Funny Man Jonathan Winters Dies | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio
Filed Under:

Funny Man Jonathan Winters Dies

Play associated audio

Jonathan Winters, known to one generation for his 1960s comedy albums, frequent Tonight Show with Johnny Carson appearances and comic movie characters, and to another generation as Robin Williams' baby on Mork & Mindy, has died. The news is coming from The Associated Press, TMZ, the NPR Arts Desk and other news outlets.

Winters was 87. TMZ says he died Thursday night "of natural causes in Montecito, Calif. ... surrounded by friends and family.

In 2011, Winters looked back on his lifetime of laughs for Weekend Edition Saturday. He told the show that he didn't tell jokes:

"I have always classified [myself] as an actor/comedian, a humorist. ... I started out as an artist and what I do is verbal paintings. I paint a picture. Hopefully you'll see the characters and what they're doing and what they're saying."

His recent work included being the voice of Papa Smurf in 2011's The Smurfs. Winters' IMDB bio is here.

Winters was the second person honored (in 1999) with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. His bio page on The Kennedy Center website says:

"In 1953, Jonathan headed for New York for the ;big time' with $56.46 in his pocket. As a performer at Manhattan's Blue Angel nightclub, his reputation as a comic began to grow. Gary Moore, who was substituting for Arthur Godfrey on the TV Show ,Talent Scouts, presented Jonathan on the show. Then came the Jack Paar Show, The Steve Allen Show, and The Tonight Show, where Jonathan was able to demonstrate his comic genius and he became a top name in American Comedy."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Director Mike Nichols Remembered As A Comedian, Raconteur, Charmer

Robert Siegel remembers director and film icon Mike Nichols, who died Wednesday of a heart attack at 83.
NPR

How To Catch A Cattle Thief

Cattle theft has been making a major comeback. A drought in the West has meant higher beef prices, making cattle an attractive target for thieves.
NPR

Obama's Immigration Action Has Roots In Reagan Policy

The Simpson-Mazzoli Act was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan 28 years ago this month. Republican presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush later expanded on it.
NPR

Keep Your Head Up: 'Text Neck' Takes A Toll On The Spine

Newly published research finds that common texting posture can put as much as 60 pounds of force on the cervical spine.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.