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Comedian Jonathan Winters Dead at 87

Jonathan Winters Dead
Hulton Archive

Jonathan Winters, a titan of comedy on both the big and small screens, passed away at the age of 87. TMZ announced his death due to natural causes last night at his home in California surrounded by friends and family.

To examine the career of Jonathan Winters is to examine a half century of American comedy. After a start in television (including a role on ‘The Twilight Zone’), Winters’ career was kickstarted by his appearance in the star-studded ‘It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World,’ which led to many other roles in films such as ‘The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming.’ Although he continued to appear in films until the final years of his life, Winters became truly known for his work on television, guest starring on countless sitcoms, providing voices for dozens of cartoons and constantly working the talkshow circuit. Many will remember him as the title couple’s alien son on ‘Mork and Mindy,’ but just as many will know him as a frequent Johnny Carson guest.

Although his workload grew lighter as he grew older, Winters could recently be heard as the voice of Papa Smurf in ‘The Smurfs’ (and will be heard in the upcoming ‘Smurfs 2′) and he was a very memorable guest on Marc Maron’s ‘WTF’ podcast. He left a permanent mark on the comedy landscape and will be missed.

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