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John Marwood Cleese ( ; born 27 October 1939) is an Academy Award-nominated English actor, comedian, writer, and film producer who is known for being a member of Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus and the four Monty Python films: And Now for Something Completely Different, Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.

Cleese co-wrote and starred in, with first wife Connie Booth, the British sitcom Fawlty Towers. Later, he co-starred with Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and former Python colleague Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures, and has made significant appearances in many films, including two James Bond films (The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day), two Harry Potter films (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Chamber of Secrets), and two Shrek films (Shrek 2 and Shrek 3).

In Britain, he is also known for co-founding (with Yes Minister writer Antony Jay) the Video Arts production company, responsible for making training films.

Early life

Cleese was born in Weston-super-Maremarker, Somerset, the son of Muriel (née Cross), an acrobat, and Reginald Francis Cleese (b. 1894), who worked in insurance sales. His family's surname was previously "Cheese", but his grandfather, John Edwin Cheese, changed it to "Cleese" in 1915, upon joining the Army.

Cleese was educated at St Peter's Preparatory School where he was a star pupil, receiving a prize for English studies and doing well at sport including cricket and boxing. At 13 he received an exhibition to Clifton Collegemarker, an English public school in Bristolmarker. He was tall as a child and was well over 6ft when he arrived there. While at the school he is said to have defaced the school grounds for a prank by painting footsteps to suggest that the school's statue of Field Marshal Earl Haig had got down from his plinth and gone to the toilet. Cleese played cricket for the first team and after initial indifference he did well academically, passing 8 O levels and 3 A-Levels in mathematics, physics and chemistry.

After leaving school he went back to his prep school to teach science before taking up a place he had won at Downing College, Cambridgemarker where he studied law and joined the Cambridge Footlights Revue. There he met his future writing partner Graham Chapman. Cleese wrote extra material for the 1961 Footlights Revue I Thought I Saw It Move, and was Registrar for the Footlights Club during 1962, as well as being one of the cast members for the 1962 Footlights Revue Double Take! He graduated from Cambridge in 1963 with a 2:1 classification in his degree.

Career

Pre-Python

Cleese was one of the script writers, as well as being a member of the cast, for the 1963 Footlights Revue, A Clump of Plinths, which was so successful during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe that its name was changed to Cambridge Circus and was taken to the West Endmarker in London and then on a tour of New Zealandmarker and Broadwaymarker, with the cast also appearing in some of the revue's sketches on The Ed Sullivan Show in September 1964.

After Cambridge Circus, Cleese briefly stayed in America, performing onmarker and off-Broadway. While performing in the musical Half a Sixpence, Cleese met future Python Terry Gilliam, as well as American actress Connie Booth whom he married on 20 February 1968.

He was soon offered work as a writer with BBC Radio where he worked on several programmes, most notably as a sketch writer for The Dick Emery Show. The success of the Footlights Revue led to the recording of a short series of half-hour radio programmes, called I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, which were so popular that the BBC commissioned a regular series with the same title which ran from 1965 to 1974. Cleese returned to England and joined the cast. In many episodes, he is credited as "John Otto Cleese".

In 1965, Cleese and Chapman began writing on The Frost Report. The writing staff chosen for The Frost Report consisted of a number of writers and performers who would go on to make names for themselves in comedy. They included future Goodies Bill Oddie and Tim Brooke-Taylor, and also Frank Muir, Barry Cryer, Marty Feldman, Ronnie Barker, Ronnie Corbett, Dick Vosburgh and future Python members Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. It was while working on The Frost Report, in fact, that the future Pythons developed the writing styles that would make their collaboration significant. Cleese and Chapman's sketches often involved authority figures, some of which were performed by Cleese, while Jones and Palin were both infatuated with filmed scenes that open with idyllic countryside panoramas. Idle was one of those charged with writing David Frost's monologue. It was during this period that Cleese met and befriended influential British comedian Peter Cook.

Such was the popularity of the series that in 1966 Cleese and Chapman were invited to work as writers and performers with Brooke-Taylor and Feldman on At Last the 1948 Show, during which time the Four Yorkshiremen sketch was written by all four writers/performers (the Four Yorkshiremen sketch is now better known as a Monty Python sketch). John Cleese and Graham Chapman also wrote episodes for the first series of Doctor in the House (and later on his own Cleese wrote six episodes of Doctor at Large in 1971). These series were successful and, in 1969, Cleese and Chapman were offered their very own series. However, owing to Chapman's alcoholism, Cleese found himself bearing an increasing workload in the partnership and was therefore unenthusiastic about doing a series with just the two of them. He had found working with Palin on The Frost Report an enjoyable experience, and invited him to join the series. Palin had previously been working on Do Not Adjust Your Set, with Idle and Jones, with Terry Gilliam creating the animations. The four of them had, on the back of the success of Do Not Adjust Your Set, been offered a series for ITV, which they were waiting to begin when Cleese's offer arrived. Palin agreed to work with Cleese and Chapman in the meantime, bringing with him Gilliam, Jones and Idle.

Monty Python

Monty Python's Flying Circus ran for four seasons from October 1969 to December 1974 on BBC Television, though with only limited participation in the last six shows. Cleese's two primary characterizations were as a sophisticate and a stressed-out loony. He portrayed the former as a series of announcers, TV show hosts, government officials (for example, "The Ministry of Silly Walks"). The latter is perhaps best represented in the "Cheese Shop", and by Cleese's Mr Praline character, the man with a dead Norwegian Blue parrot and a menagerie of other animals all named "Eric". He was also known for his working-class "Sergeant Major" character, who worked as a Police Sergeant, Roman Centurion, etc. he is also seen as the opening announcer, with the now famous line: "And now for something completely different" a phrase that premiered in the sketch, "Man with Three Buttocks".

Partnership with Graham Chapman

Along with Gilliam's animations, Cleese's work with Chapman provided Python with its darkest and angriest moments, and many of his characters display the seething suppressed rage that later characterised his portrayal of Basil Fawlty.

Unlike Palin and Jones, Cleese and Chapman actually wrote together, in the same room; Cleese claims that their writing partnership involved him sitting with pen and paper, doing most of the work, while Chapman sat back, not speaking for long periods, then suddenly coming out with an idea that often elevated the sketch to a different level. A classic example of this is the "Dead Parrot" sketch, envisaged by Cleese as a satire on poor customer service, which was originally to have involved a broken toaster, and later a broken car (this version was actually performed and broadcast, on the pre-Python special How To Irritate People). It was Chapman's suggestion to change the faulty item into a dead parrot, and he also suggested that the parrot be specifically a Norwegian Blue, giving the sketch a surreal air which made it far more memorable.

Their humour often involved ordinary people in ordinary situations behaving absurdly for no obvious reason. Like Chapman, Cleese's poker face, clipped middle-class accent and imposing height allowed him to appear convincing as a variety of authority figures — which he would then proceed to undermine. Most famously, in the "Ministry of Silly Walks" sketch (actually written by Palin and Jones), Cleese exploits his stature as the crane-legged civil servant performing a grotesquely elaborate walk to his office.

Chapman and Cleese also specialised in sketches where two characters would conduct highly articulate arguments over completely arbitrary subjects, such as in the "cheese shop", the "dead parrot" sketch and "The Argument Sketch", where Cleese plays a stone-faced bureaucrat employed to sit behind a desk and engage people in pointless, trivial bickering. All of these roles were opposite Palin (who Cleese often claims is his favourite Python to work with) – the comic contrast between the towering Cleese's crazed aggression and diminutive Palin's shuffling inoffensiveness is a common feature in the series. Occasionally, the typical Cleese-Palin dynamic is reversed, as in "Fish Licence", wherein Palin plays the bureaucrat with whom Cleese is trying to work.

Though the programme lasted four series, by the start of series 3, Cleese was growing tired of dealing with Chapman's alcoholism. According to Gilliam, Cleese was the "most Cambridge" of the Cambridge-educated members of the group (Cleese, Chapman and Idle), by which Gilliam meant that Cleese was the tallest (6'4") and most aggressive of the whole group. He felt, too, that the show's scripts had declined in quality. For these reasons, he became restless and decided to move on. Though he stayed for the third series, he officially left the group before the fourth season. Despite this, he remained friendly with the group, and all six began writing Monty Python and the Holy Grail; Cleese received a credit on episodes of the fourth series which used material from these sessions, and even makes a brief appearance in one episode as the voice of a cartoon in the "Hamlet" episode, though he was officially unconnected with the fourth series. Cleese returned to the troupe to co-write and co-star in the Monty Python films Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Monty Python's Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life, and participated in various live performances over the years.

Post-Python

From 1970 to 1973 Cleese served as rector of the University of St Andrewsmarker. His election proved a milestone for the University, revolutionising and modernising the post. For instance, the Rector was traditionally entitled to appoint an "Assessor", a deputy to sit in his place at important meetings in his absence. Cleese changed this into a position for a student, elected across campus by the student body, resulting in direct access and representation for the student body for the first time in over 500 years. This was one of many changes that Cleese brought in.

Cleese achieved greater prominence in the United Kingdom as the neurotic hotel manager Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers, which he co-wrote with his wife Connie Booth. The series won three BAFTA awards when produced and in 2000, it topped the British Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes. The series also featured Prunella Scales as Basil's acerbic wife Sybil, Andrew Sachs as the much abused Spanish waiter Manuel ("...he's from Barcelonamarker"), and Booth as waitress Polly, the series' voice of sanity. Cleese based Basil Fawlty on a real person, Donald Sinclair, whom he had encountered in 1970 while the Monty Python team were staying at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquaymarker while filming inserts for their television series. Reportedly, Cleese was inspired by Sinclair's mantra of "I could run this hotel just fine, if it weren't for the guests". He later described Sinclair as "the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met", although Sinclair's widow has said her husband was totally misrepresented in the series. During the Pythons' stay, Sinclair allegedly threw Idle's briefcase out of the hotel "in case it contained a bomb", complained about Gilliam's "American" table manners, and threw a bus timetable at another guest after they dared to ask the time of the next bus to town.

The first series was screened from 19 September 1975 on BBC 2, initially to poor reviews, but gained momentum when repeated on BBC 1 the following year. Despite this, a second series did not air until 1979, by which time Cleese's marriage to Booth had ended, but they revived their collaboration for the second series. Fawlty Towers consisted of only 12 episodes; Cleese and Booth both maintain that this was to avoid compromising the quality of the series.
In December 1977, Cleese appeared as a guest star on The Muppet Show. Cleese was a fan of the show, and co-wrote much of the episode. He appears in a "Pigs in Space" segment as a pirate trying to hijack the spaceship Swinetrek, and also helps Gonzo restore his arms to "normal" size after Gonzo's cannonball catching act goes wrong. During the show's closing number, Cleese refuses to sing the famous show tune from Man of La Mancha, "The Impossible Dream". Kermit The Frog apologizes and the curtain re-opens with Cleese now costumed as a Viking trying some Wagnerian opera as part of a duet with Sweetums. Once again, Cleese protests to Kermit, and gives the frog one more chance. This time, as pictured opposite this text, he is costumed as a Mexican maraca soloist. He's finally had enough and protests that he's leaving the show, saying "You were supposed to be my host. How can you do this to me? Kermit - I am your guest!". The cast all joins in with their parody of "The Impossible Dream", singing "This is your guest, to follow that star...". During the crowd's applause that follows the song, he pretends to strangle Kermit until he realizes the crowd loves him and accepts the accolades. During the show's finale, as Kermit thanks him, he shows up with a fictional album, his own new vocal record John Cleese: A Man & His Music, and encourages everyone to buy a copy.

This would not be Cleese's final appearance with The Muppets. In their 1981 movie The Great Muppet Caper, Cleese does a cameo appearance as Neville, a local homeowner. As part of the appearance, Miss Piggy borrows his house as a way to impress Kermit The Frog

Cleese won the TV Times award for Funniest Man On TV - 1978 / 1979.

1980s and 1990s

During the 1980s and 1990s, Cleese focused on film, though he did work with Peter Cook in his one-off TV special Peter Cook and Co. in 1980. In the same year Cleese played Petruchio, in Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew in the BBC Television Shakespeare series. In 1981 he starred with Sean Connery and Michael Palin in the Terry Gilliam directed Time Bandits as Robin Hood. He also participated in Monty Python Live at the Hollywood Bowl (1982), and starred in The Secret Policeman's Ball for Amnesty International.

Timed with the 1987 UK elections, he appeared in a video promoting proportional representation.

During the 1987 UK general election, he recorded a nine minute party political broadcast for the SDP-Liberal Alliance, which talks about the similarities and failures of the other two parties in a more humorous tone than the standard political broadcast. He has since supported the Alliance's successor, the Liberal Democrats, starring in a political broadcast for the 1997 UK general election and narrating a radio election broadcast for the party during the 2001 UK general election.

In 1988 he wrote and starred in A Fish Called Wanda, as the lead, Archie Leach, along with Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline and Michael Palin. Wanda was a commercial and critical success, and Cleese was nominated for an Academy Award for his script. Cynthia Cleese starred as Leach's daughter.

Chapman was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1989; Cleese, Michael Palin, Peter Cook and Chapman's partner David Sherlock, witnessed Chapman's passing. Chapman's death occurred one day before the 20th anniversary of the first broadcast of Flying Circus, with Jones commenting, "the worst case of party-pooping in all history." Cleese's eulogy at Chapman's memorial service — in which he "became the first person ever at a British memorial service to say 'fuck'" — has since become legendary.

Cleese would later play a supporting role in Kenneth Branagh's adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein alongside Branagh himself and Robert De Niro. He also produced and acted in a number of successful business training films, including Meetings, Bloody Meetings and More Bloody Meetings. These were produced by his company Video Arts.

With Robin Skynner, the group analyst and family therapist, Cleese wrote two books on relationships: Families and How to Survive Them, and Life and How to Survive It. The books are presented as a dialogue between Skynner and Cleese.

In 1996, Cleese declined the British honour of Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE). The follow-up to A Fish Called Wanda, Fierce Creatures — which again starred Cleese himself alongside Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Palin — was also released this year, but was greeted with mixed reception by critics and audiences. Cleese has since often stated that making the second movie had been a mistake. When asked by his friend, director and restaurant critic Michael Winner, what he would do differently if he could live his life again, Cleese responded, "I wouldn’t have married Alyce Faye Eichelberger and I wouldn’t have made Fierce Creatures."

In 1999, Cleese appeared in the James Bond movie, The World Is Not Enough as Q's assistant, referred to by Bond as "R". In 2002, when Cleese reprised his role in Die Another Day, the character was promoted, making Cleese the new quartermaster (Q) of MI6marker. In 2004, Cleese was featured as Q in the video game James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing, featuring his likeness and voice. Cleese did not appear in the subsequent Bond films, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

2000-present

Cleese is currently Provost's Visiting Professor at Cornell Universitymarker, after having been Andrew D.marker Whitemarker Professor-at-Large from 1999-2006. He makes occasional, well-received appearances on the Cornell campus, but he lives in the town of Montecito, Californiamarker.

In a 2005 poll of comedians and comedy insiders The Comedian's Comedian, Cleese was voted second only to Peter Cook. Also in 2005, a long-standing piece of Internet humour, "The Revocation of Independence of the United States", was wrongly attributed to Cleese.

In 2006 Cleese hosted a television special at football’s greatest kicks, goals, saves, bloopers, plays and penalties, as well as football’s influence on culture (including the famous Monty Python sketch, “Philosophy Football”). Featuring interviews with pop culture icons Dave Stewart, Dennis Hopper and Henry Kissinger, as well as football greats, including Pelé, Mia Hamm and Thierry Henry. The Art of Soccer with John Cleese is being released in North America on DVD in January 2009 by BFS Entertainment & Multimedia.

Cleese recently lent his voice to the BioWare video game Jade Empire. His role was that of an "outlander" named Sir Roderick Ponce von Fontlebottom the Magnificent Bastard, stranded in the Imperial City of the Jade Empire. His character is essentially a British colonialist stereotype who refers to the people of the Jade Empire as savages in need of enlightenment. His armour has the design of a fork stuck in a piece of cheese.

He also had a cameo appearance in the computer game Starship Titanic as "The Bomb" (credited as "Kim Bread"), designed by Douglas Adams. When the bomb is activated it tells the player that "The ship is now armed and preparing to explode. This will be a fairly large explosion, so you'd best keep back about ". When the player tries to disarm the bomb, it says "Well, you can try that, but it won't work because nobody likes a smartarse!"

In 2002, Cleese made a cameo appearance in the movie The Adventures of Pluto Nash, where he played "James", a computerized chauffeur of a hover car stolen by the title character (played by Eddie Murphy). The vehicle is subsequently destroyed in a chase, leaving the chauffeur stranded in a remote place on the Moon.

In 2003, Cleese also appeared as Lyle Finster on the U.S. sitcom Will & Grace. His character's daughter, Lorraine, was played by Minnie Driver. In the series, Lyle Finster briefly marries Karen Walker (Megan Mullally).

In 2004, Cleese was credited as co-writer of a DC Comics graphic novel entitled Superman: True Brit. Part of DC's "Elseworlds" line of imaginary stories, True Brit, mostly written by Kim Howard Johnson, suggests what might have happened had Superman's rocket ship landed in Britain, not America.

From 10 November to 9 December 2005, Cleese toured New Zealand with his stage show, John Cleese — His Life, Times and Current Medical Problems. Cleese described it as "a one-man show with several people in it, which pushes the envelope of acceptable behaviour in new and disgusting ways." The show was developed in New Yorkmarker with William Goldman and includes Cleese's daughter Camilla as a writer and actor (the shows were directed by Australian Bille Brown.) His assistant of many years, Garry Scott-Irvine, also appeared, and was listed as a co-producer. It then played in universities in California and Arizonamarker from 10 January to 25 March 2006 under the title "Seven Ways to Skin an Ocelot". His voice can be downloaded for directional guidance purposes as a downloadable option on some personal GPS-navigation device models by company TomTom.

In June 2006, while promoting a football (soccer) song in which he was featured, entitled Don't Mention the World Cup, Cleese appears to have claimed that he decided to retire from performing in sitcoms, instead opting to writing a book on the history of comedy and tutoring young comedians.This was an erroneous story, the result of an interview with The Times of London (the piece was not fact checked before printing).

In 2007, Cleese appeared in ads for Titleist as a golf course designer named "Ian MacCallister", who represents "Golf Designers Against Distance".

In 2007, he started filming the sequel to The Pink Panther, titled The Pink Panther 2 with Steve Martin and Bollywood star Aishwarya Rai.

On 27 September 2007, The Podcast Network announced it had signed a deal with Cleese to produce a series of video podcasts called HEADCAST to be published on TPN's website. Cleese released the first episode of this series in April 2008 on his own website, Headcast.co.uk

According to recent reports, Cleese is currently working on a musical version of A Fish Called Wanda with his daughter Camilla. He also said that he is working on a new film screenplay for the first time since 1996's Fierce Creatures. Cleese collaborates on it with writer Lisa Hogan, under the current working title "Taxing Times". According to him, it is "about the lengths to which people will go to avoid tax. [...] It's based on what happened to me when I cashed in my UK pension and moved to Santa Barbara."

At the end of March 2009, Cleese published his first article as 'Contributing Editor' to The Spectator: "The real reason I had to join The Spectator".

On 6 May 2009, he appeared on The Paul O'Grady Show. Cleese has also hosted comedy galas at the Montreal Just for Laughs comedy festival in 2006, and again in 2009. He had to cancel the 2009 appearance due to prostatitis, but hosted it a few days later.

Personal life

1960s to 1980s

Cleese met Connie Booth in America during the late 1960s and the couple married in 1968. In 1971, Booth gave birth to Cynthia Cleese, their only child. With Booth, Cleese also wrote the scripts for and co-starred in both series of the TV series Fawlty Towers, even though the two were actually divorced before the second series was finished and aired. Cleese and Booth are said to have remained close friends since.

Cleese remarried in 1981, to American actress Barbara Trentham. Their daughter Camilla, Cleese's second child, was born in 1984. He and Trentham divorced in 1990. It was also during this time that Cleese moved from the United Kingdommarker to Californiamarker.

1990s to present

On 28 December 1992, he married American psychotherapist Alyce Faye Eichelberger. In January 2008, the couple announced they had split. The divorce was settled in December 2008. The divorce settlement left Eichelberger with £12 million in finance and assets; by the time she has received an agreed £600,000 over the course of the next 7 years, she will have more of his money than he does. Cleese stated that "What I find so unfair is that if we both died today, her children would get much more than mine".

He had begun to date American comedienne Barbie Orr in November 2008 but they split up in January 2009.

Cleese expressed support for Barack Obama's presidential candidacy, donating US$2,300 to his campaign and offering his services as a speech writer. He also criticized Republican Vice-Presidential candidate Sarah Palin — famously saying that "Michael Palin is no longer the funniest Palin" — and wrote a satirical poem about Fox News commentator Sean Hannity for Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

He is a vegetarian.

Radio credits



Television credits

Major roles



As host



Guest appearances



Filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1968 Interlude
1969 The Magic Christian
The Best House in London
1970 The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer Writer
1971 And Now for Something Completely Different Writer
1974 Romance with a Double Bass Writer
1975 Monty Python and the Holy Grail Sir Lancelot,
Tim the Enchanter,
Swallow obsessed guard #2,
Peasant #1,
Black Knight, French Taunter,
Body cart customer




Writer
1976 Meetings, Bloody Meetings a humorous business-oriented training video
1977 The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It Arthur Sherlock Holmes, a descendant of the original
1979 Monty Python's Life of Brian Reg, the High priest,
Centurion of the Yard, Deadly Dirk, Arthur,
1st wise man

Writer, various roles
1980 The Secret Policeman's Ball
1981 The Great Muppet Caper
Time Bandits Gormless Robin Hood
1982 Dish
Privates on Parade Major Giles Flack
1983 Yellowbeard Blind Pew
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life Various roles Writer
1985 Silverado Langston An English sheriff in a town in the western USA.
His first line, as he walks in to a bar to
break up a brawl, is, "What's all this, then?")

1986 Clockwise Mr. Stimpson, a school headmaster
1988 A Fish Called Wanda lawyer Archie Leach Writer, as lawyer Archie Leach (Cary Grant's real name)
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated - Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay
Nominated - BAFTA Award for Best Original Screenplay
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy



1989 Erik the Viking Halfdan the Black
1990 Bullseye! Man on the Beach in
Barbados Who Looks Like John Cleese
1991 An American Tail: Fievel Goes West Cat R. Waul
1992 Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? Narrator
1993 Splitting Heirs Raoul P. Shadgrind
1994 Mary Shelley's Frankenstein Professor Waldman
Disney's Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book Dr. Julius Plumford
The Swan Princess Jean-Bob
1996 The Wind in the Willows Mr. Toad's lawyer
Fierce Creatures Rollo Lee, manager of an English zoo the novelisation suggests that he
is actually the twin brother of Archie Leach from
A Fish Called Wanda, with a slight change of surname)

1997 George of the Jungle The voice of an ape named Ape
1998 In the Wild: Operation Lemur with John Cleese Host Narrator
1999 The Out-of-Towners Mr. Mersault, the hotel manager
The World Is Not Enough R A James Bond film,
As Q's assistant, nicknamed R by Bond
2000 Isn't She Great
2001 Quantum Project Father of Stephen Dorff's character
Here's Looking at You: The Evolution of the Human Face Narrator
Rat Race Eccentric millionaire Donald P. Sinclair
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone "Nearly Headless Nick"
2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets "Nearly Headless Nick"
Roberto Benigni's Pinocchio Talking Cricket's voice in English version
Die Another Day Q Second appearance in a James Bond film,
replaces Desmond Llewelyn as Q in the series
The Adventures of Pluto Nash James, a computerized car chauffeur
2003 Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle Father of Alex
Scorched Local Millionaire
George of the Jungle 2 The voice of an ape named Ape
2004 Shrek 2 King Harold Voice
Around the World in 80 Days Grizzled Sergeant
2005 Valiant Mercury, the captured pigeon Voice
2006 Charlotte's Web Samuel the sheep Voice
Man About Town Dr. Primkin
2007 Shrek the Third King Harold Voice
2008 Igor Dr. Glickenstein Voice
The Day the Earth Stood Still Dr. Barnhardt
2009 The Pink Panther 2 Inspector Charles Dreyfus
Planet 51 Professor Kipple Voice


Video game credits



Awards











Other credits

  • In 2003, John Cleese took part in Mike Oldfield's re-recording of the 1973 hit Tubular Bells, Tubular Bells 2003. He took over the "Master of Ceremonies" duties in the ‘Finale’ part, in which he announced the various instruments eccentrically, from the late Vivian Stanshall.
  • Cleese recorded the voice of God for Spamalot, the musical based on Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
  • Cleese narrated the audio version of C. S. Lewis's The Screwtape Letters.
  • In the late-1990s Cleese appeared in a set of poorly-received commercials for the UK supermarket chain Sainsbury'smarker. Around the same time, his Fawlty Towers co-star, Prunella Scales, appeared in more well-received commercials for rival chain Tescomarker.
  • He has enunciated a set of directions for the TomTom in-car navigation system. This allows itself humorous notes at non-critical moments, for instance when asking for a U-turn and when signing off: "I'm not going to carry your baggage — from now on, you're on your own" and "Bear right..Beaver left."
  • He plays the voice of Samuel the Sheep in the 2006 adaptation of Charlotte's Web. Samuel keeps on telling the other sheep to be individuals, not sheep. This is a reference to Monty Python's Life of Brian.
  • He has a speaking part at the end of the Alan Parsons song "Chomolungmamarker" from the album A Valid Path.
  • In 2008 John Cleese appeared in a humorous TV commercial in Poland advertising a bank loan.
  • From 2006-2008 John Cleese has appeared in humorous TV commercials in Icelandmarker advertising Kaupþing.
  • John Cleese is in the song title of "Reese's Pieces I don't Know who John Cleese is?" by the band I Set My Friends on Fire.


Honours and tributes

  • A species of lemur, Bemaraha Woolly Lemur or the "Avahi cleesei", has been named in his honour. John Cleese mentioned this in television interviews. Also there is mention of this honour in "New Scientist"—and John Cleese's response to the honour.
  • An asteroid, 9618 Johncleese, is named in his honour.
  • Cleese declined a CBE (Commander of The British Empire) in 1996.
  • There is a municipal rubbish heap of 45 metres (148 ft) in altitude that has been named Mt Cleese at the Awapuni landfill just outside Palmerston Northmarker after he dubbed the city "suicide capital of New Zealand".
  • "The Universal Language" skit from All in the Timing, a collection of short plays by David Ives, centers around a fictional language (Unamunda) in which the word for the English language is "johncleese".


Bibliography

  • The Rectorial Address of John Cleese, Epam, 1971, 8 pages
  • Foreword for Time and the Soul, Jacob Needleman, 2003  ISBN 1-57675-251-8 (paperback)
  • The Human Face (with Brian Bates) (DK Publishing Inc., 2001, ISBN 978-0789478368)

Scripts

  • The Strange Case of the End of Civilisation As We Know It, w/Jack Hobbs & Joseph McGrath, 1977  ISBN 0-352-30109-0
  • Fawlty Towers, w/Connie Booth, 1977 (The Builders, The Hotel Inspectors, Gourmet Night)   ISBN 0-86007-598-2
  • Fawlty Towers: Book 2, w/Connie Booth, 1979 (The Wedding Party, A Touch of Class, The Germans)
  • The Golden Skits of Wing Commander Muriel Volestrangler FRHS & Bar, 1984  ISBN 0-413-41560-0
  • The Complete Fawlty Towers, w/Connie Booth, 1988  ISBN 0-413-18390-4 (hardcover), ISBN 0-679-72127-4 (paperback)
  • A Fish Called Wanda: The Screenplay, w/Charles Crichton, 1988  ISBN 1-55783-033-9
  • Fawlty's Hotel: Sämtliche Stücke, w/Connie Booth, (The Complete Fawlty Towers in German), Haffmans Verlag AG Zürich, 1995

Dialogues

  • Families and How to Survive Them, w/A.Robin Skynner, 1983  ISBN 0-413-52640-2 (hardc.), ISBN 0-19-520466-2 (p/back)
  • Life and How to Survive It, w/A.Robin Skynner 1993  ISBN 0-413-66030-3 (hardcover), ISBN 0-393-31472-3 (paperback)


See also



References

External links




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