Monty Python star Terry Jones has died at the age of 77, after having lived with dementia, his agent has said.
A statement from his family said: “We have all lost a kind, funny, warm, creative and truly loving man.”
Fellow Python Sir Michael Palin described Jones as “one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation”.
John Cleese said: “It feels strange that a man of so many talents and such endless enthusiasm, should have faded so gently away…”
He added: “Of his many achievements, for me the greatest gift he gave us all was his direction of Life of Brian. Perfection.”
The Welsh comic actor, writer and director died on Monday, four years after contracting a rare form of dementia known as FTD.
Palin went on: “Terry was one of my closest, most valued friends. He was kind, generous, supportive and passionate about living life to the full.
“He was far more than one of the funniest writer-performers of his generation, he was the complete Renaissance comedian – writer, director, presenter, historian, brilliant children’s author, and the warmest, most wonderful company you could wish to have.”
Other comedy figures paid tribute on social media.
Screenwriter Charlie Brooker posted: “RIP the actual genius Terry Jones. Far too many brilliant moments to choose from.”
David Walliams thanked his comedy hero “for a lifetime of laughter”.
Jones was born in Cowlyn Bay and went on to study at Oxford University, where he met his future Python pal Palin in the Oxford Revue – a student comedy group.
He appeared in the TV series Monty Python’s Flying Circus and the comedy collective’s films as a range of much-loved characters, including Arthur “Two Sheds” Jackson, Cardinal Biggles of the Spanish Inquisition and Mr Creosote.
Moving behind the camera, he also directed their film The Holy Grail in 1975, with fellow Python Terry Gilliam, and took sole charge of 1979’s Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life in 1983.
His family’s statement noted his “uncompromising individuality, relentless intellect and extraordinary humour [that] has given pleasure to countless millions across six decades”.
“Over the past few days his wife, children, extended family and many close friends have been constantly with Terry as he gently slipped away at his home in north London.
“His work with Monty Python, his books, films, television programmes, poems and other work will live on forever, a fitting legacy to a true polymath.”
The family thanked Jones’ “wonderful medical professionals and carers for making the past few years not only bearable but often joyful”.
They said: “We hope that this disease will one day be eradicated entirely. We ask that our privacy be respected at this sensitive time and give thanks that we lived in the presence of an extraordinarily talented, playful and happy man living a truly authentic life, in his words ‘Lovingly frosted with glucose.'”