Terry Jones is best known for his work with the Monty Python troupe as an actor, writer and director, though he has had a very rewarding career in quite a few fields from writing children's books to documentaries.
He was born Terence Graham Parry Jones on February 1, 1942 in Colwyn Bay, Wales, UK. He married Alison Telfer, a biochemist, in 1970. He has two children, Sally, born 1974 and Bill, born 1976.
He attended Oxford University, where he studied medieval English literature. He was interested in writing and performing and became involved with the Oxford Revue. This is where he first worked with Michael Palin, a future writing partner and fellow Python. Jones' final year at Oxford he and Palin co-wrote Hang Down Your Head and Die, a revue which delt with capital punishment.
Jones and Palin met most of the other future Pythons whilst working on a show for the BBC called The Frost Report. After The Frost Report, Jones and Palin amongst other various future Pythons, went on to do The Complete and Utter History of Britain and Do Not Adjust Your Set. Because of their work on these two shows, John Cleese was impressed enough to want to work with them again, for his new show, Monty Python's Flying Circus.
He participated in a great number of sketches in his time on the Flying Circus, a few to note being: The Man with Three Buttocks, The Cycling Tour, It's a Man's Life Taking Your Clothes Off in Public, and The Spanish Inquisition Sketch.
Jones is incredibly intelligent and a great debater. He would have a vision of what things should be like that sometimes lead to some problems with the rest of the troupe, particularly Cleese. Although they called them animated discussions, they would sometimes get into shouting matches about how a particular sketch should be performed. These arguments never really led to hard feelings though. And Jones' unwillingness to bend and great debating skills came in handy against their common foe, the BBC Program Planner.
In 1975 the Pythons finished their first full-length future motion picture, Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail was written and acted by all the Pythons including Jones, who also co-directed the picture with the American of the group Terry Gilliam.
Jones went on to direct Monty Python's Life of Brian in 1979 and then co-directed again with Gilliam on Monty Python's The Meaning of Life in 1983. Another thing worth noting is his work on Labyrinth, which he co-wrote with Jim Henson and Dennis Lee.