Jonathan Winters has made an art of comedy as one of the most inventive minds in the history of American entertainment. Born in Dayton (1925), he attended public school in Springfi ...read more
Jonathan Winters has made an art of comedy as one of the most inventive minds in the history of American entertainment. Born in Dayton (1925), he attended public school in Springfield and joined the Marine Corps at 17. After two years in the South Pacific, he returned to Ohio and Kenyon College. His interest in art led him to Dayton Art Institute where he studied for over two years and met the girl who would become his wife: Eileen. She encouraged Jonathan to enter a local talent contest, which he did, and won a wrist watch. The performance led him to a job as an early morning disc-jockey on radio station WING in Dayton (1946). And this led to WBNS-TV in Columbus where he worked for three years. In 1953, Jonathan headed for New York for the "big time" with $56.46 in his pocket. As a performer at Manhattan's Blue Angel nightclub, his reputation as a comic began to grow. Gary Moore, who was substituting for Arthur Godfrey on the TV show Talent Scouts, presented Jonathan on the show. Then came the Jack Paar Show, The Steve Allen Show, and The Tonight Show, where Jonathan was able to demonstrate his comic genius and he became a top name in American Comedy. Jonathan and Eileen have been married for nearly 60 years and have two children and five grandchildren. They live in Santa Barbara, where Jonathan paints and writes when he is not performing. He is also currently at work on his autobiography. Jonathan has appeared in dozens of movies, scores of television shows, has produced best-selling books, received Grammys and Emmys and brought smiles and tears to generations of audiences.