Gilliam was primarily an animator for Python, but he also appeared on-screen in a number of memorable roles:
After Python wound down, of course, Gilliam went on to direct some of the best dork movies ever put to film. Personal favorites of mine include…
Along the way, he cast Michael Palin, one of the most universally beloved men in Great Britain, as a fascist bureaucrat and torturer; Robert Dinero in a cameo role as a swash-buckling plumber; the famously handsome Brad Pitt as a cross-eyed mental patient; the equally famously handsome Johnny Depp as a middle-aged, drug-addled reporter with a receding hairline; and (not much of a stretch but still a favorite) Tom Waits as The Devil:
Gilliam also exploded budgets, violated shooting schedules, and suffered through some of the most cursed film sets in the history of everything (watch Lost in La Mancha sometime to see how very appropriate it is that he suffered his most heartbreaking directorial loss while trying to make a Don Quixote film). But he also stayed true to a creative vision that made even sub-par material like The Brothers Grimm into watchable films, and that’s what makes him a treasure.