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Terry Gilliam was the “stealth Python.” The only American in the quintessentially Br-r-r-ritish comic sextet, Monty Python’s Flying Circus (though the Minneapolis native has since taken British citizenship), Gilliam was the least distinctive member: aurally, he lacked the nasal whine of Eric Idle or the perfect stuffed-shirt fustian of John Cleese, and physically he was less recognizable than the rest, partly because he often hid his rough-hewn features under the heavy makeup of old crones and wizened soothsayers. (Remember the keeper of the Bridge of Death who demands the answers to “questions three” in “Holy Grail”?). His labors as an animator also set him apart from the Brits. Much of his work consisted of cut-out drawings and photos moving crazily about the screen, so he didn’t even appear in his own material.

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