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John Cleese

John CleeseAKA John Marwood Cleese

Born: 27-Oct-1939
Birthplace: Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, England

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Comic

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Monty Python

John Cleese was an outsider in school, and generally sat back and observed, developing his knack for subversive mockery. His father sold insurance, and his mother, Cleese has said, was "classically self-centered... And she lived to 101 -- I thought I'd never get rid of her". As an alleged grown-up, Cleese worked as a math teacher, then studied law at Cambridge, but quit his studies to join the Footlights comedy troupe, where he first met Graham Chapman. Cleese wrote for the original British That Was the Week That Was (not the less-inspired American copy), and worked with Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin on David Frost's satirical Frost Report. In 1968 Cleese pioneered the mockumentary with How to Irritate People, and he later wrote for Doctor in the House and The Two Ronnies.

Cleese was a founding member of Monty Python's Flying Circus in 1969, along with Chapman, Idle, Jones, Palin, and Terry Gilliam. Cleese stayed with the show for three of its five seasons before feeling that the comedy had declined, and cordially drifting away. He did, of course, return for all of the group's subsequent films and TV specials, and appeared in many of his fellow Pythons' projects.

Cleese has said that Fawlty Towers, his classic sitcom about a poorly-run hotel, was inspired by his stay at a hotel in Torquay, Devon, managed by an remarkably ill-tempered man. Written by Cleese and his wife, the series was actually comprised of two separate mini-series, six episodes made in 1975, and six more made in 1979 due to popular demand. After that, as with the Monty Python series, Cleese again felt the concept had peaked and that future episodes couldn't measure up.

He has since evolved into a character actor, equally adept at dry delivery or comedic roles. In the 1999 James Bond film The World Is Not Enough, Cleese played "R", the assistant to Desmond Llewelyn's "Q", the gadgetmeister. With Llewellyn's death, Cleese's character was promoted, becoming "Q" in 2002's Die Another Day. To a younger audience, sadly, Cleese is perhaps best known as Nearly Headless Nick from the early Harry Potter movies. Outside of these franchises, he wrote and starred in the farcical caper comedy, A Fish Called Wanda.

In 1971, Cleese founded Video Arts, a company that produces serious (albeit humorous) business training and orientation films. He is co-author of Libel Suits and How to Win Them, and Life and How to Survive It. In 1996, Cleese quietly declined nomination for knighthood.

Father: Reginald Cleese (insurance salesman)
Mother: Muriel Cross (not an acrobat, b. 1901, d. 2002)
Wife: Connie Booth (actress/writer, m. 20-Feb-1968, div. 1978, one daughter)
Daughter: Cynthia Cleese (actress, b. 1971)
Wife: Barbara Trentham (actress, m. 15-Feb-1981, div. 1990, one daughter)
Daughter: Camilla Cleese (b. 1983)
Wife: Alyce Faye Eichelberger (therapist, m. 28-Dec-1992, sep. 2008)
Girlfriend: Barbie Orr (actress, together 2008-09)
Wife: Jennifer Wade (b. circa 1971, together since 2010, m. 12-Aug-2012)

    High School: Clifton College, Bristol
    University: MA, Cambridge University (1963)
    Administrator: Rector, St. Andrews University (1973-75)
    Professor: Andrew D. White Professor-at-Large, Cornell University (1998-2006)
    Professor: Visiting Professor, Cornell University (2006-present)

    Amnesty International
    Obama for America
    Asteroid Namesake 9618 Johncleese
    Endorsement of Intel Centrino (2005)
    Cambridge Footlights
    Risk Factors: Vegetarian

    Will & Grace Lyle Finster (2003-04)
    Wednesday 9:30 (8:30 Central) Red Lansing (2002)
    House of Mouse Narrator (2001-02)
    Third Rock from the Sun Dr. Liam Neesam (1998-2001)
    Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-74)
    Fawlty Towers Basil Fawlty (1975-79)

    Trolls (8-Oct-2016) [VOICE]
    Absolutely Anything (12-Aug-2015) [VOICE]
    Over the Garden Wall (3-Nov-2014)
    Planes (9-Aug-2013) [VOICE]
    A Liar's Autobiography: The Untrue Story of Monty Python's Graham Chapman (8-Sep-2012) [VOICE]
    Beethoven's Christmas Adventure (8-Nov-2011) · Narrator
    The Big Year (14-Oct-2011) · Historical Montage Narrator
    Winnie the Pooh (6-Apr-2011) · Narrator [VOICE]
    Shrek Forever After (21-Apr-2010) · King [VOICE]
    Planet 51 (14-Nov-2009) · Prof. Kipple [VOICE]
    The Pink Panther 2 (6-Feb-2009) · Dreyfus
    The Day the Earth Stood Still (10-Dec-2008)
    Igor (19-Sep-2008) [VOICE]
    Shrek the Third (17-May-2007) [VOICE]
    Charlotte's Web (7-Dec-2006) · Samuel the Sheep [VOICE]
    Complete Guide to Guys (30-May-2006)
    Man About Town (7-Feb-2006)
    Valiant (20-Mar-2005) · Mercury [VOICE]
    Around the World in 80 Days (13-Jun-2004)
    Shrek 2 (15-May-2004) · King [VOICE]
    George of the Jungle 2 (18-Aug-2003) [VOICE]
    Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (18-Jun-2003) · Mr. Munday
    Die Another Day (18-Nov-2002) · Q
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (3-Nov-2002) · Nearly Headless Nick
    Mickey's House of Villains (3-Sep-2002) [VOICE]
    The Adventures of Pluto Nash (16-Aug-2002)
    Scorched (17-May-2002) · Mr. Merchant
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (4-Nov-2001) · Nearly Headless Nick
    Rat Race (30-Jul-2001)
    The Magic Pudding (14-Dec-2000) [VOICE]
    Isn't She Great (28-Jan-2000) · Henry Marcus
    The World Is Not Enough (8-Nov-1999) · R
    The Out-of-Towners (2-Apr-1999) · Mr. Mersault
    Parting Shots (18-Mar-1999)
    Monty Python's Flying Circus: Live at Aspen (21-Mar-1998) · Himself
    George of the Jungle (16-Jul-1997) · Voice of an Ape Named "Ape" [VOICE]
    Fierce Creatures (23-Jan-1997) · Rollo Lee
    The Wind in the Willows (18-Oct-1996)
    The Jungle Book (25-Dec-1994)
    The Swan Princess (18-Nov-1994) · Jean-Bob [VOICE]
    Frankenstein (4-Nov-1994)
    Splitting Heirs (30-Apr-1993) · Shadgrind
    It's the Monty Python Story (1993) · Himself
    An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (21-Nov-1991) · Cat R. Waul [VOICE]
    Bullseye! (28-Aug-1991) · Man on the Beach in Barbados Who Looks Like John Cleese
    Parrot Sketch Not Included: Twenty Years of Monty Python (18-Nov-1989) · Himself
    The Big Picture (15-Sep-1989)
    Erik the Viking (1-Sep-1989)
    A Fish Called Wanda (15-Jul-1988) · Archie
    The Secret Policeman's Third Ball (1987)
    Clockwise (11-Jul-1986)
    Silverado (10-Jul-1985) · Sheriff Langston
    Yellowbeard (24-Jun-1983)
    Monty Python's The Meaning of Life (1-Apr-1983)
    Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (25-Jun-1982)
    The Secret Policeman's Other Ball (21-May-1982) · Himself
    Privates on Parade (1982) · Maj. Giles Flack
    Time Bandits (13-Jul-1981) · Robin Hood
    The Great Muppet Caper (26-Jun-1981)
    The Secret Policeman's Ball (22-Dec-1979) · Himself
    Life of Brian (17-Aug-1979)
    The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (18-Sep-1977)
    Monty Python and the Holy Grail (3-Apr-1975)
    Romance with a Double Bass (1974)
    And Now for Something Completely Different (22-Aug-1972)
    The Statue (27-Jan-1971)
    The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (12-Nov-1970)
    The Magic Christian (12-Dec-1969)
    The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (11-Sep-1968)
    Interlude (May-1968)
    How To Irritate People (1968) · Himself

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