After six decades in the entertainment industry, Jonathan Winters, the lovable comedian and comic actor known for his ever-growing roster of zany television characters, has died at the age of 87. A family friend confirmed to the Associated Press that Winters passed away yesterday at his home in Montecito, CA. No cause of death was revealed.
Despite Winters’ advanced age, he never completely retired from comedy; in 2011 he released a sketch album called Final Approach and voiced Papa Smurf in the Smurfs feature film. His Papa voice will also be heard in the sequel when it hits theaters on July 31.
Winters had also completed filming Big Finish, an ensemble film starring some of the biggest living comedy legends of all time: Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Garrett Morris, Bob Newhart and Tim Conway appear in the film as residents of a retirement community who fight against a wealthy developer looking to tear down their home. It’s set to be released Dec. 12, 2014.
The Washington Post has an excellent obituary you should read. Or, you can just watch these 10 great videos we curated for your amusement, the first of which is the trailer of a 2007 mockumentary about Winters’ life starring the likes of Sarah Silverman, Jimmy Kimmel and Howie Mandel.
Winters at the roast of Johnny Carson:
Winters plays an airline pilot.
Winters talks about his popular character Maude Frickert:
Winters on the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2008:
Winters at a Bob Hope tribute in 1988:
Robin Williams presents Jonathan Winters with an award at the TV Land awards in 2009:
Winters guest stars on The Muppet Show in 1980:
Winters warns us about forest fires:
Winters plays multiple characters in this Wendy’s commercial: