Mike Winters (comedian)
15 November 1930
Islington, London, England
|Died||24 August 2013
|Occupation||Comedian, musician, businessman, writer|
Mike Winters, born Michael Weinstein (15 November 1930 – 24 August 2013), was an English comedian, musician, businessman and writer who was the straight man of the comedy double act Mike & Bernie Winters with his younger brother, Bernie.
He was born in Islington, North London, where his father was a bookmaker. Mike won a scholarship to Tottenham Grammar School but was evacuated to Wiltshire with his younger brother where he eventually ended up at the City of Oxford High School for Boys. At 15 Mike won a scholarship and grant to the Royal Academy of Music to study clarinet, where he was one of the founders of the Royal Academy of Music Jazz Quintet. In the II world War, Mike, underage, was in the merchant navy. Following a medical discharge due to sinusitis he enlisted in the Canadian Legion as a musician, reaching the rank of captain. He then played jazz with his brother on drums and performed as a musician at dances and weddings.
After the double act with his brother ended in 1978, Winters moved to Florida because his wife, a renowned artist, suffered from arthritis. Mike opened the first theatre club in Miami and worked with legendary boxing manager, Angelo Dundee, presenting black-tie boxing events. Mike was also active in charity work, with visits to Miami from Muhammad Ali, Prince Michael of Kent and Prince Edward and was awarded the city of Miami keys by the mayor. Mike also co-produced with Jude Parry, directed, performed and wrote the first British professional pantomime to appear in Florida, it was such success that they continued for five years, starring not only local young talent but also the late Davy Jones of the Monkees.
He published five books including a biography of Angelo Dundee and The Axis of Greatness about the relationship between Angelo and his boxers Sugar Ray Leonard and Muhammad Ali. His two novels are Miami One Way and Razor Sharp and his last book was a light-hearted memoir called The Sunny Side Of Winters.