John Cleese

John Marwood Cleese ( born October 27, 1939 in Weston -super- Mare, Somerset ) is an English comedian, actor, screenwriter and voice actor, who became famous as a member of Monty Python. He was also successful with the TV series Fawlty Towers and the film A Fish Called Wanda.

  • 3.1 television 3.1.1 series, TV movies and shows
  • 3.1.2 documentation
  • 4.1 television
  • 4.2 Movies


John Cleese's parents were members of the middle class, she allowed her son a private education. His father Reginald Francis Cleese was originally Cheese ( German: cheese ), but his last name changed in 1915, after he had joined the army. At the age of twelve, John was 183 cm tall, a year later, nearly 196 cm and grown with it. The many jokes about his size were a good workout for his humor and his quick wit. Cleese collected jokes and was a faithful listener of the radio comedy show The Goon Show, in which appeared, among others, Peter Sellers.

John Cleese studied law at Downing College, Cambridge. He was a member of the Cambridge Footlights Revue successful where he could live out his comedic talent on, as well as the later Monty Python member Graham Chapman. After receiving his doctorate Cleese wrote for the BBC and went with the Cambridge Footlights Revue on tour in New Zealand and the USA. There he met Terry Gilliam know, another later Monty Python member. After his return from the States, he appeared in the radio comedy I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again the BBC, which ran successfully for several years.

First television appearances followed, he worked with Marty Feldman and the other later Monty Python members Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin. 1969 was first broadcast Monty Python's Flying Circus. The group had overwhelming success with their farcical and grotesque humor. Cleese has appeared in well over a hundred different roles, but most parodied the distances Bound, emotion -fearing Englishman of high society.

After three seasons Cleese left the show, but worked on another Monty Python projects outside the TV format. In 1975 he produced the sitcom Fawlty Towers, which was equally successful. Cleese played in a stiff, anxious hotel manager who strives constantly to the appearance of a functioning house, but constantly gets into embarrassing situations.

Cleese then founded the production company Video Arts, and was successful with witty and ironic training videos for managers. Together with the family therapist Robin Skynner he wrote psychological counselor. To this day, he also developed popular science television programs.

He had in 1988 with the written by him and co - staged feature film A Fish Called Wanda (A Fish Called Wanda ), in which he again plays the typical feeling inhibited Englishman, his greatest success. The gangster comedy came with critics and audiences alike and has received a number of major awards ( including an Oscar nomination for best Cleese as a screenwriter, and his supporting actor Kevin Kline won the Oscar for best supporting actor ). His second feature film Fierce Creatures ( Fierce Creatures ) in 1996 in the cinemas. As in A Fish Called Wanda played Cleese alongside Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Palin, the movie was not nearly as much applause. Cleese has subsequently written a further feature film screenplay more and has repeatedly called it a mistake to have made ​​Wild creatures. When he was in 2008 by his friend, director and restaurant critic Michael Winner, asked what would he do differently if he had the chance to live his life again, Cleese went so far as to say: "I would Alyce Faye Eichelberger [ his third wife ] not married and I would not have turned Fierce Creatures. "

Cleese is also known for two other roles: that of Nearly Headless Nick in the film adaptations of the Harry Potter novels and the role of R, the weapons developers and successor of James Bond's Q in two films of the series.

John Cleese is how his television documentaries show, very interested in education and knowledge transfer. He was from 1970 to 1973 Rector of the University of St Andrews is still a visiting professor at Cornell University in New York. Cleese is committed to the preservation of endangered lemurs. In gratitude for his dedication 2005, a lemur named after him ( Avahi cleesei ).

The New Zealand city of Palmerston North in 2007 named a garbage dump after John Cleese. The comedian, the city had previously called suicide capital of New Zealand. Palmerston North, which has an average for New Zealand suicide rate, baptized the heap in an act of " retaliation" in Mount Cleese order.

Currently, John Cleese collaborates with his daughter Camilla in a musical version of his feature film A Fish Called Wanda. For the first time since the 1996 film Fierce Creatures, he wrote again on a screenplay - working title: Taxing Times. Co -author is the Irishwoman Lisa Hogan, with Cleese for a long time is a friend and who was already seen in Fierce Creatures. According to John Cleese, it 's about " the efforts of some people to save taxes. [ ...] [ The book ] is based on my own as I let my withdraw my UK pension and have moved to Santa Barbara. "


John Cleese was ten years married to the American actress Connie Booth, who was also in Monty Python's Flying Circus and appearances in Fawlty Towers played the maid Polly. Their daughter Cynthia Cleese playing a small role in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures. Cleese and Booth worked together even after their divorce at the second Fawlty Towers - season and are friends to this day. Barbara Trentham - also an American actress - married Cleese 1981 1984 was the couple's daughter Camilla. . The marriage ended in divorce in 1990.

On December 28, 1992 married John Cleese psychotherapist Alyce Faye American Eichelberger, 1999, he emigrated to California. The couple has no children together, separated in January 2008. The divorce process was closely followed in the UK, as Eichelberger received a severance payment in the amount of 13.5 million euros.

In August 2012, Cleese married on the Caribbean island of Mustique, the 31 years younger Jennifer Wade.

Cleese lives and works in California, in between he is attending residencies in London.


  • The voice of John Cleese was mostly synchronized in Germany by Thomas Dannenberg.
  • The most used phrase from the lips of John Cleese in Flying Circus was: " And now for something completely Call different. "
  • In Movie Park Germany several video sequences were filmed with John Cleese for the attraction Timeriders to guide the visitors.

Selected filmography


Series, TV movies and shows


  • 2001: The Human Face
  • 2004: Wine for the Confused
  • 2005: Power of the Sun
  • 2006: The Art of Football from A to Z



  • Cleese also took part in Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells with 2003, where he embarking Instruments announces the end of the piece "Finale ".
  • Also on the album A Valid Path ( 2004) by Alan Parsons Cleese made ​​a guest appearance in the play Chomolungma.
  • Cleese also says the butler named Jasper in the game Fable III, which was released in Germany on October 29, 2010.