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Legendary Comedian Jonathan Winters, Pioneer Of Improvisational Comedy, Dies At 87
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Jonathan Winters

Jonathan Winters, who made an art out of improvisational comedy and had a successful career for decades with it, died on Thursday of natural causes in his home in Montecito, CA. He was 87.

Winters was like a comedic chameleon, effortlessly able to suss up physical caricatures of all types and stripes almost at will; he could instantaneously become stereotypical figures at once, sometimes at a rapid-fire clip, but he may be best remembered as the character of Maude Frickert to first generations of audiences who discovered him, the at- first-glance innocuous-looking grandmother who then had a tongue that could cut through steel if pressed. Winters positively relished that role and played it with full comedic aplomb as his quick wit solidified the character and audiences howled across the country.

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