Winters, Jonathan (Harshman) (Iii) 1925-
WINTERS, Jonathan (Harshman) (III) 1925-
PERSONAL: Born November 11, 1925, in Dayton, OH; son of Jonathan H. (an investment broker) and Alice Kilgore (a radio personality; maiden name, Rodgers) Winters; married Eileen Ann Schauder, September 11, 1948; children: Jonathan IV, Lucinda Kelley. Education: Attended Kenyon College; Dayton Art Institute, B.F.A. Hobbies and other interests: Painting.
ADDRESSES: Home—Montecito, CA. Agent—Tim Bergstrom, Personal Manager, Bergstrom Productions Unlimited, 20501 Schoenborn Street, Canoga Park, CA 91306.
CAREER: Actor and writer. Actor in films, including (Lennie Pike) It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, United Artists (UA), 1963; (as Hollywood promoter and cemetery director) The Loved One, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), 1965; (as deputy sheriff Norman Jones) The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! UA, 1966; (as Professor Klobb) Penelope, MGM, 1966; (as Jasper Lynch) Eight on the Lam, UA, 1967; (as Dad and narrator) Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad, Paramount, 1967; The Midnight Oil, 1967; (as General Billy Joe Hallson) Viva Max, Commonwealth United, 1969; (as H. S. Halsey Tilson) The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, UA, 1979; (as Tyler) Long Shot, 1981; (as W. D. Westmoreland) Say Yes, 1986; (as Ralph) Moon over Parador, Universal, 1988; (as voice of Wade Pig) Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation, 1992; (as Wainwright Barth) The Shadow, 1993; (as grizzled man) The Flintstones, Universal, 1994; (as voice of the thief) Arabian Knight, 1995; (as Whoppa) The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle, 2000; Edwurd Fudwupper Fibbed Big, 2000; (as voice of Santa) Santa vs. the Snowman 3D, 2002; and (as Uncle Bill) Swing, 2003.
Actor in television series, including The Garry Moore Show, Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS), 1954-63; And Here's the Show, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1955; NBC Comedy Hour, NBC, 1956; The Jonathan Winters Show, NBC, 1956-57; (as panelist) Masquerade Party, CBS, 1958; The Jack Paar Program, NBC, 1962-63; (as voice of the Giant) Linus the Lionhearted (animated cartoon), CBS, 1964-66, American Broadcasting Companies (ABC), 1966-1969; The Andy Williams Show, NBC, 1965-67, 1970-71; The Jonathan Winters Show, CBS, 1967-69; The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, syndicated, 1972-74; (as Mearth) Mork and Mindy, ABC, 1981-82; (as voice of Papa Smurf) The Smurfs (animated cartoon), NBC, 1981-90; Hee Haw, CBS, 1983-84; (as voice) Yogi's Treasure Hunt (animated cartoon), syndicated, 1985; (as voice of Roger) The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley (animated cartoon), NBC, 1988; (as voice) Rick Moranis in Gravedale High (animated cartoon), NBC, 1990; (as Gunny Davis) Davis Rules, ABC, 1991, CBS, 1991-92; (as voice of Mayor Cod) Fish Police (animated cartoon), CBS, 1992; and (as host) Jonathan Winters: Spaced Out, Showtime, 1993. Also appeared on a Saturday morning children's show, Hot Dog, 1970.
Appeared in television specials, including Jonathan Winters Presents a Wild Winters Night, NBC, 1964;The Jonathan Winters Special, NBC, 1964; The Jonathan Winters Show, NBC, 1965; The Jonathan Winters Show, NBC, 1965; (as thief) Guys 'n' Geishas, NBC, 1967; The Wonderful World of Jonathan Winters, NBC, 1970; (as voice) The Fricker Fracus (animated), CBS, 1973; Jonathan Winters Presents 200 Years of American Humor, NBC, 1976; Freedom Is, syndicated, 1976; The World's Funniest Commercial Goofs, ABC, 1985; NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration, NBC, 1986; (as host) King Kong: The Living Legend, syndicated, 1986; David Letterman's Second Annual Holiday Film Festival, NBC, 1986; Bob Hope's High-flying Birthday, NBC, 1986; Bob Hope's Tropical Comedy Special from Tahiti, NBC, 1987; (as voice of Grandpa) 'Tis the Season to Be Smurfy (animated), NBC, 1987; Happy Birthday, Bob—Fifty Stars Salute Your Fifty Years with NBC, NBC, 1988; Jonathan Winters Show, Showtime, 1988; (as host) Showtime Presents: Jonathan Winters and Friends, Showtime, 1989; Hanna-Barbera's Fiftieth: A Yabba Dabba Doo Celebration (animated), Turner Network Television (TNT), 1989; Jonathan Winters and His Traveling Roadshow, Showtime, 1990; (as voice of Harry) Wake, Rattle, and Roll (animated), syndicated, 1990; (as narrator) Paul Bunyan, Showtime, 1990; The Fifth-Annual American Comedy Awards, ABC, 1991; (as voice of Abracadabra the owl) The Wish That Changed Christmas (animated), CBS, 1991; Uncomfortably Close with Michael McKean: Jonathan Winters, Comedy Central, 2000; and Comedy Central Presents the Second Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize Celebrating the Humor of Jonathan Winters, Comedy Central, 2000.
Also appeared in Plimpton! Did You Hear the One About . . . ?, 1971; Disney World: A Gala Opening, 1971; Special London Bridge Special, 1972; The Engelbert Humperdinck Special, 1973; Dean Martin's Red Hot Scandals of 1926, 1976; Dean Martin's Red Hot Scandals Part 2, 1977; Dean Martin's Christmas in California, 1977; Uncle Tim Wants You! 1977; Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope for President, 1980; Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope in "Who Makes the World Laugh"—Part One, 1983; The Suzanne Somers Special, 1983; and Jonathan Winters: On the Ledge, 1987.
Actor in television movies, including (as Professor Albert Paradine II) More Wild, Wild West, CBS, 1980; (as Humpty Dumpty) Alice in Wonderland (animated), CBS, 1985; (as Jeremiah Klay) Now You See It, Now You Don't, NBC, 1986; (as voice) The Little Troll Prince (animated), syndicated, 1987; (as Pocket Watch) The Bears Who Saved Christmas, 1994; and (as voice of Santa) Santa vs. the Snowman, 1997; and (as narrator) Frosty Returns, 2003. Actor in television pilots, including Take One, NBC, 1981; and Faith, CBS, 1994. Executive producer of television special Jonathan Winters: Spaced Out, Showtime, 1993.
Guest star on television shows, including Omnibus, CBS, 1954; The Steve Allen Show, NBC, 1954-61; "The Land of Oz," Shirley Temple Theater, NBC, 1960; "Babes in Toyland," Shirley Temple Theater, NBC, 1960; "A Game of Pool," The Twilight Zone, CBS, 1961; NBC Monitor Show, NBC, 1963; The London Palladium, NBC, 1966; Dean Martin Show, NBC, 1966-67; The Mouse Factory, syndicated, 1972; (as guest) Hollywood Squares, NBC, 1975; Aloha Paradise, ABC, 1981; and World of Disney, CBS, 1982. Also appeared on Garry Moore Show, 1954-63; Good Morning, America, ABC; and (as voice) Wait till Your Father Gets Home (cartoon), syndicated.
AWARDS, HONORS: Emmy Award, 1991, for Davis Rules; Lifetime Achievement Award, Comedy Awards Association; Mark Twain Prize for Humor, Kennedy Center, 1999.
(With Philip Cammarata) Did Anyone Bring an Opener? Harper (New York, NY), 1959.
Mouse Breath, Conformity, and Other Social Ills, introduction by Jack Parr, Bobbs-Merrill (Indianapolis, IN), 1965.
Winter's Tales: Stories and Observations for the Unusual, Random House (New York, NY), 1987, expanded edition, Silver Springs Books (Weston, CT), 2001.
Hangings, Random House (New York, NY), 1988.
Hang-Ups (paintings), Random House (New York, NY), 1988.
Jonathan Winters: After the Beep, edited by Jim B. Smith, Perigee (New York, NY), 1989.
The Wonderful World of Jonathan Winters, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1970.
Jonathan Winters Presents 200 Years of American Humor, National Broadcasting Company (NBC), 1976.
Uncle Tim Wants You! 1977.
The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Jonathan Winters, 1965.
Stuff 'n' Nonsense, 1969.
The Little Prince, 1975.
Crank(y) Calls, Audio Select, 1995.
The Unknown Jonathan Winters: On the Loose, Fox Lorber, 2000.
Also recorded the comedy albums Jonathan Winters: Outpatients and Jonathan Winters . . . Wings It!; recorded comedy albums for Verve/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1960-64, including Another Day, Another World, The Wonderful World of Jonathan Winters, Down to Earth with Jonathan Winters, Here's Jonathan, Humor Seen through the Eyes of Jonathan Winters, and Whistle-Stopping with Jonathan Winters; also recorded an album with Columbia Records.
WORK IN PROGRESS: An autobiography.
SIDELIGHTS: Jonathan Winters has been one of the best loved comedians in the United States since the 1950s, and many younger comics, including Robin Williams who worked with Winters on the television series Mork and Mindy, have admitted that they owe much to Winters' influence. After getting his start as a cartoonist in college, and then as a disc jockey on an Ohio radio station, Winters became a stand-up comedian in New York in the early 1950s. He soon moved into the new medium of television, becoming a regular guest on such early variety programs as The Jack Paar Show. His alter ego Maude Frickert, a little old lady from Ohio, is legendary, and it is widely believed that Tonight Show host Johnny Carson modeled his Aunt Blabby character on her.
Many of his fans think that Winters is at his best when improvising, and it is clear to everyone around him that he loves to do so. Winter's co-star from the hit 1963 film It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Buddy Hackett, recalled that Winters would launch into improv routines even when the cameras weren't on him. "He gets there in the morning . . . and he'd walk along and there would be some old grip carrying a lamp," Hackett told Paul Brownfield of the Los Angeles Times. "Winters would say, 'Hey, is that your lion? . . . They're nasty buggers there, aren't they?' . . . And guys would gather around and [Winters] would do twenty-five minutes with the lamp being a lion." Winters is currently at work on his autobiography.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 37, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2002.
St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2000.
America, July 20, 1991, Thomas H. Stahel, review of Davis Rules, p. 45.
American Film, December, 1990, Andy Klein, review of The Loved One, p. 53.
American Record Guide, November-December, 1990, Stephen D. Chakwin, Jr., review of Peter and the Wolf, p. 98.
Austin American-Statesman (Austin, TX), May 17, 1997, Barry Koltnow, "Jonathan Winters Still Warming Audience's Hearts," p. C9; October 22, 1999, "Winters Lauded for His Funny Personas," p. B12.
Business Wire, August 29, 1995, "Jonathan Winters to Host SpectraVision Movie Preview Show," p. 8291149.
Chatelaine, March, 1990, Peter Goddard, review of Peter and the Wolf, p. 20; April, 1991, Johanna Schneller, review of Davis Rules, p. 20.
Christian Herald, December, 1988, Myrna Grant, review of The Little Troll Prince, p. 26.
Christian Science Monitor, April 12, 1989, Jeff Kaliss, interview with Winters, p. 10; August 11, 2000, review of Jonathan Winters: On the Loose, p. 19.
Denver Post (Denver, CO), July 16, 2000, review of Jonathan Winters: On the Loose, p. I-04.
Entertainment Weekly, February 14, 1992, Ken Tucker, review of Davis Rules, p. 45; July 8, 1994, Gregg Kilday, review of The Shadow, p. 36.
Glamour, September, 1988, Joy Gould Boyum, review of Moon over Parador, pp. 249-250.
HeartCare, August, 1990, Cece Eckert, "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, and the Chinese, . . . and the Italians, . . . and the French, . . . ," pp. 26-27.
Herald Sun (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), December 12, 2002, Leigh Paatsch, review of Santa vs. the Snowman, p. I06.
Houston Chronicle (Houston, TX), October 22, 1999, "Seriously, Jonathan Winters Honored for Humor," p. 4; July 13, 2000, interview with Winters, p. 1.
Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, IN), November 8, 2002, review of Santa vs. the Snowman, p. G12.
Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, July 13, 2000, Ellen Gray, interview with Winters, p. K1706.
Lansing State Journal (Lansing, MI), September 8, 2000, Mike Hughes, "Jonathan Winters Will Be on the Loose Tonight," p. D1.
Los Angeles Magazine, November, 1984, review of I Go Pogo: Pogo for President, p. 62.
Los Angeles Times, March 29, 2001, Paul Brownfield, review of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, p. F-20.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, January, 1995, Kathi Maio, review of The Shadow, pp. 64-70.
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, August 9, 2000, Joanne Weintraub, interview with Winters, p. 1.
Newsweek, February 8, 1988, Charles Leerhsen, review of Winters' Tales, pp. 73-74; April 1, 1991, Harry F. Waters, "A Clown for All Seasons," p. 68.
New York, January 28, 1991, John Leonard, review of Davis Rules, p. 55.
New Yorker, September 19, 1988, Terrence Rafferty, review of Moon over Parador, pp. 86-88.
New York Times, June 12, 1986, Vincent Canby, review of Say Yes, pp. 26, C14; May 1, 1991, "Stormin' Jonathan's America West Mission," pp. C6, D8; August 26, 1995, Caryn James, review of Arabian Knight, pp. 11, 13; October 19, 1999, "Just for Laughs," p. B5; October 21, 1999, Irvin Molotsky, "Winters Warms up for Humor Prize," p. A14.
New York Times Book Review, February 7, 1988, David Finkle, review of Winters' Tales, p. 20.
Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, FL), August 20, 2000, Kevin D. Thompson, interview with Winters, p. 1J.
Parents Magazine, May, 1992, Valerie Monroe, review of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, p. 236.
People, June 15, 1987, Jeff Jarvis, review of Jonathan Winters on the Ledge, p. 11; January 15, 1990, David Hiltbrand, review of Jonathan Winters and His Traveling Road Show, p. 7; May 21, 1990, Ralph Novak, review of The Twilight Zone, p. 31; September 10, 1990, Susan Toepfer, review of Rabbit Ears Storybook Classics, p. 39; January 28, 1991, David Hiltbrand, review of Davis Rules, p. 11; January 27, 1992, David Hiltbrand, review of Davis Rules, p. 13; December 19, 1994, Ben Harte, review of Santosaurus, p. 33; August 7, 2000, Terry Kelleher, review of Jonathan Winters on the Loose, p. 31.
Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), August 26, 2000, Tom Feran, interview with Winters, p. 1E.
PR Newswire, December 16, 1987, "Burns, Cosby, Hope Praise Jonathan Winters' Comic Style," p. 1216NY27, "Jonathan Winters Recalls Details of Nervous Breakdown, Maintains Reports He Tried to Climb Ship's Rigging Are Not True," p. 1216NY27A.
Publishers Weekly, October 16, 1987, Sybil Steinberg, review of Winters' Tales, p. 71.
San Francisco Chronicle, April 3, 2000, James Sullivan, "A Life out of Left Field: Jonathan Winters, Who's Coming Back to S.F., Is Still Absurd after All These Years," p. D1.
Sarasota Herald Tribune, September 5, 2000, Jay Handelman, interview with Winters, p. E1.
Saturday Evening Post, March, 1982, Cork Millner, "Jonathan Winters: No Fooling," pp. 58-63.
School Library Journal, April, 1996, Fritz Mitnick, review of Frosty Returns, p. 78; June, 1996, Teresa Bateman, review of Zoo Food with Grandpa Nature, p. 82.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 15, 2000, interview with Winters, p. C1.
Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), July 13, 2000, Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz, interview with Winters, p. 63.
Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), December 15, 2002, Jacqui Hammerton, review of Santa vs. the Snowman, p. 94.
Time, November 8, 1999, interview with Winters, p. 153.
TV Guide, January 8, 2000, David Handelman, "Winters Wonderland," pp. 42-44.
U.S. News & World Report, December 5, 1988, Alvin P. Sanoff, interview with Winters, pp. 70-71; November 1, 1999, "Jonathan Winters," p. 23.
Variety, May 13, 1981, review of Take One, p. 386; December 23, 1987, review of The Smurfs, p. 52; May 25, 1988, review of Happy Birthday, Bob-Fifty Stars Salute Your Fifty Years with NBC, p. 92; August 31, 1988, review of Moon over Parador, p. 38; February 4, 1991, review of Davis Rules, p. 93; October 25, 1999, Christopher Stern, "D.C. Hot for Winters," p. 60.
Video Magazine, August, 1993, Stewart Wolpin, review of The Loved One, p. 56.
Video Review, November, 1991, Roy Hemming, review of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, p. 104.
Wall Street Journal, November 1, 2002, Joe Morgenstern, review of Santa vs. the Snowman, p. W8.
Washington Post, October 15, 1999, "A Celebration of American Humor," p. N25; October 21, 1999, Frank Ahrens, "Hats off to the Father, and Granny, of Improv: Jonathan Winters Tickled by Mark Twain Comedy Prize," p. C01.
Washington Times, October 16, 1999, Patrick Butters, "Wild Winters: Kennedy Center Bash to Salute Comic's Improvisational Genius," p. 1; October 23, 1999, Patrick Butters, "Appeal of Winters Never out of Season," p. 5.
Winstom-Salem Journal (Winston-Salem, NC), February 15, 2002, Tim Clodfelter, review of Stuff'n Nonsense, p. E4.
Jonathan Winters Offıcial Home Page,http://www.jonathanwinters.com (May 8, 2003).*