Jonathan Winters, a comedian and actor who was a TV staple in the 1960s and ’70s, has died.
Winters, whose credits include “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and “Mork and Mindy,” died Thursday (April 11) at his home in Montecito, Calif, TMZ reports. He was 87.
Winters, a native of Dayton, Ohio, served in World War II and worked in radio in Ohio for several years before breaking into television in the late 1950s. He was a frequent guest on “The Tonight Show,” dating back to original host Steve Allen, and recorded more than a dozen comedy albums.
He also fronted a pair of shows himself, “The Jonathan Winters Show” from 1967-69 and “The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters,” where he showcased comedic characters like the surprisingly hip elderly woman Maude Frickert and a rube named Elwood P. Suggins. He won an Emmy in 1992 for the ABC comedy “Davis Rules.”
He also had numerous voice-over credits, most recently playing Papa Smurf in the “Smurfs” movie and its upcoming sequel after voicing Grandpa in the 1980s cartoon series.
Here are a couple clips of Winters, first an appearance on “The Jack Paar Program” in 1964 and then as Maude Frickert with Dean Martin on Martin’s comedy show.