Saturday, April 13, 2013
Jonathan Winters - thanks for the laughs
Jonathan Harshman Winters III (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) was an American comedian, actor and artist.
Beginning in 1960, Winters recorded many classic comedy albums for the Verve Records label. He also had comedy albums released every decade for over 50 years, receiving 11 Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album nominations during his career, and winning the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for Crank(y) Calls in 1996.
Winters has also appeared in hundreds of television show episodes/series and films combined, including eccentric characters on The Steve Allen Show, The Garry Moore Show, The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters (1972–74), Mork & Mindy, Hee Haw and in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.
A pioneer of improvisational stand-up comedy with a gift for mimicry, various personalities and a seemingly bottomless reservoir of creative energy, Winters was one of the first celebrities to go public with a personal mental illness issue and felt stigmatized as a result. According to Jack Paar, “If you were to ask me the funniest 25 people I’ve ever known, I’d say, ‘Here they are — Jonathan Winters’." He also said of Winters, “Pound for pound, the funniest man alive”.
In 1991, Winters earned an Emmy Award for his supporting role in Davis Rules. In 2002, he earned an Emmy nomination as a guest star in a comedy series for Life With Bonnie. In 1999, Winters was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. In 2008, Winters was presented with a Pioneer TV Land Award by Robin Williams.
Winters also spent time painting and presenting his art in many gallery shows. (read more)