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

The Real Bob Ross: Meet The Meticulous Artist Behind Those Happy Trees

Don't be fooled by his mild PBS persona; the beloved painter was actually an exacting artist and businessman with — brace yourself — naturally straight hair.
NPR

A Chocolate Pill? Scientists To Test Whether Cocoa Extract Boosts Health

Chocolate lovers may agree cocoa is the food of the gods, but how strong is the evidence that it boosts heart health? Researchers are recruiting for a new study aimed at answering this question.
WAMU 88.5

D.C. Department Shakeup Raises Questions About Pay-To-Play Politics

Turnover at a major D.C. government department is raising questions about local businesses, political contributions and influence in city politics.

WAMU 88.5

How Many Times Were You Late? Metro Is Keeping Track Of It Just For You

If you log into your SmarTrip account, you'll notice that Metro has started providing individualized trip analysis. It's called MyTripTime, and it measures the time from when you tap in, to when you tap out.

Leave a Comment

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