Jonathan Winters Dead at 87

Jonathan Winters, whose decades-long career included "Mork and Mindy" and "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," died at his home of natural causes

Last Updated: July 24, 2014 @ 1:13 PM

Jonathan Winters, the comedian known for his work in "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and "Mork & Mindy," among many other projects, died Thursday night at his home in Montecito, Calif., his agent told TheWrap on Friday. He was 87.

According to his agent, Richard Lawrence of Rebel Entertainment Partners, Winters died of natural causes at his home in Montecito, Calif. home at 6:35 p.m.,and his family was with him.

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"I think the world was blessed to have Jonathan Winters' talents in television and movies, and I know he'll be missed by all of his fans," Lawrence said.

Winters, active to the end, recently completed a recording session for "The Smurfs 2," Lawrence said. Winters voiced the character of Papa Smurf for the "Smurfs" films.

Born Nov. 11, 1925 in Dayton, Ohio, Winters left high school at 17 to join the Marine Corps., serving for two and a half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II. His decades-long career in show business began when he entered a talent contest at the urging of his wife, Eileen. The prize was a wristwatch.

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Stints in radio followed, and in the early 1950s he left Ohio for New York City, performing stand-up routines in various nightclubs.

Winters also had a number of his own series, starting with the variety program "The Jonathan Winters Show," which aired from 1956 to 1957 on NBC. A second series, also titled "The Jonathan Winters Show," ran from 1967 to 1969. A third, short-lived series, "The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters," aired in 1974.

Winters received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 1999.

Winters had two children with his wife, Eileen, who died in 2009.