Jonathan Winters (November 11, 1925 – April 11, 2013)
Jonathan Harshman Winters III was born in Dayton, Ohio to Alice Kilgore, a radio personality and Jonathan Harshman Winters II, an investment broker.
At seven, his parents separated. He and his mother moved to Springfield, Ohio to live with his maternal grandmother. During his senior year of high school, he left to join the Marine Corps, serving two and a half years in the Pacific Theater during WWII. He returned to attend Kenyon College, studied cartooning at Dayton Art Institute and met and married Eileen Schauder September 11, 1948.
His career began after he entered a contest to replace a lost wristwatch. He obtained a DJ job where he was to introduce songs and state the temperature. He and his ad libs quietly began to take over the show.
In 1953, he moved to New York City and began doing stand-up. His first TV appearance was in 1954 on Chance of a Lifetime. He made TV history in 1956, when RCA broadcast the first color TV show. His big break came while working alongside Alistair Cooke on Omnibus.
He has appeared in over 50 movies and TV shows during a career spanning over six decades. Winters’ final film appearance was in The Smurfs 2, which hit theaters in July 2013. He is an Emmy and Grammy Award winner and won the Pioneer TV Land award. Winters has also published several novels.
On February 8, 1960, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Winters suffered from nervous breakdowns and bipolar disorder. He and his wife lived near Santa Barbara, California. Eileen, his wife, died on January 11, 2009, at age 84, after a 20-year battle with breast cancer. Winters died of natural causes on April 11, 2013 in Monecito, California, at age 87. He is survived by his two children and five grandchildren.