A founder of the groundbreaking 1970s comedy sketch series "Monty Python's Flying Circus," Cleese wrote and acted along with other regulars Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam. The team went on to create three satirical films, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. Cleese also created and acted in the popular TV series "Fawlty Towers."
In 1988, Cleese wrote, produced and starred in the hit film A Fish Called Wanda, for which he earned a British Academy Award and an Oscar nomination for his screenplay. He's portrayed the ghost Nearly Headless Nick in the Harry Potter movies and voiced King Harold in Shrek 2. Other notable films include The Great Muppet Caper, Silverado and The World Is Not Enough.