Comedian Tim Conway dead at age 85
Comedian Tim Conway has died at age 85, after a battle with dementia, People reports.
Representative Howard Bragman confirmed to People that the comic died at 8:45 a.m. Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Conway was best known for his work on CBS’ “The Carol Burnett Show,” winning four Emmy Awards for his work — one for writing, three for performing. After being a featured player in the first eight seasons, Conway officially joined the cast in seasons nine through 11.
On the show, he had several famous characters, including the feet-shuffling Oldest Man and the executive Mr. Tudball, who is constantly exasperated with his secretary.
He was also known for making his friend and co-star Harvey Korman break up during sketches.
“I’m heartbroken,” said Burnett in a statement. “He was one in a million, not only as a brilliant comedian but as a loving human being. I cherish the times we had together both on the screen and off. He’ll be in my heart forever.”
In the 1960s, Conway played Ensign Parker in the sitcom “McHale’s Navy.” Other TV stints included the one-hour variety program “The Tim Conway Show” from 1980-81 and the CBS detective parody “Ace Crawford, Private Eye” in 1983. Most recently, he voiced the role of Barnacle Boy on “Spongebob Squarepants.”
His filmwork included many movies for Disney, including “The Apple Dumpling Gang,” “The Shaggy D.A.,” “Gus,” and “The World’s Greatest Athlete.”
In later years, Conway played the comically inept diminutive golf instructor Dorf.
He picked up two Emmys for guest work — one for a 1996 episode of “Coach,” the other for an episode of “30 Rock” in 2008.
In recognition for a career that spanned 40 years, Conway was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1989. In 2002, Conway and Korman were both inducted into the Academy of Television Arts, & Sciences’ Hall of Fame.
Conway was born in a suburb of Cleveland — Willoughby, Ohio — on Dec. 15, 1933. He graduated from Bowling Green State University, having majored in TV and radio. After several years working for Cleveland TV stations, Conway moved to New York in 1962 and found a role on ABC’s “The Steve Allen Show” as a regular.
On Conway’s own website, he mentions he is in the Comedy Hall of Fame, saying, “It was a natural since I spent alot of my time in grade school out in the hall.”
He spent two years in the U.S. Army, pointing out that he spent three in “McHale’s Navy,” for a total of five years of service.
Conway is survived by his wife, Charlene, of 35 years, his stepdaughter, six biological children, and two granddaughters.
Many took to social media to express their sorrow.
The little fella from Ohio walked onto “The Carol Burnett Show” & showed us a thing or two about comedy. He was a genius & his pairing w/Harvey Korman was made in heaven. Every week, he left the entire country helpless w/laughter. How did that big heart fit into that little body?
— Dick Van Dyke (@iammrvandy) May 15, 2019
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 14, 2019
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) May 15, 2019
RIP😢 Tim Conway, one of the legends of the game, and one of the kindest people I’ve ever worked with.❤️ We enjoyed you-Biggs and McMillan pic.twitter.com/O5yTUtTd3d
— Billy Gardell (@BillyGardell) May 14, 2019
Just seeing that Tim Conway passed away. Heaven is a funnier place tonight. May your memory be a blessing. https://t.co/qckWZ3gYps
— Ed Asner (@TheOnlyEdAsner) May 15, 2019
— Buzz Aldrin (@TheRealBuzz) May 15, 2019
— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) May 14, 2019
We lost one of the greatest today – Tim Conway may be the greatest ever! I will never forget on an Emmy Awards when Harvey Korman won & Tim did not. Harvey went up to accept his award, Tim went up and stood right next to him, not saying a word. Ginnie & I will miss him greatly!! pic.twitter.com/Pvn3LEYH7K
— Bob Newhart (@BobNewhart) May 14, 2019
Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, [email protected] or via Twitter .