Robin Williams presents the Pioneer Award to actor Jonathan Winters during the 6th annual 'TV Land Awards' in Santa Monica, Calif., June 8, 2008.

Comedian Jonathan Winters Dies

Emmy, Grammy Award-winning entertainer best known for role in 'Mork and Mindy.'

Robin Williams presents the Pioneer Award to actor Jonathan Winters during the 6th annual 'TV Land Awards' in Santa Monica, Calif., June 8, 2008.
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Jonathan Winters, known for his comedic television, stand-up and film performances, died Thursday evening at 87. He was credited as an inspiration to a generation of entertainers.

A statement on Winters' website says he died "of natural causes at his Montecito, California home at 6:45 p.m. PDT on April 11, 2013, surrounded by family and friends."

[PHOTOS: The Life of Jonathan Winters: 1925-2013]

"As a kid, I always wanted to be lots of things," Winters told U.S. News in 1988. "I was a Walter Mitty type. I wanted to be in the French Foreign Legion, a detective, a doctor, a test pilot with a scarf, a fisherman who hauled in a tremendous marlin after a 12-hour fight. I've done for the most part pretty much what I intended - I ended up doing comedy, writing and painting. I've had a ball. And as I get older, I just become an older kid."

Winters famously appeared in the fourth season of the ABC TV show "Mork and Mindy" in the early 1980s as the son of Robin Williams's character. Williams reportedly said of Winters: "The best stuff was before the cameras were on, when he was open and free to create. Jonathan would just blow the doors off."

Winters won an Emmy award for best-supporting actor in 1991 for his role on the TV sitcom "Davis Rules" and Grammy awards in 1975 for the children's recording "Little Prince" and in 1996 for comedy recording "Crank Calls."

A popular clip of Winters on YouTube shows the comedian roasting then California Gov. Ronald Reagan in 1973. In the performance for "The Dean Martin Show" he impersonated Reagan's first grade teacher, who reflected wistfully, "I thought of all the great universities that Ronnie could have gone to... and he chose Eureka. Where the hell is Eureka?"

[READ: Winters's 1988 Interview With U.S. News]

The Associated Press reports that Winters suffered from depression and alcoholism.

Winters provided the voice of Papa Smurf in the 2011 animated film "The Smurfs" alongside singer Katy Perry, and plays the same role the forthcoming sequel "The Smurfs 2," which will be released in theaters July 31.

Watch Winters roast Reagan:

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