Jonathan Winters appeared in the Twilight Zone. Winters (1925-2013) was a comedian and actor who was a staple of movies and TV from the 1960s through the early 2000s. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Winters served in the Marine Corps during World War II. He then attended Kenyon College and the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio. His performance at a local talent contest led to him being offered a job as a disc jockey, and his off-the-wall sense of humor quickly made him a local radio and television personality, hosting game and talk shows.
When his employers wouldn’t give him a raise, he moved to New York and began a comedy career; he was later regarded as one of the greatest improv comics ever. He recorded over a dozen comedy albums during his career, one of which, Crank Calls, won a Grammy. He broke into television doing commercials and comedy routines on talk shows, where he became famous for portraying characters such as cranky old lady Maude Frickert.
His best known movie and TV roles include Lennie Pike in It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, Norman Jonas in The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! and Mearth on Mork & Mindy. He also did a great deal of cartoon and voiceover work, including providing the voice of Grandpa Smurf on The Smurfs.
Jonathan Winters appeared on The Twilight Zone on October 13, 1961, as legendary (and undead) pool champion “Fats” Brown on the episode “A Game of Pool.” In one of his few serious roles, Winters plays a master pool shark who rises from the dead to take on an arrogant challenger (Jack Klugman), and teach him a lesson.
Winters passed away in 2013, only a few days after recording his lines as Papa Smurf in the movie The Smurfs 2.