JONATHAN WINTERS. Born in Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A., 11 November 1925. Educated at Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio, 1946; Dayton Art Institute, B.F.A. 1950. Married: Eileen Schauder, 1948; one daughter and one son. Served in U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, 1943-46. Began career at radio station WING, Dayton, 1949; disc jockey, station WBNS-TV, Columbus, Ohio, 1950-53; nightclub comedian, New York, 1953; successful in film and as author and painter; recorded 12 albums for "Verve." Honorary chair, National Congress of American Indians. Recipient: Emmy Award, 1991.
Younger viewers may remember Winters from the Mork and Mindy show where he played the role of Mork and Mindy's son. Paired with Robin Williams in his Mork role, Winters was wildly inventive. The comedy in this show was at times truly explosive, with one improvisational genius playing off the other. In the more conventional sitcom, Davis Rules, Winters was confined to a character, yet somehow managed to work many of his other personae into the stories. His performance earned an Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy. In addition to on-camera roles, Winters frequently provides the voice for commercials and cartoons. These performances are usually wedded to his distinctive style, allowing audiences the pleasure of recognition for yet another Jonathan Winters moment.
Jonathan Winters, the Springfield-raised comic genius who once told his wife he’d come back to Ohio and sell farm equipment if his comedy career in New York didn’t pan out, has died.