John Marwood Cleese (; born 27 October 1939) is an English actor, voice actor, comedian, screenwriter, and producer. He 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 four Monty Python films: And Now for Something Completely Different, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Life of Brian and The Meaning of Life.
In the mid-1970s, Cleese and his first wife, Connie Booth, co-wrote the sitcom Fawlty Towers, and starred in it, alongside Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs. The series resulted in Cleese receiving the 1980 BAFTA for Best Entertainment Performance, and additionally it topped the British Film Institute's list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes. In the 80's and 90's, Cleese co-starred with Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis, and former Python colleague Michael Palin in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures, both of which he also wrote. He also starred in Clockwise and has appeared in many other films, including two James Bond films (as R and Q), two Harry Potter films (as Nearly Headless Nick), and three Shrek films.
With Yes Minister writer Antony Jay, he co-founded Video Arts, a production company making entertaining training films. In 1976, Cleese co-founded The Secret Policeman's Ball benefit shows to raise funds for the human rights organisation Amnesty International. In 1996, he was offered a knighthood, and later a life peerage, both of which he declined.