John CleeseJohn Marwood Cleese (; born 27 October 1939) is an English actor, voice actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on ''The Frost Report''. In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show ''Monty Python's Flying Circus.'' Along with his Python co-stars 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 his first wife, Connie Booth, co-wrote the sitcom ''Fawlty Towers'', and he starred in it as Basil Fawlty. The series resulted in Cleese receiving the 1980 BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance, and in 2000 the show topped the British Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes. In a 2001 Channel 4 poll Basil was ranked second on their list of the 100 Greatest TV Characters. Cleese co-starred with Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, and former Python colleague Michael Palin in ''A Fish Called Wanda'' (1989) and ''Fierce Creatures'' (1997), both of which he also wrote; for ''A Fish Called Wanda'', he was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. He has also starred in ''Time Bandits'' (1981) and ''Rat Race'' (2001) and has appeared in many other films, including ''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.
Emerging from the Cambridge Footlights in the 1960s, Cleese specialises in satire, black comedy, sketch comedy and surreal humour. With ''Yes Minister'' writer Antony Jay, he co-founded Video Arts, a production company making entertaining training films. In 1976, Cleese co-founded ''The Secret Policeman's Ball'' benefit shows to raise funds for the human rights organisation Amnesty International. Although a long-running supporter of the Liberal Democrats, in 1999 he turned down a life peerage offer from the party. Provided by Wikipedia
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