Winters got his start as a local radio personality in Ohio in the 1950s and quickly established himself as a unique comic presence with a puckishly quick wit through a series of comedy albums and TV appearances. Through his career, he landed memorable roles in 1963’s It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and Robin Williams’ ’80s sitcom Mork & Mindy. But it was Winters’ many one-off TV appearances that established his reputation as a comedian’s comedian.
He would often show up on talk and variety shows as beloved characters like the sharp-tongued elderly woman Maude Frickert and Midwestern simpleton Elwood P. Suggins, and his ability to speak off-the-cuff while still in character proved to be a revelation for generations of comedians, including Williams, Jim Carrey, and Mike Myers.
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