US COMEDIAN and actor Jonathan Winters, best known for his role in sitcom Mork and Mindy, has died aged 87.
Winters’ friend, Joe Petro, said the actor died at his California home of natural causes surrounded by friends and family. He is survived by two children.
A pioneer of improvisational stand-up comedy, Winters influenced a generation of comedians, including Robin Williams, Jim Carrey and Steve Martin.
He also appeared in films such as It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and The Loved One.
But it was his role as Williams’s on-screen son in Mork and Mindy that brought him international fame. Williams paid tribute to the actor, saying: “First he was my idol, then he was my mentor and amazing friend. I’ll miss him huge. He was my Comedy Buddha.”
Carrey said Winters was “the worthy custodian of a sparkling and childish comedic genius”.