Jones’s 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.”
Jones’s wife, Anna Soderstrom, and children Bill, Sally and Siri, said “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.
Born in Wales in 1942, Jones attended Oxford University, where he began writing and performing with fellow student Michael Palin.
After leaving university, he wrote for seminal 1960s comedy series including “The Frost Report” and “Do Not Adjust Your Set.” At the end of the decade he, Palin, Eric Idle, John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and Terry Gilliam formed Monty Python’s Flying Circus, whose surreal, irreverent humor helped revolutionize British comedy.
Jones wrote and performed for the troupe’s early-70s TV series and films including “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” in 1975 and “Monty Python’s Life of Brian” in 1979.
Playing the mother of Brian, a hapless young man who is mistaken for Jesus, he delivered one of the Pythons’ most famous lines: “He’s not the Messiah. He’s a very naughty boy!”