Comedian Jonathan Winters dies, local man recalls great friend

By Audrey Williams

April 12, 2013 Updated Apr 12, 2013 at 10:35 PM CDT

Hailed as a comedic genius, Emmy award winning actor, comedian and artist Jonathan Winters has died.

A regular on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Winters died of natural causes at his home in California Thursday evening.

Winters' career spanned more than 60 years, appearing in film classics like "It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world" and voicing Papa Smurf in the 2011 animated film " The Smurfs". He was probably best known for his character "Maude Frickert" a sweet but wise cracking senior citizen.

Local radio show host, Roger Monroe tells us that he was great friends with Winters over the past seven years, talking on the phone every few weeks.

Monroe said although they never met in person, he knows the world lost a wonderful human being.

"In my estimation the greatest creative comedian the world has ever seen, or will ever see for that matter. He's a very intelligent guy, he was an artist, he studied art. What a career he had and he would be an example, a role model, for others," said Monroe.

Jonathan Winters was 87.

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