John Cleese Filmography: A Comprehensive Look at the British Actor and Director

  1. British filmographies
  2. Directors and actors
  3. John Cleese filmography

John Cleese is one of the most beloved British actors and directors of all time. From his iconic role as the bumbling Basil Fawlty in Fawlty Towers to his unforgettable turns in Monty Python films, Cleese has been entertaining audiences for decades. But Cleese's career stretches far beyond the comedic roles he is best known for. His filmography encompasses a wide range of genres, from action films to romantic comedies.

In this comprehensive look at John Cleese's filmography, we will explore the different types of films he has been a part of, as well as his other works as a director and writer. John Cleese is a well-known British actor, director, and comedian who has been entertaining audiences for decades. He is best known for his work in the Monty Python series of films and television shows, but he has also appeared in numerous other films, television shows, and theatre productions throughout his career. In this article, we will take a comprehensive look at the full range of Cleese's filmography and discuss some of his most notable works. Cleese's career began in 1965, when he joined the comedy troupe Monty Python. The group first gained notoriety with their BBC television series, Monty Python's Flying Circus, which aired from 1969 to 1974. This was followed by several Monty Python films, including Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) and Life of Brian (1979).

In these films, Cleese played a variety of characters, including King Arthur, Sir Lancelot, and Brian's mother Mandy Cohen. He also co-wrote many of the films' sketches with fellow Python Terry Gilliam. In addition to his work with Monty Python, Cleese has starred in a number of other films. He had a memorable role as the villainous criminal Otto in A Fish Called Wanda (1988), which earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor. Other notable films from Cleese's career include Fierce Creatures (1997), Clockwise (1986), Time Bandits (1981), and Splitting Heirs (1993).

While some of these films were major box office successes, others flew under the radar but are still important parts of Cleese's filmography. In recent years, Cleese has appeared in several television projects. He had a recurring role as the father of Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) on the popular sitcom Will & Grace, and he also made a guest appearance on The Simpsons. Cleese also played King Arthur in the West End production of Monty Python's Spamalot, which ran from 2006 to 2009. Throughout his career, Cleese has been recognized with many awards and honors. He received a BAFTA Fellowship in 2011 and an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Variety Special in 1978. He was also appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1996 New Year Honours. John Cleese is one of Britain's most beloved actors and comedians, and his filmography is full of memorable performances.

His work with Monty Python helped to redefine comedy, and his various other roles have showcased his remarkable talent as an actor and writer. From big-budget Hollywood films to small independent projects, Cleese has left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment.

Notable Films

John Cleese has appeared in a wide range of films, both as an actor and director. He is best known for his roles in Monty Python’s Life of Brian, A Fish Called Wanda, and Fierce Creatures. Other notable films in which he has appeared include Clockwise, The Great Muppet Caper, and Rat Race. One of Cleese’s most iconic roles was as the bumbling and often infuriating Basil Fawlty in the BBC comedy series Fawlty Towers.

He also had major roles in two James Bond films – The World Is Not Enough and Die Another Day. He also had small roles in the Harry Potter franchise, playing Nearly Headless Nick in the first two films. In addition to acting, Cleese has also directed two films – Fierce Creatures and The Man Who Sued God. He has also written and starred in several other films such as Splitting Heirs and Fierce Creatures.

Recent Work in Television

John Cleese's recent television work includes appearances in a variety of shows, such as The Simpsons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Good Place, and BoJack Horseman. He also voiced the character of Lord Redcloak in the animated series Trollhunters.

Most recently, he appeared in the acclaimed British series Taskmaster. He was also a guest star in the popular show Killing Eve. Cleese has also created and starred in his own television series. In 2016, he starred alongside fellow British comedians Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie in the sitcom The Great Indoors.

He also had a leading role in the 2018 comedy series Hold the Sunset, which also starred Alison Steadman and Alison Janney. John Cleese has always been an actor who is willing to take risks and try new things. His varied filmography and recent television work are proof of this. Whether it’s a comedy or drama, Cleese is always willing to give it his all.


John Cleese has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout his career. His most notable awards are the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards, which he has won twice, first in 1989 for Best Entertainment Performance for A Fish Called Wanda and again in 2018 for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema. He also received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program in 1988 for Monty Python's The Meaning of Life. In 2000, Cleese was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to television comedy.

In addition to these prestigious awards, Cleese has also been nominated for several Golden Globes and Saturn Awards. He was nominated in 1989 for both Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay for A Fish Called Wanda. That same year, he was also nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor at the Saturn Awards. He was nominated again in 2004 for Best Supporting Actor at the Saturn Awards for his role in Shrek 2.

John Cleese has been honored with multiple Lifetime Achievement awards, including the British Comedy Award in 2000, the Evening Standard British Film Awards in 2002, and the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award in 2008.

Early Career

John Cleese began his career in the mid-1960s, when he joined the Footlights revue at Cambridge University. He then went on to write for and appear in British television shows such as The Frost Report and At Last the 1948 Show. In 1969, Cleese co-wrote and starred in Monty Python's Flying Circus, which aired on the BBC. This show marked the start of his successful career in comedy, and he went on to become one of the six members of Monty Python.

Cleese's first major role with Monty Python was as a writer and performer of sketches and other comedic pieces. He was also the main writer of the show's famous parodies, such as The Ministry of Silly Walks. His other roles included playing the clueless Mr. Praline and being a main player in some of the group's most popular sketches, such as The Argument Clinic and The Spanish Inquisition.

In addition to his work on Monty Python, Cleese also appeared in a number of other British television shows and films during this time, including Doctor in the House, The Avengers, and Casino Royale. His first major film role was in 1971's And Now for Something Completely Different, a compilation of sketches from Monty Python's Flying Circus. He also had small roles in two other British films released that year, The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin and Romance with a Double Bass.

Lesser-Known Works

John Cleese has appeared in numerous films, television shows, and theatre productions throughout his career, many of which are lesser-known works that are not as widely recognized as his more famous Monty Python films and television shows. Among these lesser-known works are Cleese's appearances in the TV series The Frost Report (1966-1967), Doctor on the Go (1975-1978), and The Two Ronnies (1971-1987).

He also made appearances in the films The Strange Case of the End of Civilization as We Know It (1977), The Great Muppet Caper (1981), and The Wind in the Willows (1996). In addition to his film and television roles, Cleese has also appeared in a number of stage productions. Some of his lesser-known stage performances include The Miser (1984) and Run for Your Wife (1992). He has also written a number of plays, including The Life of Python (1980), Fawlty Towers (1975), and The Miserable Mill (1989).

John Cleese's lesser-known works demonstrate his versatility as an actor, writer, and director. While his Monty Python films and television shows are some of the most iconic works of British comedy, Cleese has also created a vast body of work that is often overlooked by fans of his more well-known works.

Theatre Productions

John Cleese is an accomplished actor and director who has appeared in a number of theatre productions. He has appeared in numerous productions of Shakespeare's plays, including The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.

He also appeared in the musicals Oliver! and Me and My Girl. Cleese has also appeared in other productions, such as the comedy Run for Your Wife, the farce Noises Off, and the play An Ideal Husband. In addition, he has done voice work for plays such as The Wind in the Willows. Cleese also created his own theatre production, titled Fawlty Towers Live.

This production was based on the popular television show and featured Cleese himself, reprising his role as Basil Fawlty. The production was a success, receiving standing ovations from audiences. John Cleese has had a long and successful career in theatre and is still actively involved in productions. He has been able to use his comedic talent to entertain audiences and make them laugh.

His influence on the British theatre scene has been immense, and it is clear that he is one of the most respected figures in the industry. John Cleese is one of Britain's most beloved actors and directors. His career has spanned decades, from the Monty Python films to his more recent work in films, television, and theatre productions. This comprehensive guide to John Cleese's filmography offers an overview of his early career, notable films, lesser-known works, recent work in television, and theatre productions, as well as his many awards and accolades. John Cleese is a true icon of British cinema. His incomparable body of work has left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment, and his legacy is sure to live on for many years to come.

Meg Carter
Meg Carter

Avid music evangelist. Professional web junkie. Amateur food ninja. Extreme web expert. Extreme music expert.

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