John Marwood Cleese (kliːz ; born 27 October 1939) is an English actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. Emerging from the Cambridge Footlights in the 1960s, he first achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report. In the late 1960s, he co-founded Monty Python, the comedy troupe responsible for the sketch show Monty Python's Flying Circus. Along with his Python co-stars Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Graham Chapman, Cleese starred in Monty Python films, which include Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), Life of Brian (1979) and The Meaning of Life (1983).
In the mid-1970s, Cleese and first wife Connie Booth co-wrote the sitcom Fawlty Towers, in which he starred as hotel owner Basil Fawlty, for which he won the 1980 British Academy Television Award for Best Entertainment Performance. In 2000 the show topped the British Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes; and