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Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam

For most of Terry Gilliam's early career, fans of the popular comedy show Monty Python's Flying Circus assumed that he was British, since Python's other five members were natives of Britain. But the innovative animator and future director, who spent more time behind the scenes than in front of the camera, was actually the troupe's only American member. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 22, 1940, Gilliam was briefly employed by Mad Magazine as a writer/illustrator before he emigrated to England in 1967. Soon after he arrived in the U.K., he began working on Do Not Adjust Your Set, a popular children's TV show, developing his eccentric animated cartoons, which put into motion a hodgepodge of images, including photographs, cutouts from magazines, and famous works of art. Gilliam's contributions to the show were geared more toward adults, as his surrealistic stream-of-consciousness segments, drenched in black humor, were beyond the grasp of most children.

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