Born John Marwood Cleese, on 27th October 1939, to Reginald Francis Cleese, an insurance salesman, and Muriel Cross in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, John spent the formative years of his life at 6 Ellesmere Street in the same town, astutely managing to sidestep the surname Cheese, when his father changed it upon joining the army in 1915 (as pointed out by kessenich) Upon his grandfathers death, the Cleese family decamped to Bristol where John went to school

John spent five years, from 1953 to 1958, at Clifton College, then taught there for two years while waiting to go to Downing College at Cambridge University to study law. Whilst at university he ended up joining the Cambridge Footlights and became friends with Graham Chapman when the pair appeared in the 1963 Footlights production of "A Clump of Plinths". The show was hugely successful and ended up being turned into the "Cambridge Circus" and ran in London's West End. It was then exported to New Zealand and finished up on Broadway in America. This left Cleese relatively well known as an actor and writer, leading to contributions for the BBC TV show "That Was the Week that Was" and "The Frost Report."

In 1968 he married actress Connie Booth, and in the following year, the BBC flung Cleese and Chapman together with three graduates of Oxford University Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin in an attempt to create a new show. Aided and abetted by Terry Gilliam, Monty Pythons Flying Circus was created and ran for 45 episodes over a total three series. He then went on to co-write Fawlty Towers alongside his now ex-wife Connie Booth which ran for 12 episodes

Soon after the end of the Fawlty Towers series, John started suffering from bizarre flu like symptoms, which were intially dismissed by his doctor as being psychosomatic, but at the suggestion of Robin Skynner he entered group counselling for his suspected depression, and after several years came out of it and co-wrote two books with his doctor about his experiences - "Families and How to Survive Them" and "Life and How to Survive It."

This foray into self-help led Cleese to spend a period appearing in management training videos, to show how NOT to run things in such titles as "Meetings, Bloody Meetings," "The Unorganized Manager," and "Who Sold You This, Then?", before visiting the high-security Arthur Road jail in Mumbai, India forthe first ever 'Laughter Program'. He then did time himself, perfoming in bloody awful Sainsburys supermarket adverts, but seems to have been rehabilitated by his stay, and is going back to film work, starting with his portrayal of Nearly Headless Nick in the first of the Harry Potter movies

John Cleese has two daughters, Cynthia, from his first wife Connie Booth (married in 1968, divorced in 1971), and Camilla with his second ex-wife wife, Barbara Trentham (married 1981-divorced 1991, a bit longer this time). He now lives with his third wife , Alyce Faye Eichelberger, who he married in 1992, spending time in homes in Holland Park, London, and Santa Barbara

Below is a (relatively) complete listing of his TV/Film/Voiceover/Video Game work (It can be hard to trace him sometimes as he tends to use a lot of aliases - such as Kim Bread ,John Otto Cleese or Nigel Farquhar-Bennett

Rat Race (2001) .... Donald St. Claire
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone (2001) .... Sir Nicholas De Mimsy-Porpington (aka Nearly Headless Nick)
Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big (2000) (voice)
The Magic Pudding(2000) (voice) .... Albert the Magic Pudding
Night of a Thousand Shows (2000) (TV) .... Himself
Quantum Project (2000) .... Alexander Pentcho
Isn't She Great (2000) .... Henry Marcus
30 Years of Monty Python: A Revelation (1999) (TV) .... Himself
The World Is Not Enough(1999) .... R
"Mickey Mouse Works" (1999) TV Series (voice) .... Narrator
Out-of-Towners, The (1999) .... Mr. Mersault
"Laughter in the House: The Story of British Sitcom" (1999) (mini) TV Series .... Himself
Lemurs (1998) (TV) .... Presenter/Narrator
Parting Shots (1998) .... Maurice Walpole
Starship Titanic (1998) (VG) (as Kim Bread) .... The Bomb
Funny Women (1998) (TV) .... Himself
Monty Pythons' The Meaning of Life (1997) (VG) .... Various
George of the Jungle (1997) (voice) .... An ape named 'Ape'
Fierce Creatures (1997) .... Rollo Lee
Monty Python & the Quest for the Holy Grail (1996) (VG) .... Sir Lancelot, et. al.
Wind in the Willows, The (1996/I) .... Mr. Toad's Lawyer
What You Really Need to Know About... Peptic Ulcers (1995)
(V) Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time (1994) (VG) .... Various
The Swan Princess(1994) (voice) .... Jean-Bob
The Jungle Book(1994) .... Dr. Julien Plumford
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) .... Dr. Waldeman
Doctor Who: Thirty Years in the Tardis (1993) (TV) .... Art gallery patron
Splitting Heirs (1993) .... Raoul P. Shadgrind
American Tail: Fievel Goes West, An (1991) (voice) .... Cat R. Waul
Bullseye! (1990) .... Man on the Beach in Barbados
the Big Picture(1989) .... Bartender
Parrot Sketch Not Included (1989) (TV) .... Various roles
Erik the Viking (1989) .... Halfdan the Black
A Fish Called Wanda (1988) .... Archibald 'Archie' Leech
Grand Knockout Tournament, The (1987) (TV) .... Himself
Clockwise (1986) .... Brian Stimpson
Silverado (1985) .... Sheriff John Langston
Secret Policeman's Private Parts, The (1984) .... Himself
Group Madness (1983) .... Himself/Harvey 'Blind' Pew
Yellowbeard (1983) .... Harvey "Blind" Pew
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1983) .... Various
Privates on Parade (1982) .... Major Giles Flack
The Secret Policeman's Other Ball(1982) ....Himself/Various Roles
Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982) .... Various roles
"Whoops Apocalypse" (1982) TV Series .... Lacrobat
Great Muppet Caper, The (1981) .... Neville
Secret Policeman's Ball, The (1981) .... Himself/Various Roles
Time Bandits (1981) .... Robin Hood
Peter Cook & Co. (1980) (TV) .... Various Characters
The Taming of the Shrew (1980) (TV) .... Petruchio
Away from It All (1979) (as Nigel Farquhar-Bennett) .... Narrator
Life of Brian(1979) .... Various
To Norway, Home of Giants (1979) (TV) .... Norman Fearless
Monty Python Meets Beyond the Fringe (1977) .... Various
Strange Case of the End of Civilisation as We Know It, The (1977) .... Arthur Sherlock Holmes
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) .... Various
"Fawlty Towers" (1975) TV Series .... Basil Fawlty
Romance with a Double Bass (1974) .... Musician Smychkov
Golf Etiquette (1973) .... A Golfer
The Love Ban(1973) .... Contraceptives Lecturer
The Goodies and the Beanstalk(1973) (TV) .... The genie
Monty Python's Fliegender Zirkus (1972) (TV) .... Various roles
And Now for Something Completely Different (1971) .... Various roles
The Statue (1971) .... Harry
The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer(1970) .... Pumer
The Magic Christian (1969) .... Mr. Dougdale, Director in Southeby's
"Monty Python's Flying Circus" (1969) TV Series .... Various roles (1969-1973)
The Best House in London (1969) (uncredited) .... Jones
The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (1968) .... Post Office Clerk
How to Irritate People (1968) (TV) .... Various
"At Last the 1948 Show" (1967) TV Series .... Writer-performer
"The Frost Report" (1966) TV Series .... Himself

Listing taken from

Additional : Apparently the first person to utter the word shit on british television, which lead to Graham Chapman, whilst on his death-bed, betting him he couldn't be the first person to say fuck at a memorial service

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