(Gray News) – Actor Tim Conway, known for his comedic roles on “The Carol Burnett Show” and “McHale’s Navy,” has died at the age of 85.
Tim Conway, Leon Lontok and Peggy Mondo from the television program McHale's Navy, Photo Date: 1/18/63 / Source: ABC Television via MGN
His representative confirmed his death to People, saying Conway died from complications with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.
Conway played Ensign Charles Parker in the 1960s sitcom “McHale’s Navy” and was one of the featured performers on “Carol Burnett.” He enjoyed a prolific career in film and television that spanned across five decades.
In August 2018, multiple outlets began reporting that 84-year-old Conway suffered from dementia and was living in a nursing home. A court battle between his wife, Charlene Conway, and his daughter, Kelly Conway, over his guardianship was settled in April.
Born Thomas Daniel Conway on Dec. 15, 1933, in Willoughby, OH, Conway attended Bowling Green State University, where he studied television and radio.
He would spend two years in the U.S. Army after graduating college in 1956.
After his discharge from the military, Conway started his show business career by writing promotional spots for local television and radio in Cleveland, OH.
In 1961, comedian Rose Marie discovered Conway at a Cleveland TV station and arranged for him to audition for "The Steve Allen Show." He soon became a regular.
After Conway got his big break, he decided to change his first name to "Tim," so he wouldn't be confused with British actor Tom Conway.
The newly self-christened Tim Conway soon got an even bigger break in 1962 with the role of the bumbling ensign on “McHale’s.” The show ran until 1966.
He also broke into film before the show’s cancellation, starring in two movies based on the show while it was still on the air.
But after the cancellation came Conway’s celebrated run on “Carol Burnett.” He became a regular cast member in 1975 after years of guest-starring on the sketch comedy series.
His many memorable characters on the show included "Mr. Tudball" and "The Oldest Man," which he played off other talented comedic actors like Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and, of course, Carol Burnett.
Conway performed on the show for over a decade.
Conway took a few stabs at being a TV headliner. Unfortunately, "The Tim Conway Show" and "The Tim Conway Comedy Hour" were both canceled after airing half a season each on CBS.
He continued developing memorable characters after his "Carol Burnett" years. His diminutive "Dorf" character, which he honed on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson," became the focus of a popular home video series.
He continued making movies, starring in numerous family feature films, including "The World’s Greatest Athlete," "The Apple Dumpling Gang," "Gus," "Dear God," "Speed 2: Cruise Control" and "Air Bud: Golden Receiver."
Through the '90s and 2000s, Conway made many appearances on sitcoms like "Married with Children," "Mad About You," "Hot in Cleveland" and "30 Rock."
And he made his mark with a younger audience – at least his voice did, through his role of “Barnacle Boy” on the Nickelodeon cartoon series “SpongeBob SquarePants,” a part which allowed him to once again perform alongside his “McHale’s” co-star Ernest Borgnine.
Conway won several Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe for his work over the years. In 1989, he was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
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