A true comedy legend has left us. Jonathan Winters died Thursday night of natural causes at his home in California.  He was 87.

Winters never really had a breakout role, but he showed up on a lot of TV specials and variety shows, and in guest roles on various series.

One of his more steady gigs was the sitcom "Mork & Mindy".  In the early '80s he played Mork and Mindy's son "Mearth", who hatched from an egg as a grown man and aged backwards.

Winters was a frequent guest on the original "Tonight Show", hosted by Jack Paar, in the 1950s and '60s.  He also made several appearances when it was hosted by Johnny Carson.

One of his biggest movies was the 1963 comedy "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World", which was about a bunch of strangers trying to find some stolen money.

Check out a classic clip here:

And here's a great clip of Winters doing improv, in character, at the 1978 roast of Frank Sinatra:

He was also the voice of Papa Smurf in the new "Smurfs" movies.  He just finished recording his parts for the sequel, which comes out in July.  (Here are some photos from his final recording session earlier this month.)

Jonathan Winters was bipolar, by the way.  Although he was diagnosed decades ago, when they still called it MANIC DEPRESSION.  He actually spent eight months in a mental hospital in 1961, after suffering a nervous breakdown.