Funny man Winters died this Thursday on April 11, at his Montecito, California abode reported a business associate to CNN. He was a comic legend, a genius in his own right with the skill to pick up any random object and improv the hell out of it for hours if need be. But could it be that like many artists he had some emotionally mental problems as well?
Jonathan Winters was not always the sanest person as is to be expected with a professional joker. While brilliantly talented he suffered from the common ailment of manic depression and was institutionalized at least once in his lifetime. The combination of his mental troubles and amazing talent made him the legendary performer that the world had come to view him as.
Winters had admitted the mental illness he drew strength from to an NPR reporter in 2011, saying, “I need that pain — whatever it is — to call upon it from time to time, no matter how bad it was.”
Performers often worry if they aren’t struggling with pain in some manner, where will they draw inspiration and creativity from? Which is completely understandable and yet he kept going strong in his career giving us the gift of hearing his voice in the “The Smurfs” movie that came out just last summer in 2011.
He had influenced so many comedians that followed including Robin Williams. And so through his influence and gift to comedy shall he continue to be remembered.