Tim Conway, Beloved Comedian From 'The Carol Burnett Show,' Dead at 85
By Latifah Muhammad
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Tim Conway, 'The Carol Burnett Show' Star, Dead at 85
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Actor Tim Conway has died.
The Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actor best known for The Carol Burnett Show, McHale’s Navy and The Tim Conway Show, died on Tuesday at 8:45 a.m. in Los Angeles, his rep, Howard Bragman, tells ET. Bragman says that before his death, the actor was battling complications from normal pressure hydrocephalus, which is when fluid accumulates and causes the ventricles in the brain to become enlarged. He was 85 years old.
His daughter, Kelly, sent out a statement on Tuesday, confirming his death.
"It is with the greatest sorrow that my brothers, Tim, Patrick, Jamie, Corey, Seann, and I announce that our Dad, Tim Conway has passed away," the statement reads. "The love he gave us, and the laughter he gave the world will never be replaced, but will be remembered forever. He is at peace now but I will miss him every second of every day until we meet again in heaven. We knew he would have to leave us someday, but that day came too soon. 'SO LEAVE ME IF YOU NEED TOO, I WILL STILL REMEMBER, ANGEL FLYING TOO CLOSE TO THE GROUND.' I want to thank everyone for their prayers, love and support over the past year or so."
His former manager and publicist, Roger Neal, also sent out a statement about his death on Tuesday.
"It was my high honor to represent Tim Conway as his manager and publicist from 2012 to 2017," the statement reads. "The guest star roles I had him do, and the press tour for his NY Times best selling book, and spending time in his home, were truly some of the best times in my 38-year career. He was off screen what the world saw on screen."
"We had so many laughs… what a pure joy to have had the privilege of working with one of the true masters of comedy… there will never be another one like him," the statement continues. "R.I.P. my friend…"
Conway is survived by his wife, Charlene, his stepdaughter, as well as six children he shared with his first wife, Mary Anne Dalton.
Conway’s dementia diagnosis was revealed last year amid a legal battle between his daughter, Kelly, and his wife over his medical care.
Conway was born on Dec. 15, 1933, just outside of Cleveland, Ohio, in nearby Willoughby, Illinois. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a double major in speech and radio. After college, Conway enlisted in the U.S. Army before returning to Cleveland in the late 1950s, where he landed a job working for radio personality Ernie Anderson at the local NBC affiliate KYW-TV. Conway moved on to CBS affiliate WJW-TV. He wrote skits with Anderson and quickly caught the attention of actress and comic veteran Rose Marie, whom Conway credited as discovering him.
After Marie took him under her wing, Conway snagged a part on the weekly variety series The Steve Allen Show. Conway made New York City home and went on to land a breakout role on McHale’s Navy beginning in 1962. Four years after his run on McHale's Navy ended, Conway debuted his self-titled sitcom, which aired for six months in 1970. The series was the first in a string of self-titled shows, including The Tim Conway Comedy Hour and The Tim Conway Show, the latter of which was a variety sketch series that aired from 1980 until 1981.
With a career stretching television and film, Conway made cameos on several hit shows including Glee, The Steve Allen Show, Married With Children, Diagnosis: Murder, Mike & Molly, 30 Rock, Yes, Dear, CSI, Wizards of Waverly Place, Mad About You, 7th Heaven,Coach, Cybill,Two and a Half Men and Hot in Cleveland.
He lent his voice to the animated character Barnacle Boy on SpongeBob SquarePants in addition to voiceover roles on The New Scooby-Doo Movies, The Simpsons and The Proud Family. Conway was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2002.
Conway married Dalton, with whom he shares six children, in 1961, but they divorced in 1978. He wed Charlene in 1984 and gained a stepdaughter. Later in his career, Conway's stepdaughter became the manager for his live tour with longtime friend and former co-star, Harvey Korman.
Due to his failing health, the funnyman who built a career from making viewers laugh lost his ability to speak. Conway underwent surgery in October 2018 to remove fluid from his brain, but his voice never returned.