John Cleese

Cleese in 2023 John Marwood Cleese ( ; born 27 October 1939) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, and presenter. Emerging from the Cambridge Footlights in the 1960s, he first achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on ''The Frost Report''. In the late 1960s, he cofounded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show ''Monty Python's Flying Circus.'' Along with his Python costars Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin, and Graham Chapman, Cleese starred in Monty Python films, which include ''Monty Python and the Holy Grail'' (1975), ''Life of Brian'' (1979), and ''The Meaning of Life'' (1983).

In the mid-1970s, Cleese and first wife Connie Booth cowrote the sitcom ''Fawlty Towers'', in which he starred as hotel owner Basil Fawlty, for which he won the 1980 British Academy Television Award for Best Entertainment Performance. In 2000, the show topped the British Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes, and in a 2001 Channel 4 poll, Basil was ranked second on its list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters.

Cleese costarred with Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Michael Palin in ''A Fish Called Wanda'' (1988) and ''Fierce Creatures'' (1997), both of which he also wrote. For ''A Fish Called Wanda'', he received Academy Award, BAFTA Award, and Golden Globe Award nominations. He has also starred in ''Time Bandits'' (1981), ''Clockwise'' (1986), and ''Rat Race'' (2001) and acted in ''Silverado'' (1985), ''Mary Shelley's Frankenstein'' (1994), two ''James Bond'' films (as R and Q), two ''Harry Potter'' films (as Nearly Headless Nick), and the last three ''Shrek'' films. He received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for ''Cheers'' (1987) and was nominated for ''3rd Rock from the Sun'' (1998) and ''Will & Grace'' (2004).

Cleese has specialised in political and religious satire, black comedy, sketch comedy, and surreal humour. He was ranked the second best comedian ever in a 2005 Channel 4 poll of fellow comedians. He cofounded Video Arts, a production company making entertaining training films as well as ''The Secret Policeman's Ball'' benefit shows to raise funds for the human rights organisation Amnesty International. Formerly a staunch supporter of the Liberal Democrats, in 1999, he turned down an offer from the party to nominate him for a life peerage. In 2023, he began presenting a talk show on GB News. Provided by Wikipedia
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by Oldfield, Mike, 1953-
Published 2003
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