Born in Somerset in 1939, John Cleese emerged as a writer whilst studying at Cambridge.
After writing for Dick Emery and David Frost and contributing to At Last The 1948 Show, Cleese became a member of the now legendary Monty Python team.
Tall and with a delivery of clipped authority, Cleese seems to embody British middle class angst and his performance as stressed hotel proprietor Basil Fawlty is the acme of his comic prowess in the much loved sitcom Fawlty Towers (which he co-wrote with his then wife Connie Booth).
His script for A Fish Called Wanda was Oscar nominated, and Python films aside, he has appeared in Clockwise, Time Bandits and the James Bond and Harry Potter franchises.
Undoubtedly one of Britain's best loved comedians, he latterly moved to the States, guesting on TV comedies (Cheers, Third Rock From The Sun) in between film commitments and Monty Python retrospectives.
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