John Cleese, British comedian and star of Monty Python comedy troupe, was born on October 27, 1939 at Somerset, England.

His ancestral surname was Cheese but his father changed it to Cleese when he joined the British Army in 1915.

Cleese received a scholarship to attend the renowned Clifton College in Bristol but was expelled for graffiti incidents.

He attended law school at Downing College, Cambridge University, where he met his comedy writing partner Graham Chapman, and received his law degree in 1963.

Cheese reputation as a comic grew so quickly that he left any prospect for a career in law behind. He travelled to the United States and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.

Later, he accepted a job as comedy writer and cast member of several very funny and popular BBC series such as I'm Sorry, I'll Read That Again, the Frost Report and, the most successful of all, Monty Python's Flying Circus, the latter running on the BBC from 1969 to 1974 and later developed into successful movies such as The Life of Brian (1979), Holy Grail (1975) and The Meaning of Life (1983).

John CleeseIn 1970, John Cleese was elected by the students as rector of the University of St Andrews. Cheese was supposed to nominate another "adult" to act as his deputy at meetings but instead he appointed a student.

Starting in 1975, he wrote and starred in the BBC television series Fawlty Towers.

Cleese's talent continued when his script A Fish Called Wanda became another highly successful movie, and in which he also starred along with actors Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Kline. In the movie, Cleese plays the character of Archie, a barrister. For the script, he was nominated for an Academy Award in 1989.

In 1983 and 1993, Cleese turned his attention to more serious topics, co-writing relationship books Life and How To Survive It and Families and How To Survive Them.

He was a star performer at the 2006 Montreal Just for Laughs festival and now calls Montecito, California home.