Terry Jones, 74-year-old star of the Monty Python comedy troupe, has been diagnosed with dementia. The news was made public as the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) announced on Wednesday that he was set to receive its Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to Film and Television.
“Terry has been diagnosed with Primary Progressive Aphasia, a variant of Frontotemporal Dementia,” a spokesperson for Jones said in a statement on the BAFTA website. “This illness affects his ability to communicate and he is no longer able to give interviews. Terry is proud and honored to be recognized in this way and is looking forward to the celebrations.”
Hannah Raybould, director of BAFTA Cymru, said the organization is “very much looking forward to celebrating the work of Terry Jones during the ceremony with a look back at his work from 1969 to the present day.”
Jones made a name for himself as a triple-threat artist who mastered acting, writing, and directing. He co-directed 1975’s Monty Python and the Holy Grail with Terry Gilliam, contributed to the script, and portrayed characters like Sir Bedevere the Wise and Prince Herbert.
Before his illness was made public, Jones boarded the voice cast for the animated movie The Land of Sometimes, which features Ewan McGregor and David Walliams.