“Our reaction,” he added, “turned from disbelief and amazement to anger and outrage.”
Ms. Lewis was among those who pushed the troupe to sue ABC.
The case led to a sometimes comical proceeding in federal court in New York in which the Pythons, seeking an injunction to stop the second broadcast, tried to put across why the unabridged versions of their sketches were funny and the edited ones were not. Ms. Lewis was among those who testified.
Morris E. Lasker, the judge, agreed that the editing had caused the material “to lose its iconoclastic verve.” But he denied the request for an injunction on the grounds that ABC would suffer substantial losses if the broadcast, less than a week away, were canceled, and that the ownership of the copyright for the material was unclear. An appellate court ruled the next year that the troupe owned its material.
Ms. Lewis continued to represent the Pythons in the United States. It was while working on the 1983 film “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life” that she met Mr. Jones, who was in the cast. They married in late 1983. (Ms. Lewis went by Nancy Lewis Jones thereafter.)
Mr. Jones, in a phone interview, said Ms. Lewis had also helped the Pythons on their individual projects. When Mr. Gilliam got into a dispute over the editing of his acclaimed 1985 movie, “Brazil,” Mr. Jones said, it was Ms. Lewis who clandestinely showed Los Angeles critics Mr. Gilliam’s cut of the movie. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association gave the film its best picture, best director and best screenplay awards.
In addition to her husband, Ms. Lewis is survived by their son, Tim.
Mr. Jones said Ms. Lewis would sometimes help him prepare for roles. In 1985 he was in Michael Frayn’s “Benefactors” on Broadway, playing a character who at one point has a bowl of stew thrown at him. To help him figure out how to play that scene, Ms. Lewis would surprise him in the shower by throwing a bowl of water on him, then assess his reaction.
“She was a great enabler,” he said.