Monty Python's Terry Jones Is Losing Ability to Speak He's been diagnosed with dementia By Michael Harthorne, Newser Staff Posted Sep 23, 2016 1:19 PM CDT 34 comments Comments Terry Jones, founding member of Monty Python, has been diagnosed with dementia. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, file) (Newser) – Terry Jones, founding member of Monty Python and director of the comedy troupe's films, has been diagnosed with dementia, the AP reports. The 74-year-old Jones has primary progressive aphasia. The Huffington Post quotes a spokesperson for Jones as saying the disease "affects his ability to communicate and he is no longer able to give interviews.” Primary progressive aphasia takes away the ability to speak, write, and even understand words. Jones' illness was revealed in a statement announcing he is to receive an award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. HuffPo explains the statement was meant to explain why Jones couldn't accept the honor in person. Jones directed Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life and co-directed Monty Python and The Holy Grail.