Comedian-Actor Jonathan Winters dead at 87 in Montecito

Many local residents remember him

POSTED: 12:30 PM PDT Apr 15, 2013    UPDATED: 04:25 PM PDT Apr 13, 2013 
Jonathan Winters
MONTECITO, Calif. -

Comedian and actor Jonathan Winters has died in Montecito at the age of 87.

Longtime family friend Joe Petro III told the Associated Press Winters died Thursday evening at his  home of natural causes.

Winters was a master of improvisational comedy, with a grab bag of eccentric personalities and facial expressions. Characters such as the dirty old lady Maude Frickert were based on people Winters knew growing up in Ohio.

In the mid-1950s, "The Jonathan Winters Show" pioneered the then-new videotape technology on to do stunts such as showing up as two characters on screen together.

He was introduced to millions of new fans in 1981 as the son of Williams' goofball alien in the final season of ABC's "Mork and Mindy."

Winters was well known around the Montecito Barber Shop and many other businesses.

It was common for Winters to ad lib comedy on the spot.

"Oh showtime. The more people in here the longer he stayed," said Jess Martinez, a local barber. " And at times he'd go into Vons and stop by here first, then come by  later. The more people here, the longer he stayed."  Many autographed pictures of Winters are up in local businesses.

Up the street at the Montecito Pharmacy and Coffee Shop Lucia Vassallo said he was there, "all the time. Continuously.  He loved to come here. To sit down there.  And have lunch out there. "