Michael Palin’s wife of 57 years dies


Sir Michael Palin has announced the death of his wife, Helen, after 57 years of marriage.

The 79-year-old TV star, who is best known for his part in irreverent comedy group Monty Python, shared news of her death on his official website.

Michael Palin and his wife Helen arrive at the premiere of the new movie 'Fierce Creatures' January 28. Palin has been re-united with former Monty Python colleague John-Cleese for the film which also stars Americans Jami- Lee-Curtis and Kevin-Kline.
The couple were married for 57 years

He wrote: “My dearest wife Helen died peacefully in the early hours of Tuesday morning. She had been suffering with chronic pain for several years, which was compounded a few years ago by a diagnosis of kidney failure.

“We first met on a summer holiday on the Suffolk coast when we were both sixteen and we married in our early twenties. Two and a half weeks ago we celebrated our 57th wedding anniversary.

“Her death is an indescribable loss for myself, our three children and four grandchildren.

“Helen was the bedrock of my life. Her quietly wise judgment informed all my decisions, and her humour and practical good sense was at the heart of our life together.”

The family have asked that their privacy be respected at this time.

Palin fictionalised the couple’s meeting in the 1987 BBC television drama East of Ipswich, set in a 1950s Suffolk seaside town.

Read more:
Monty Python: New Holy Grail sketches found in Michael Palin’s archives

The couple, who settled in Gospel Oak, northwest London, went on to have three children – Thomas, William and Rachel.

Following his success in Monty Python – alongside Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones – Palin went on to star in films including A Fish Called Wanda, for which he won a BAFTA.

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He has since reinvented himself as a globetrotter and travel presenter, visiting locations including North Korea and the Himalayas for BBC documentaries and has written numerous travel books.

In 2019, Palin was knighted for services to travel, culture and geography.

The same year, he was forced to cancel a UK-wide book tour to allow him to undergo heart surgery to fix a “leaky” valve.

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