Comedian Tim Conway dies at age 85
by Mickey McLean
Posted 5/14/19, 04:04 pm
Tim Conway, a comedian known for his Emmy Award–winning work on The Carol Burnett Show in the 1970s, died Tuesday morning in a care facility in Los Angeles, according to his representative Howard Bragman of LaBrea Media. Conway, who was 85, died from a disorder where there is an excess amount of fluid on the brain. His wife, Charlene Fusco, and a daughter, Jackie, were at his side.
Conway first gained attention as the incompetent but lovable Ensign Charles Parker on the 1960s television sitcom McHale’s Navy. He joined the regular cast of Carol Burnett’s weekly CBS variety show in 1975 after several years of frequent guest appearances. Conway’s antics during skits, in which he often improvised, sometimes caused co-stars Burnett and Harvey Korman to lose composure and crack up during a scene. Conway, who converted to Catholicism as an adult, appreciated that the Burnett show offered audiences “good, clean fun,” noting in a 2013 interview, “You didn’t have to worry about swearing or nudity or anything like that. It takes a lot more thought to be funny without the swearing and things of that nature.”
In addition to the four Emmys he won for his work on Burnett’s show, including one as a writer, Conway won Emmys for guest appearances on Coach in 1996 and 30 Rock in 2008.
His career on the big screen included roles in films such as The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975), The Shaggy D.A. (1976), Cannonball Run II (1984), and Air Bud 2 (1998). Conway also starred as an unusually short character called Dorf in a successful series of comedy videos released in the 1980s. More recently, he lent his voice to the animated character Hermie the caterpillar in Hermie and Friends, a Christian video series for children created by author Max Lucado.
Conway was born Thomas Conway in 1933 in Willoughby, Ohio, near Cleveland. He attended Bowling Green State University and served in the U.S. Army. He and his first wife, Mary Anne Dalton, had six children. That marriage ended in divorce in 1978. In addition to his second wife and his daughter Jackie, his children Tim Jr., Patrick, Jamie, Kelly, Corey, and Seann, as well as two grandchildren, Courtney and Sophia, survive him.
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Mickey is executive editor of WORLD Digital.