Jones, 74, is suffering from primary progressive aphasia, which impacts his ability to communicate. As a result, he is unable to give interviews anymore.
The Aphasia Institute in Toronto describes aphasia as “a language problem that masks a person’s inherent competence, and most dramatically affects conversational interaction (talking and understanding), as well as the ability to read and write.”
Further, many adults with aphasia “know exactly what is going on, have opinions on issues, have the desire to socialize, and are capable of participating in decisions that pertain to them,” but the illness affects a person’s ability to communicate feelings, thoughts and emotions, or the ability to understand what others say.
This news comes just as Jones is to be honoured in his native Wales.
BAFTA Cymru (the Welsh branch of of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) announced that they’re going to bestow Jones with an outstanding contribution award. Even though he can no longer speak, Jones still hopes to attend the event, which is taking place Oct. 2 at St David’s Hall in Cardiff.
“We are very much looking forward to celebrating the work of Terry Jones during the ceremony with a look back at his work from 1969 to the present day,” the director of BAFTA Cymru, Hannah Raybould, said.
Aside from starring in Monty Python movies and TV series, Jones was also behind the scenes, co-directing Monty Python and the Holy Grail along with Terry Gilliam. He also directed Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.
Jones has a daughter, Siri, 7, with his current partner Anna Soderstrom, and two older children, Sally and Bill, with ex-wife Alison Telfer.