Comedian Jonathan Winters passed away Thursday of natural causes at his home in Montecito, Calif.
Winters, who was known for his mimicry talent and a wide range of comic characters, won an Emmy in 1991 for his turn as a grandfather on Randy Quaid's ABC/CBS sitcom Davis Rules. He also famously appeared on Mork & Mindy during its run from 1978-1982, where he appeared with Robin Williams, who idolized Winters and considered him a mentor; to which Winters kidded that he insisted on being called Williams' idol instead.
In 1956, he hosted The Jonathan Winters Show on NBC. A decade later, he headed another variety show on CBS and then in 1972-1974 hosted the The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, a syndicated program.
Winters was also very in demand as a guest on talk shows, appearing on The Garry Moore Show and The Steve Allen Show in the 1950s, before becoming one of the best loved guests on Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show during the 1970s and ‘80s.
In addition, he provided the vocal talents for Papa Smurf on The Smurfs animated series, as well as Santa Claus in Santa vs. the Snowman. In 2011, he returned to the role of Papa Smurf in the big screen version. In the sequel coming later this year, he again voices the smurf.
Rest in peace, sir.