Jonathan Harshman Winters III (born November 11, 1925) is an American comedian, actor, and artist. Winters was born in Bellbrook, Ohio, the son of Alice Kilgore (née Rodgers), a radio personality, and Jonathan Harshman Winters II, an investment broker. He is a descendant of Valentine Winters, founder of the Winters National Bank in Dayton, Ohio (now part of JPMorgan Chase). Of English and Scotch-Irish ancestry, Winters has described his father as an alcoholic who had trouble holding a job. When he was seven, his parents separated, and Winters' mother took him to Springfield, Ohio to live with his maternal grandmother. At age 17, Winters quit high school and joined the United States Marine Corps and served two and a half years in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Upon his return he attended Kenyon College. He later studied cartooning at Dayton Art Institute, where he met Eileen Schauder, whom he married in 1948. He began comedy routines and acting while studying at Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio. He was also a local radio personality on WING (mornings, 6 to 8) in Dayton, Ohio and at WIZE in Springfield, Ohio. He performed as Johnny Winters on WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio for two and a half years, quitting the station in 1953 when they refused him a $5.00 raise. After promising his wife that he would return to Dayton if he did not make it in a year, and with $56.46 in his pocket, he moved to New York City, staying with friends in Greenwich Village. After obtaining Martin Goodman as his agent, he began stand-up routines in various New York nightclubs. His big break occurred (with the revised name of Jonathan) when he worked for Alistair Cooke on the CBS Sunday morning show Omnibus. In 1957, he performed in the first color television show, a 15-minute routine sponsored by Tums. In 1999, Winters was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. He now lives near Santa Barbara, California, and is often seen browsing and hamming for the crowd at the antique show on the Ventura County fairgrounds. He often entertains the tellers and other workers whenever he visits his local bank to make a deposit or withdrawal. He spends time painting, and has had many gallery showings and been presented in one-man shows of his art. In 1987, he published Winters' Tales: Stories and Observations for the Unusual.
Jonathan Harshman Winters III