Comedian/actor Jonathan Winters, who appeared in more than 50 movies and numerous television and radio spots, died from natural causes Thursday night at his Montecito home. He was 87.
The news of his death was confirmed on his website, which stated that Winters died at 6:45 p.m. Thursday “surrounded by family and friends.”
“Rest in peace, Mr. Winters,” the site’s statement read.
Winters’ career was notable for his madcap characters that highlighted his gift of improvisational comedy.
Born in Ohio in 1925, Winters served in the Marines during World War II. After returning from service, Winters enrolled at Kenyon College, where he met his wife, Elaine Schauder. The pair had been married for 61 years when Schauder died in 2009.
Winters went on to work in radio and television while working as a comedian, and began his own program, The Jonathan Winters Show, which ran from 1956 to 1957.
Winters also had a CBS nighttime show from 1967 to 1969, started The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, from 1972 to 1974, and appeared as a regular on the Saturday morning children’s television program Hot Dog in the early 1970s.
When reached by Noozhawk, family friend Joe Petro III quoted Winters as saying, “I couldn’t wait for success and I went on ahead without it.”
Petro thanked the community for their condolences and remembrances of Winters on behalf of his family.
“As he once said, ‘Keep the smiles going,’” Petro said.