He was known as a master of improv. Comedian Jonathan Winters hailed for being brilliant at making things up on the spot; appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies like "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World". One of the cherub-faced comedian's best known characters, a seemingly sweet granny-type with a sharp tongue and racy lines.

TV clip: "Hey Deansey! What do you wanna do? Hmm? I don't know, well what's your pleasure? Well if I told ya that, we'd be off the air. (Laughter)"

That's character Maude Frickert flirting with Dean Martin on the singer's show. Winters is credited with inspiring comics such as Jim Carrey, Billy Crystal and Robin Williams, whose child he played on the sitcom "Mork and Mindy". And yet, another generation would know him as the voice of Papa Smurf.

Jonathan Winters

A family friend says the Ohio native died Thursday night at his home in California of natural causes. He was 87.

Watch a clip of Jonathan Winters as Maude Frickert with Dean Martin below:

Watch a clip of Jonathan Winters from the movie "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" below:

Some comedians are taking to Twitter to remember Jonathan Winters: