American comic actor Jonathan Winters has died at the age of 87.

A pioneer of improvisational stand-up, Winters began his career in the 1950s and was a regular on The Tonight Show during the '50s and '60s. He was given his own show, The Wacky World of Jonathan Winters, in 1972.

He was famous for various movie and TV roles in It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Mork & Mindy and as the voice of Grandpa Smurf in The Smurfs TV show (1986-89) and Papa Smurf in The Smurfs movie (2011).

Winters passed away on Thursrday (April 11th) at his home in Montecito, California. The actor's website confirmed that his death was as a result of natural causes.

Winters - who was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humour in 1999 - had been scheduled to reprise his voice role in The Smurfs 2 later this year.