53 Facts About Jonathan Winters

1.

Jonathan Harshman Winters III was an American comedian, actor, author, television host, and artist.

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2.

Jonathan Winters had records released every decade for over 50 years, receiving 11 Grammy nominations, including eight for Best Comedy Album, during his career.

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3.

Jonathan Winters voiced Grandpa Smurf on The Smurfs TV series from 1986 to the show's conclusion in 1989.

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4.

Over twenty years later, Jonathan Winters was introduced to a new generation through voicing Papa Smurf in The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2 .

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5.

Jonathan Winters died nine days after recording his dialogue for The Smurfs 2; the film was dedicated to his memory.

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6.

In 1991, Jonathan Winters won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for playing Gunny Davis in the short-lived sitcom Davis Rules.

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7.

Jonathan Winters was presented with a Pioneer TV Land Award by Robin Williams in 2008.

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8.

Jonathan Winters spent time painting and presenting his artwork, including silkscreens and sketches, in many gallery shows.

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9.

Jonathan Winters authored several books, with his book of short stories entitled Winters' Tales, making several bestseller lists.

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10.

Jonathan Winters was a descendant of Valentine Winters, founder of the Winters National Bank in Dayton, Ohio .

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11.

Jonathan Winters' mother took him to Springfield, Ohio, to live with his maternal grandmother.

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12.

Jonathan Winters often entertained his high school friends by imitating a race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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13.

Jonathan Winters fought youthful tormentors who ridiculed him for not having a father in his life.

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14.

Jonathan Winters said that he learned to laugh at his situation but admitted that his adult life had been a response to sorrow.

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15.

Jonathan Winters was a brother of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity .

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16.

Jonathan Winters's performance led to a disc jockey job, where he was supposed to introduce songs and announce the temperature.

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17.

Jonathan Winters began comedy routines and acting while studying at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.

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18.

Jonathan Winters was a local radio personality on WING in Dayton, Ohio, and at WIZE in Springfield, Ohio.

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19.

Jonathan Winters performed as "Johnny Winters" on WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio, for two and a half years.

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20.

Jonathan Winters recorded many classic comedy albums for the Verve Records label, starting in 1960.

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21.

Jonathan Winters was a favorite of Jack Paar, who hosted The Tonight Show from 1957 to 1962, and appeared frequently on his television programs, even going so far as to impersonate then–U.

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22.

Jonathan Winters recorded Ogden Nash's The Carnival of the Animals poems to Camille Saint-Saens's classical opus.

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23.

Carson often did not know what Jonathan Winters had planned and usually had to tease out the character's backstory during a comedic interview.

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24.

Jonathan Winters appeared in more than 50 movies and many television shows, including particularly notable roles in the film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and in the dual roles of Henry Glenworthy and his dark, scheming brother, the Rev Wilbur Glenworthy, in the film adaptation of Evelyn Waugh's novel The Loved One.

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25.

Fellow comedians who starred with him in Mad World, such as Arnold Stang, said that in the long periods while they waited between scenes, Jonathan Winters entertained them for hours in their trailer by becoming any character that they suggested to him.

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26.

From December 1967 to June 1969, Jonathan Winters helmed his own hour-long weekly variety program on CBS .

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27.

Jonathan Winters later participated in ABC's The American Sportsman, hosted by Grits Gresham, who took celebrities on hunting, fishing, and shooting trips to exotic places around the world.

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28.

Jonathan Winters made memorable appearances on both The Dean Martin Show and The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, as well as being a regular on The Andy Williams Show.

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29.

Jonathan Winters performed regularly as a panelist on The Hollywood Squares.

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30.

Jonathan Winters had his own syndicated show called The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters from 1972 to 1974, the music director of which, Van Alexander, was nominated for a 1973 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction of a Variety, Musical or Dramatic Program.

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31.

Jonathan Winters was a guest star on The Muppet Show in 1980.

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32.

Jonathan Winters had previously guest-starred in Season 3, Episode 18, as Dave McConnell, Mindy's uncle.

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33.

Jonathan Winters was later the voice of Grandpa Smurf from 1986 to 1990 on the television series The Smurfs.

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34.

Jonathan Winters played Gunny Davis, an eccentric grandfather helping raise his grandchildren after his son lost his wife.

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35.

Jonathan Winters provided the voice for the thief in The Thief and the Cobbler.

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36.

In 1994, Jonathan Winters appeared as a fired factory worker in The Flintstones.

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37.

Jonathan Winters received eleven Grammy nominations during his career, including eight for the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album; he won the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for Crank Calls in 1996.

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38.

In 1996, Jonathan Winters played himself in Bloopy's Buddies, a children's TV series on PBS designed to teach children about health and nutrition and to encourage them to exercise.

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39.

Jonathan Winters had various roles and appeared in numerous television features throughout the early to mid-2000s.

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40.

In 2000, Jonathan Winters appeared in The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

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41.

In 2008, Jonathan Winters was presented with a Pioneer TV Land Award by Robin Williams.

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42.

Jonathan Winters died only nine days after he finished recording Papa's voice.

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43.

Jonathan Winters was originally cast in Big Finish, during pre-production.

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44.

Jonathan Winters's scheduled role was to appear alongside Jerry Lewis and Bob Newhart.

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45.

Jonathan Winters lived near Santa Barbara, California, and was often seen browsing or "hamming" for the crowd at the antique and gun shows on the Ventura County fairgrounds.

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46.

Jonathan Winters often entertained the tellers and other employees whenever he visited his local bank to make a deposit or withdrawal.

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47.

Jonathan Winters was survived by his two children, Jonathan Winters IV and Lucinda Winters, and five grandchildren.

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48.

Jonathan Winters was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family.

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49.

Pioneer of improvisational stand-up comedy with a gift for mimicry, impersonations, various personalities, and a seemingly bottomless reservoir of creative energy, Jonathan Winters was one of the first celebrities to go public with a personal mental illness issue and felt stigmatized as a result.

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50.

Jonathan Winters performed a wide range of characters: hillbillies, arrogant city slickers, nerve-shattered airline pilots trying to hide their fear, disgruntled westerners, judgmental Martians, little old ladies, nosy gas station attendants, a hungry cat eyeing a mouse, the oldest living airline stewardess, and more.

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51.

Jonathan Winters named James Thurber's sophisticated absurdity as influential and said he idolized writers with a gift for humor.

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52.

Jonathan Winters was often viewed by producers as a liability, leading to a scattershot, though memorable, film career.

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53.

Jonathan Winters was an inspiration for performers such as Johnny Carson, Billy Crystal, Tracey Ullman, Lily Tomlin, Steve Martin, Jim Carrey, and Jimmy Kimmel.

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