R.I.P. Jonathan Winters

R.I.P. Jonathan Winters

Jonathan Winters, comedian and television and film actor, best remembered for his roles in It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and as the voice of Papa Smurf in The Smurfs, has died. A family friend tells the AP Winters passed away Thursday night at his Montecito, CA home of natural causes. He was 87. Winters’ show biz career began after he won a talent show in his native Dayton, Ohio. He went on to appear in dozens of television shows throughout his decades-long career, winning a supporting actor Emmy in 1991 for Davis Rules. His other TV credits include The Jonathan Winters Show, The Twilight Zone, Hee Haw, Rowan And Martin’s Laugh-In and Mork And Mindy. He was a veteran of the late night talk show circuit guesting frequently on The Jack Paar Show and later The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His late night appearances continued into the ’90s with Jay Leno and David Letterman. His other film credits include Viva Max, The Loved One, Oh Dad Poor Dad, The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, The Flintstones, and The Adventures Of Rocky And Bullwinkle. Throughout the years, Winters recorded many classic comedy albums for Verve Records. Probably the best-known of his characters is Maude Frickert, the seemingly sweet old lady with a wicked tongue. He was nominated for 12 Grammy Awards and won a Grammy in 1992 for Best Spoken Word. He received the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 2000.

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