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John Cleese first appeared on British television in the Frost Report in 1966 and 1967. During the same period he appeared in At Last The 1948 Show. In 1969 he co-created Monty Python's Flying Circus, which produced three series. In 1975 he created the first series of Fawlty Towers and followed this with the second series in 1979. In 1980, John Cleese played Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew as part of the BBC Shakespeare season. He also appeared as Lacrobat in Whoops Apocalypse for LWT in 1981.
Working with the Python team, John Cleese produced four films, And Now For Something Completely Different, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.
As well as his work with Monty Python, John Cleese's film credits as an actor include The Great Muppet Caper, Time Bandits, Pirates on Parade, Silverado, Clockwise, Terry Jones' Erik the Viking, Eric Idle's Splitting Heirs, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, The Jungle Book, Out of Towners, and Isn't She Great. In 1988, John Cleese starred in and co-wrote with director Charles Crichton, A Fish Called Wanda. Using the same team of actors he made Fierce Creatures in 1996.
In May of 2005, Aardman Animation, the genii behind the stop-motion claymation films Wallace and Grommit and Chicken Run, announced that John Cleese is writing their next feature film, to be released in 2006. Aardman co-founder Peter Lord said the Fawlty Towers actor was writing a "pre-historic comedy."
John Cleese created and produced The Secret Policeman's Ball shows for Amnesty International. In 1972, he co-founded Video Arts, which swiftly became the leading provider of business training programs and video. He sold the company in 1991, but still appears in their videos.
In 1993, John Cleese and Dr. Rob Buckman set up Videos for Patients, a new company created to help improve communication between patients and doctors. There are more than 45 titles in this video series.
In 1983, John Cleese co-wrote Families and How To Survive Them with Dr. Robin Skynner, which was produced as a series for BBC Radio 4 in 1990. Their sequel, Life and How to Survive It was published in 1993.
The supremely silly John Cleese, star of Monty Python's Flying Circus, is co-author of two books on psychology, and a lawyer with a legal degree from an institution no less esteemed than Cambridge University. In 1998, John Cleese became a Professor-at-Large at Cornell University.
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