The legendary Monty Python actor and founding member of The Rutles, Neil Innes has sadly died at the age of 75.
Innes’s agent confirmed the comedian’s death confirming that it was an unexpected tragedy and that Innes had not been ill.
His family said in a statement: “We have lost a beautiful, kind, gentle soul whose music and songs touched the heart of everyone and whose intellect and search for truth inspired us all.”
The statement continued: “His wife Yvonne and their three sons, Miles, Luke and Barney, and three grandchildren Max, Issy and Zac, give thanks for his life, for his music and for the joy he gave us all.”
During his work with the iconic comedy series Monty Python, Innes appeared in both Life Of Brian and Monty Python And The Holy Grail writing songs for the latter. Innes also performed and wrote sketches for the comedy group’s TV series following the temporary departure of John Cleese.
He joined Eric Idle on the sketch show Rutland Weekend Television. It is on that show, which followed a fictional regional TV station, saw the birth of Beatles spoof The Rutles. As part of the spoof band, Innes played the character of Ron Nasty, who was based on genius John Lennon.
Innes would go on to become a mainstay of children’s television during the eighties and continued his work with music and comedy for many years to come.