A private funeral for the late Terry Jones was held on Wednesday, that saw all his Monty Python colleagues join in force to celebrate the life of the TV legend. Among attendees were John Cleese, Sir Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam, who each said a final farewell to their fellow actor.
As his speech faded, the layers of social convention disappeared too. But what was left was the real Terry
The actor and comedian, who also directed some of the comedy troupe’s most-loved works, died last month at the age of 77 after a battle with a rare form of dementia FTD, which impairs the ability to speak and communicate.
A private ceremony was held at Golders Green Crematorium West Chapel in north London, to pay tribute to a “bold, brilliant and beautiful man”, followed by a small wake in a Highgate pub.
His coffin was brought in to the sound of How Sweet To Be An Idiot, by the late Monty Python songwriter Neil Innes.
The Mail Online reported that friends and family of the comedian were told that Terry had “no airs and graces”.
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“The only prerequisite Terry had, was that you had to not be boring.”
The publication said the service heard that his “final breaths were gentle and untroubled”.
Tributes were given by his wife Anna Soderstrom, older children Bill and Sally and his ex-wife Alison Telfer.
Anna recalled how her husband approached his dementia “with his usual good humour”.
“As his speech faded, the layers of social convention disappeared too. But what was left was the real Terry,” she said.
“And it was just as nice, just as naughty – maybe naughtier – and just as good-natured and generous as the Terry we have always known.”
Sir Michael, whose relationship with the late star and Life Of Brian director was described by Jones’s family as “more like a marriage”, also paid tribute.
An extract of The Diary Of Samuel Pepys was read by another of Jones’s friends, actor Richard Ridings.
The funeral was also attended by Carol Cleveland, who also worked on Monty Python, as well as comedy TV producer John Lloyd and screen stars Sanjeev Bhaskar and Jon Culshaw.
Terry’s family confirmed his passing on January 21, in a statement that described him as “very brave” with “extraordinary humour”.
“Terry passed away on the evening of 21 January 2020 at the age of 77 with his wife Anna Soderstrom by his side after a long, extremely brave but always good humoured battle with a rare form of dementia, FTD,” the statement read.
“Over the past few days his wife, children, extended family and many close friends have been constantly with Terry as he gently slipped away at his home in north London.
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“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 work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programmes, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath.
“We, his wife Anna, children Bill, Sally, Siri and extended family would like to thank Terry’s wonderful medical professionals and carers for making the past few years not only bearable but often joyful.
“We hope that this disease will one day be eradicated entirely.
“We ask that our privacy be respected at this sensitive time and give thanks that 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.'”
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