(CNN) — Jonathan Winters, the wildly inventive actor and comedian who appeared in such films as “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” and “The Loved One” and played Robin Williams’ son on the TV show “Mork & Mindy,” has died. He was 87.
Winters died Thursday evening of natural causes at his home in Montecito, California, according to business associate Joe Petro III.
Winters was known for his comic irreverence, switching characters the way other people flick on light switches. His routines were full of non sequiturs and surreal jokes. Williams, in particular, often credited him as a great influence.
I watched Jonathan Winters on his own and other numerous television shows. He was in fact a comic genius and also challenged mentally, spending eight months in a mental hospital in 1959 and again in 1961. He was diagnosed as bipolar.
A truly unique man passes, an individual who had the capability to actually make me laugh out loud — something that seldom happens with regard to myself and comedy.
“The first time I saw Jonathan Winters perform, I thought I might as well quit the business,” tweeted Dick Van Dyke after hearing of Winters’ death. “Because, I could never be as brilliant.”
His wife, Eileen, died in 2009. He is survived by two children and five grandchildren.
God, apparently, needed a bit more joviality in heaven.
Mr Winters was also an artist. Below, his work entitled “A New Member.”
Brubeck died in Norwalk, Connecticut today, while enroute a cardiology appointment with his son Darius accompanying him. He passed away, ironically, one day short of his 92nd birthday.
He was a master composer, a writer of changing time signatures and challenging meters.
Dave Brubeck – piano
Paul Desmond – alto saxophone
Eugene Wright – bass
Joe Morello – drums
Take Five was the first jazz album to sell one million copies.
Brubeck broke convention by playing in black jazz clubs in the 1950s.
“Jazz is about freedom within discipline,” Brubeck said in a 2005 interview with AP. “Usually a dictatorship like in Russia and Germany will prevent jazz from being played because it just seemed to represent freedom, democracy and the United States.
“Many people don’t understand how disciplined you have to be to play jazz. … And that is really the idea of democracy — freedom within the Constitution or discipline. You don’t just get out there and do anything you want.”
A very nice tribute to Dave Brubeck’s life here.
Finally, Blue Rondo a la Turk, the first cut from the ground-breaking album Take Five:
Goodbye to Dave Brubeck. The world lost an overall great and kind man, and a great jazz pianist and artist.
And I will miss you.
My favorite show? “I Dream of Jeannie” with Barbara Eden. Lost my heart to her.
Detroit Lions defensive tackle Alex Karras, who hated quarterbacks, passed away on Wednesday at age 77.
I am sufficiently old to have watched Alex Karras not only play on television but play live. Compared to today’s defensive linemen he wasn’t particularly large but, at the time, he was 6’3″ and 250 pounds — and offensive linemen completely, absolutely, feared him. As did not only opposing quarterbacks but Lions QB Bobby Layne.
Following retirement (he played for the Lions from 1958 to 1970, with a two-year gap), he appeared on Monday Night Football with Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford.
To others, he was George in Webster. That didn’t play to me. What played to me was this: Mongo, from Mel Brooks’s Blazing Saddles:
After that, many years later, Karras suffered dementia, heart disease and cancer. He most recently suffered kidney failure.
He passed away at home in Los Angeles, Wednesday, surrounded by family. God bless him.
Another portion of my life, my history, my surroundings — dies.
I guess that doesn’t bode quite very well for me.
Alex Karras in action: