John Cleese

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Biographical Information

"John Cleese is best known as an actor and writer, as a member of the legendary comedy group Monty Python, and for his award-winning television series Fawlty Towers (described by Entertainment Weekly as "the Sistine Chapel of sitcoms") and the critically acclaimed film A Fish Called Wanda.

"But Cleese is no stranger to the academic world. A graduate of Cambridge University, where he read Law and was a member of the famous Cambridge Footlights Revue, he later served as the rector of the University of St. Andrews and as visiting professor at Cornell University. He is also the coauthor with Robin Skynner of two books on relationships: Families and How to Survive Them and Life and How to Survive It.

"Cleese had first become acquainted with" Richard Tarnas's "work when he read The Passion of the Western Mind in England in the 1990s and signed a contract with the BBC to host a documentary series based on that book. In the summer of 2003, Cleese became friends with Tarnas after attending a "Psyche and Cosmos" workshop that Tarnas and Stanislav Grof, a founder of transpersonal psychology, were offering at Esalen Institute... A warm friendship ensued, and since then the two have taken part in many events together, such as at the Mind and Supermind Lecture Series in Santa Barbara, where Cleese interviewed Tarnas on the stage of the Lobero Theatre after the publication of his book Cosmos and Psyche." [1]


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  1. CIIS Comic actor John Cleese tamed up with Professor Rick Tarnas , organizational web page, accessed April 15, 2012.