Veteran actor and comedian Jonathan Winters has died at the age of 87.

He passed away of natural causes in Montecito, California on Thursday (11Apr13).

Born in Dayton, Ohio, Winters served two years in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War Ii before enrolling at Kenyon College, where he landed a job as a radio Dj and perfected his stand-up routine.

Winters went on to record a number of comedy albums and became a regular on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show. He also hosted his own Tv variety show in the late 1960s.

He is perhaps best known for his role as Mearth in the hit Tv series Mork & Mindy, but his other small screen credits include Hee Haw, David Rules, Hot Dog, The Hollywood Squares, The Dean Martin Show and The Twilight Zone.

In 2008 he was presented with the Tv Land Award from Robin Williams, who previously called Winters one of his idols.

On the big screen, Winters appeared in over 40 films, including It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, The Russians Are Coming The Russians Are Coming and The Flintstones. He also provided the voice of Papa Smurf in the animated 2011 Smurfs movie and he reprised his role for the sequel, which is due to be released this summer (13).