The impact of dementia on Monty Python star Terry Jones has been “painful to watch”, his friend and fellow actor Michael Palin has said.
Terry, 74, who directed Monty Python’s Life Of Brian and Monty Python’s The Meaning Of Life, and co-directed Monty Python And The Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam, is suffering from primary progressive aphasia, which affects his ability to communicate.
Michael and Terry were members of the famous comedy troupe, which also included John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman.
In a moving post on Facebook, Michael said the impact on Terry’s ability to speak is “the cruellest thing that could befall someone to whom words, ideas, arguments, jokes and stories were once the stuff of life”.
“Terry J has been my close friend and workmate for over 50 years. The progress of his dementia has been painful to watch,” added Michael.
Michael said he had met up with Terry earlier this week and the Welsh-born actor had been smiling and laughing.
He wrote: “Not that Terry is out of circulation. He spends time with his family and only two days ago I met up with him for one of our regular meals at his local pub.
“Terry doesn’t say very much but he smiles, laughs, recognises and responds, and I’m always pleased to see him. Long may that last.”
The news of Terry’s illness was announced on Tuesday as Bafta Cymru announced he has been given a special award for outstanding contribution to film and television.
His award was announced at the Bafta Cymru nominees party, as was that of make-up artist Sian Grigg. The pair will be celebrated at the British Academy Cymru Awards on October 2.