Jonathan Harshman Winters III (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013) was an American comedian, actor, author, television host, and artist. Beginning in 1960, Winters recorded many classic comedy albums for the Verve Records label. He also had records released every decade for over 50 years, receiving 11 Grammy nominations, including eight for Best Comedy Album, during his career. From these nominations, he won the Grammy Award for Best Album for Children for his contribution to an adaptation of The Little Prince in 1975 and the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Comedy Album for Crank(y) Calls in 1996.
With a career spanning more than six decades, Winters also appeared in hundreds of television shows and films, including eccentric characters on The Steve Allen Show, The Garry Moore Show, The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters (1972–74), Mork & Mindy, Hee Haw, and It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World. He also voiced Grandpa Smurf on The Smurfs TV series from 1986 to the show's conclusion in 1989. Over twenty years later, Winters was introduced to a new generation through voicing Papa Smurf in The Smurfs (2011) and The Smurfs 2 (2013). Winters died nine days after recording his dialogue for The Smurfs 2; the film was dedicated in his memory.
In 1991, 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. 1999 saw Winters become the 2nd recipient of the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. In 2002, he was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his performance as Q.T. Marlens on Life with Bonnie. Winters was presented with a Pioneer TV Land Award by Robin Williams in 2008.
Winters also spent time painting and presenting his artwork, including silkscreens and sketches, in many gallery shows. He authored several books, with his book of short stories entitled Winters' Tales (1988) making several bestseller lists. Read more...