Monty Python collaborator Neil Innes dies at age 75

U.S. & World

FILE – In this Oct. 2, 2011 file photo, Monty Python collaborator and Rutles singer Neil Innes attends the screening of George Harrison: Living In The Material World at the BFI in London. Innes has died at the age of 75, his agent has confirmed on Monday, Dec. 30, 2019. A statement released on behalf of his family said: “It is with deep sorrow and great sadness that we have to announce the death of Neil James Innes on December 29 2019. (Ian West/PA via AP, File)

LONDON (AP) — Comedic writer and actor Neil Innes, who created a Beatles parody group called the Rutles and frequently worked with the members of Monty Python, has died at age 75. his agent confirmed Monday.

Innes died of natural causes Sunday night, agent Nigel Morton said.

A statement released on behalf of his family said: “We have lost a beautiful, kind, gentle soul whose music and songs touched the heart of everyone and whose intellect and search for truth inspired us all,” the statement said. “He died of natural causes quickly without warning and, I think, without pain.”

Innes was such a frequent collaborator of the Monty Python troupe that he sometimes was called the “seventh Python.” A musician as well as a writer, he wrote songs for the popular film “Monty Python And The Holy Grail,” appeared in “Life of Brian” and toured the U.K. and Canada with the group.

He was also a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, later renamed the Bonzo Dog Band. One of the band’s hit songs, “I’m The Urban Spaceman,” won Innes an Ivor Novello award.

Colleagues posted tributes to Innes on Twitter, including the prominent British actor Mark Gatiss, who fondly wrote “Sweet dreams, sweet idiot.”

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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