TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Jonathan Winters

Dead at 87

4/12/2013 9:40 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0412_johnathan_winters_01
Jonathan Winters
, the comedic film and TV actor who was huge in the '70s and '80s on shows like "Mork and Mindy," has died at age 87 ... TMZ has learned.

Winters died last night of natural causes in Montecito, Calif, around 6:30 p.m., surrounded by friends and family.

Winters' career began when he won a talent contest, which led to radio gigs and appearances at comedy clubs. He was a staple on the late night TV circuit for decades -- he was one of Jack Paar's favorite guests and a Johnny Carson regular -- and recorded several classic comedy albums.

He often performed in character ... the best known of which was Maude Frickert, the seemingly sweet old lady with a quick and acid wit.  He also starred in one of the best comedies ever -- "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

Winters suffered 2 nervous breakdowns in the late '50s and early '60s and was voluntarily institutionalized.  He was diagnosed with manic depression. He spoke openly about it and even joked about it in his comedy act.

Winters -- who was Native American -- won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which was presented to him at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. in 2000.



Winters appeared in nearly 50 films and TV shows ... and was a regular on the Saturday morning children's television program "Hot Dog" in the '70s.

He co-starred with Robin Williams as Mearth -- Mork and Mindy's son ... who was hatched from an egg and aged backwards. Think Benjamin Button ... but funny.





0412_remembering_jonathan_winters_footer

258 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

David    

We can only hope to live as long and contribute as much to our state as J Winters. RIP Dude

504 days ago
17.

Bruce Allen    

Such a brilliant commedian that need no lines to get a laugh. No one is available to fill his shoes.....or likely ever will be.

504 days ago
18.

MsBerry65    

So sorry for his passing. God Bless his friends and family with comfort and peace.

504 days ago
19.

jm    

R.I.P.

504 days ago
20.

cayey8157    

Thank you for all your work. RIP

504 days ago
21.

awards    

RIP to a Legend!

504 days ago
22.

IwuvTMZ    

RIP

504 days ago
23.

Jack James    

Thanks for a lifetime of love and laughter, Mr. Winters! I have never been disappointed in his humor. My face breaks out into a smile just at the look of him. Another comedy great is gone....

504 days ago
24.

Tina    


Another great legend passes. He was fantastic. Rest in peace, Mr. Winters.

504 days ago
25.

godfree    

I have sadness aaaaaaall over my body

504 days ago
26.

Steve    

He was hilarious, I was just going to watch my Dean Martin DVD's , Mr. Winters was a comic great.

504 days ago
27.

Gordon    

A little brightness has gone from the world.

504 days ago
28.

fermiuno    

Winters was an ORIGINAL.

Quick, creative, bright and never intelligent comedy that was never mean.

When you listened to him on his LPs, you were watching his scripts come alive in your head.

Robin Williams is a bad copy, and if you are a Winters fan you probably cannot stomach Williams' poor imitations.

Winters was the real deal.

504 days ago
29.

Allen Feld    

A short story about Mr. Winters. My wife and I saw him in a parking lot in Santa Barbara about ten years ago. We said hi and he proceeded into a ten-minute comedic monologue for just the both of us. After my wife departed to go shopping, Jonathan laid some x-rated material on me. He was a trip.

504 days ago
30.

Lue Blackwell    

RIP-but I thought he was already dead! MY BAD!!!!!!

504 days ago
Previous 15 Comments | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | Most Recent | Next 15 Comments

Around The Web