Jonathan Winters Dies; Legendary Comic Began In Radio
April 12, 2013 at 1:23 PM (PT)
The death of legendary comedian JONATHAN WINTERS at 87 in MONTECITO, CA THURSDAY (4/11) recalls the comic's start in show business as a radio host.
WINTERS, known for his anarchic, free-association character-driven humor as a stand-up, frequent talk show guest, and on shows like "MORK AND MINDY" and movies like "IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD," began as a morning DJ on WING-A/DAYTON in 1946, also working at WIZE-A/SPRINGFIELD, OH before moving into television at WBNS-TV/COLUMBUS, OH in 1950.
He moved to NEW YORK in 1953 to try stand-up comedy, and became a successful comedian, actor, and commercial pitchman, appearing in many TV shows and movies as well as providing voices for cartoons like "The Smurfs" and "Animaniacs." In television, his best-remembered sitcom role was "MEARTH," MORK's aging-backwards son on "Mork and Mindy," starring ROBIN WILLIAMS (whose own comedy was heavily influenced by WINTERS). His final appearance will be as the voice of PAPA SMURF in "The Smurfs 2," to be released later this year.