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Jonathan Winters

Biography

Jonathan Winters, one of the most inventive character comedians, was born in Dayton, Ohio on November 11, 1925. At 17, Winters joined the Marines, where he toured the South Pacific for two-and-a-half years. When he returned home, he enrolled in college, but his interest in art led him to eventually enroll in Dayton's Art Institute. While studying art, Winters met fellow student, Eileen Schauder whom he married only one month later. It was Eileen who encouraged Jonathan to enter a local talent competition. Upon winning, Jonathan was offered a job on the morning radio show on WING-Dayton, which he did until landing at WBNS-TV in 1950. After three years with the station, Winters and Eileen headed to New York. Within two months, Jonathan already had bookings in a number of top-flight comedy clubs, including the prestigious Blue Angel nightclub in Manhattan. With his reputation growing, Winters was booked on the television show, Talent Scout and he was a huge success. Appearances on the Jack Paar Show, The Steve Allen Show and The Tonight Show soon followed, cementing Winters as one of the country's brightest new comedic talents. Throughout the 1960s, Winters upped his profile, starring in movies such as It's a Mad, Mad...World and The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming, as well as numerous television specials. Winters continued to act in movies and host television specials throughout the 1970s, culminating in his guest starring role as Mearth on Mork & Mindy. Winters was invited to reprise his guest role on numerous occasions in the early '80s, which garnered him a whole new generation of fans. Additionally, his uncanny ability to make up characters with unique voices made him an in-demand voice over actor for cartoons such as The Smurfs, Arabian Knights and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (Germany). In his spare time, Jonathan Winters paints and writes books.
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