Michael Palin confirms death of beloved wife Helen weeks after 57th wedding anniversary
2 May 2023, 15:09 | Updated: 2 May 2023, 15:17
Sir Michael Palin has announced that his wife Helen has died.
Listen to this article
The 79-year-old actor confirmed the tragic news in a post shared on his official website on Tuesday (May 2).
He announced that Helen had died in the early hours of the morning, describing her as the "bedrock of my life", and that her death was an "indescribable loss" for himself and their three children: Thomas, 54, William, 52, and Rachel, 48.
The Monty Python icon revealed that Helen had been suffering with chronic pain for several years, and had been diagnosed with kidney failure before her death.
The couple first met when they were just 16 years old, and married a few years later in 1966. They marked their 57th wedding anniversary just weeks before Helen passed away.
Michael 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 was at the heart of our life together.
"The family ask that their privacy be respected at this time."
Michael and Helen first met when they were having a summer holiday on the Suffolk coast as teenagers, and married after a six-year relationship.
Last year, Michael spoke about Helen's health, and that she had been moved into respite care from the home they had shared for 50 years.
The comedian told the Telegraph: "I don't think you can cure it, but they will help her manage it. It's such a bore. She was so active and still is mentally. But the body is declining. We live life with our fingers crossed."
Michael Palin is best known for being a member of the Monty Python comedy group alongside Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and Terry Jones, as well as his award-winning travel documentaries.