the comedy conspirators on the internationally popular Monty Python's Flying Circus, remaining with the Python crowd through several theatrical films, serving as director on Monty Python's the Life of Brian (1979) and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983). On his own, he wrote and performed in the TV series Secrets, Ripping Yarns and So This is Progress. Terry Jones' non-Python film directorial efforts include Personal Services (1987) and Erik the Viking (1989, based on his own 1984 novel); he also wrote the screenplay for Labyrinth (1986) and adapted his stage play Consuming Passions for the screen in 1988.

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  • Was Head Boy at the Royal Grammar School.
  • Met and performed comedy with Michael Palin in The Oxford Revue.
  • Directed three of the four films that have been banned in Ireland: Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979), Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983) and Personal Services (1987).
  • Authored several children's books, beginning with Fairy Tales in 1981, and adapted one of them, The Saga of Erik the Viking, into a film in 1989 (as Erik the Viking). 
  • Had an asteroid, 9622 Terryjones, named for him in 1993.
  • Has written extensively on medieval history, which has led to his work on several documentary series on the subject, including Terry Jones' Medieval Lives (2004).
  • Performed with The Carnival Band, appearing on their 2007 album Ringing the Changes.