Jonathan Winters
Richest CelebritiesRichest Comedians
Net Worth:
$5 Million
Date of Birth:
Nov 11, 1925 - Apr 11, 2013 (87 years old)
Place of Birth:
5 ft 9 in (1.77 m)
Comedian, Actor, Voice Actor, Artist, Screenwriter, Author, Painter, Soldier
United States of America
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What Was Jonathan Winters' Net Worth?

Jonathan Winters was an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and artist who had a net worth of $5 million at the time of his death in 2013. Jonathan Winters won a Grammy for his 1995 comedy album "Crank(y) Calls," and he received a Primetime Emmy for his performance as Gunny Davis on the ABC/CBS sitcom "Davis Rules" (1991–1992). Jonathan released numerous comedy albums, such as "The Wonderful World of Jonathan Winters" (1960), "Here's Jonathan" (1961), "Another Day, Another World" (1962), "Finally Captured" (1988), and "Jonathan Winters is Terminator 3" (1992). Winters had more than 80 acting credits to his name, including the films "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" (1963), "The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming" (1966), "The Flintstones" (1994), and "The Shadow" (1994) and the television series "The Jonathan Winters Show" (1956–1957; 1967–1969) and "Mork & Mindy" (1981–1982).

Jonathan voiced Grandpa Smurf on NBC's "The Smurfs" (1986–1989) and Papa Smurf in the films "The Smurfs" (2011) and "The Smurfs 2" (2013), and he also lent his voice to "The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley" (1988), "Gravedale High" (1990), "Little Dracula" (1991), and "Fish Police" (1992). He wrote and produced the 1993 TV special "Spaced Out!" and the 2009 short film "The Babe and the Kid," and he was a writer on "The Jonathan Winters Show" as well as the 1964 TV movie "Wild Winters Night" and the 1968 short film "The Early Birds." He also published the books "Mouse Breath, Conformity and Other Social Ills" (1965), "Winters' Tales: Stories and Observations for the Unusual" (1987), "Hang-Ups: Paintings by Jonathan Winters" (1988), "Jonathan Winters: After The Beep" (1989), and "Maude Frickert Tells All" (2010). Sadly, Winters passed away on April 11, 2013, at the age of 87.

Early Life

Jonathan Winters was born Jonathan Harshman Winters III on November 11, 1925, in Dayton, Ohio. He was the son of Alice Kilgore Rodgers (later known as Alice Bahman) and Jonathan Harshman Winters II. His father was initially an insurance agent, but he later began working as an investment broker. Jonathan's grandfather was a "frustrated comedian" who owned the Winters National Bank. Winters' parents split up when he was 7 years old, and Alice took him to Springfield to live with her mother. Alice became a radio personality at WIZE in Springfield, and in September 1960, she and Jonathan appeared together on the game show "I've Got a Secret." Alone in his bedroom at his grandmother's home, Winters started creating characters as well as interviewing himself, and he eventually developed a "repertory of sound effects." He attended Springfield High School, but he dropped out during his senior year to join the U.S. Marine Corps. Jonathan served 2 1/2 years during World War II in the Pacific Theater, then he enrolled at Kenyon College. He later attended Dayton Art Institute, where he studied cartooning and met his future wife, Eileen Schauder.


In the late '40s, Eileen encouraged Jonathan to enter a talent contest because they couldn't afford to replace a lost wristwatch. He won a wristwatch when he placed first in the contest, and his performance in the competition led to a job as a disc jockey. Winters worked for WING in Dayton, WIZE in Springfield, and WBNS-TV in Columbus. WBNS-TV program director Jerome R. "Ted" Reeves arranged an audition for Jonathan at CBS in New York City, and Winters moved there with less than $60 to his name. He landed an agent, Martin Goodman, and began performing stand-up comedy in NYC clubs. He made his network TV debut on the DuMont Television Network show "Chance of a Lifetime" in 1954, and in 1956, RCA aired "the first public demonstration of color videotape" on NBC's "The Jonathan Winters Show." The series ran until mid-1957 and aired 38 episodes. In the '50s, Jonathan also appeared on the television shows "The Blue Angel" (1954), "Pass the Line" (1954), "Omnibus" (1954), "The Jack Paar Show" (1955), "Good Morning! with Will Rogers, Jr." (1955), "The NBC Comedy Hour" (1956), and "The Tonight Show" (1955–1957).

Winters made his big screen debut in 1963's "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," which earned him a Golden Globe nomination, then he appeared in the films "The Loved One" (1965), "The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming" (1966), "Penelope" (1966), "Eight on the Lam" (1967), and "Viva Max!" (1969) and narrated 1967's "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad." From 1967 to 1969, he starred in the second iteration of "The Jonathan Winters Show," which aired 43 episodes over two seasons on CBS. In the '70s, he starred in the TV specials "The Wonderful World of Jonathan Winters " (1970) and "Jonathan Winters Presents 200 Years of American Humor" (1976) and the syndicated show "The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters" (1972–1974), and he hosted the NBC documentary series "Hot Dog" (1970–1971). Jonathan guest-starred on "The Muppet Show" (1980), had a recurring role as Mearth on the ABC sitcom "Mork & Mindy" (1981–1982), and voiced Grandpa Smurf on the animated series "The Smurfs" (1986–1989) and in the TV movie "Smurfquest" (1986). Winters appeared in the films "I Go Pogo" (1980), "Hanky Panky" (1982), "E. Nick: A Legend in His Own Mind" (1984), "The Longshot" (1986), "Say Yes" (1986), "Moon Over Parador" (1988), "The Flintstones" (1994), and "The Shadow" (1994), and from 1991 to 1992, he starred as Gunny Davis on the sitcom "Davis Rules."

Jonathan Winters Net Worth

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In the 2000s, Jonathan was featured in the documentary "Tell Them Who You Are" (2004) and appeared in films such as "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" (2000), "Swing" (2003), "Comic Book: The Movie" (2004), and "National Lampoon's Cattle Call" (2006). He starred in the 2007 mockumentary "Certifiably Jonathan," which was named Best Feel Good Feature Film at the 2008 Feel Good Film Festival. Winters voiced Papa Smurf in the live-action/computer-animated films "The Smurfs" (2011) and "The Smurfs 2" (2013), which grossed $563.7 million and $347.5 million at the box office, respectively. "The Smurfs 2," which was released three months after Jonathan's death, was dedicated to him. Several videos or DVDs of his work have been released, including "Jonathan Winters: The Lost Episodes" (1968), "Jonathan Winters: Madman of Comedy" (1986), "Jonathan Winters: Gone Fish'n" (1995), "The Unknown Jonathan Winters: On the Loose" (2000), "Jonathan Winters: Rare and Riotous" (2005), and "Jonathan Winters: Birth of a Genius" (2011).

Personal Life

Jonathan married Eileen Ann Schauder on September 11, 1948, and they remained together until her death from breast cancer in January 2009; Eileen had been battling the disease for two decades. The couple had two children, Jay and Lucinda. Winters struggled with bipolar disorder and suffered from nervous breakdowns, and during an interview with the Archive of American Television, Winters revealed that he had spent time in a private psychiatric hospital in 1959 and 1961. Jonathan enjoyed painting and going to art galleries, and he sometimes exhibited his art in one-man shows.


On April 11, 2013, Jonathan passed away from natural causes at the age of 87 at his home in Montecito, California. Winters was cremated, and his cremains were given to his children. After news of Jonathan's death was announced, Robin Williams wrote on Facebook, "First he was my idol, then he was my mentor and amazing friend. I'll miss him huge. He was my Comedy Buddha. Long live the Buddha." Steve Martin tweeted, "Goodbye, Jonathan Winters. You were not only one of the greats, but one of the great greats."

Awards and Nominations

Winters earned two Primetime Emmy nominations, winning for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series for "Davis Rules" in 1991. His other nomination was for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for "Life with Bonnie" in 2003. In 1964, Jonathan received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor – Comedy or Musical for "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World," and he was nominated for a Laurel Award for Top Male New Face. Winters earned 11 Grammy nominations, taking home the prize for Best Spoken Comedy Album for "Crank(y) Calls" in 1996. He also received nominations for Best Comedy Performance – Spoken Word for "The Wonderful World Of Jonathan Winters" (1961), Best Comedy Performance for "Here's Jonathan" (1962), "Another Day, Another World" (1963), and "Whistle Stopping" (1965), Best Comedy Recording for "Finally Captured" (1989) and "Jonathan Winters Into The…90's" (1991), Best Spoken Word Album for "Winters' Tale" (1989) and "Jonathan Winters – A Very Special Time" (2010), Best Album for Children for "Paul Bunyan" (1992), and Best Comedy Album for "Jonathan Winters Is Terminator 3" (1993).

At the American Comedy Awards, Jonathan received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Comedy in 1987, and he won an award for Funniest Male Performer in a TV Special (Leading or Supporting) Network, Cable or Syndication for "Jonathan Winters and His Traveling Road Show" in 1991. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2000 Ojai Film Festival and a Lifetime Achievement Tribute at the 2003 Orinda Film Festival, and he won the Pioneer Award at the 2008 TV Land Awards. Winters earned an Online Film & Television Association Award nomination for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for "Life with Bonnie" in 2003, and in 2005, he won a DVD Exclusive Award for Best Supporting Actor (in a DVD Premiere Movie) for "Comic Book: The Movie." Jonathan received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Television in 1960, and he was honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 1999. In 1973, he received the American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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