Television legend Tim Conway has passed away at the age of 85, his publicist confirmed on Tuesday.
The iconic comedian was best known for his role on the TV variety series The Carol Burnett Show. But he also starred in the series McHale’s Navy and is the author of the memoir What’s So Funny? My Hilarious Life.
The Ohio native had reportedly been suffering from dementia and in August his daughter Kelly had filed documents to become his conservator in an effort to oversee his medical needs.
‘He was one in a million, not only as a brilliant comedian but as a loving human being,’ Burnett said in a tribute shared to USA Today. ‘I cherish the times we had together both on the screen and off. He’ll be in my heart forever.’
Sad loss: Television legend Tim Conway has passed away at the age of 85, his publicist confirmed on Tuesday. Seen in 2013
He passed away at 8:45 am on Tuesday in the Los Angeles area, his rep Howard Bragman told People.
It was claimed that he had ‘suffered complications from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH).’ And it was added that he had ‘no signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s’ even though earlier reports conflict that.
Conway was known for being able to play a wide range of characters and excelled at ad-libbing while doing sketch comedy.
He played several quirky characters on The Carol Burnett Show during the 1970s, such as the beloved Mr Tudball.
He was part of a smart team: The cast portrait of The Carol Burnett Show; from left: Tim, Carol Burnett, Vicki Lawrence and Dick Van Dyke in 1977
Comedic relief: He excellent at his sketch pieces on The Carol Burnett Show. Here he is seen as Mickey Hart with Vicki Lawrence (as Mama Harper) and Carol Burnett (as Eunice Higgins)
Funniest people on TV: L to R, Lyle Waggoner of Wonder Woman, Lawrence, Burnett, Harvey Korman and Conway on The Carol Burnett Show
He won a Golden Globe Award for the series in 1976, along with Emmys in 1973, 1977 and 1978.
Conway attended Bowling State University then enlisted in the Army where he worked at a local radio station in Cleveland.
His first TV show was a small part on Channing in 1963 then he landed his gig as Ensign Charles Parker opposite Ernest Borgnine on McHale’s Navy, which ran from 1962 until 1966.
Next came the 1967 series Rango and then a small part on That’s Life.
More pals: (L-R) Burnett, Amy Schumer, actress Vicki Lawrence, and Tim Conway in 2012 in NYC
He didn’t become a household name until he landed a part on The Carol Burnett Show.
After a guest starring role, he was a regular from 1975 until 1978.
There he flourished with his sketch pieces, one of his best was playing a bumbling old man whose slow pace maddened his secretary.
Instant hit: Not long after arriving in Hollywood, he landed his gig as Ensign Charles Parker (center) on McHale’s Navy, which ran from 1962 until 1966. Seen with Ernest Borgnine, left, and Joe Flynn, right
‘They used to do 33 shows a year on Burnett,’ he told the Los Angeles Times. ‘She said why don’t you just be a regular on the show? I said I will tell you what. I will do 32 shows and leave one week open at the end, so I can guest on somebody’s show. I always guested on her show, but I did have the right to go somewhere else. My job on every show was to break everybody up.’
He also took a stab at his own show, The Tim Conway Show, which was short lived.
Here he is seen with one of his Emmys in 1996
Conway continued to guest star on shows like 1991’s Carol & Company before he landed a more steady gig on Married… With Children as Ephraim Wanker.
Tom also stood out opposite Craig T Nelson and Jerry Van Dyke on Coach in the mid Nineties – a role that won him an Emmy.
And in 1987 he began his series of Dorf how-to videos.
Conway produced nine Dorf videos in all, which focused on baseball, auto racing, and fishing.
More recently he voiced Barnacle Boy on SpongeBob SquarePants.
In 2014 he made an appearance on Two And A Half Men with Ashton Kutcher.
Conway was married to Mary Anne Dalton from 1961 until their divorce in 1978.
He is survived by second wife Charlene Conway, whom he married in 1984.
The star has seven children by Dalton, including KFI Los Angeles radio host Tim Conway Jr.
In August, his daughter worked hard to get a conservatorship so she could oversee his medical treatments.
Stay current: In 2014 he was seen with (L-R) Jon Cryer, Steve Lawrence, Carl Reiner, Ashton Kutcher and Gary Marshall on Two And A Half Men
The documents stated that his wife Charlene was ‘planning to move him out of the excellent skilled nursing facility he is currently at.’
Days later, Kelly sought a temporary restraining order to stop the move.
But in March, Charlene was appointed conservator of her husband, People added.
They had a long marriage: Conway is seen here with his wife Charlene in 2005
Burnett was not the only star to share a loving tribute.
Judd Apatow, the director of Knocked Up, stated, ‘The amount of joy Tim Conway brought my family as a child was immeasurable. The man was pure comedy. Riotously funny. I finally got to see him work when he guest starred on The Larry Sanders show and he was all I dreamed he would be. As kind as he was funny. He will be missed.’
Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin also said, ‘Sad to read of the passing of Tim Conway. Both Tim AND Harvey Korman couldn’t have been any nicer AND funnier. Now together again making each other laugh. RIP.’
‘The first time I can remember laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe was watching Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett show. Every character infused with a lovable crazy that broke me week after week. Timing, commitment and roll on the floor funny. Love Tim Conway, comic genius, RIP,’ said Christopher Titus.
Family: Tim with Charlene, right, and daughter Kelly Conway, left, in 1983 at Chasen’s Restaurant in Beverly Hills