Tim Conway, one of the funniest men in America, passed away today at the age of 85.
He passed away on May 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, CA, from complications of normal pressure hydrocephalus. His health had been poor for the past year; his wife was his conservator.
Tim Conway was born in Willoughby, Ohio on December 15, 1933.
In between, he won a Golden Globe and six Emmies, and was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame, and was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He studied at Bowling Green State University in Kentucky, where he earned a degree in television and radio. He started his theatrical career in radio, but soon moved on to acting and writing in TV and films.
As Tim Conway himself wrote:
“I was born and then I did The Carol Burnett Show for eleven years. What else is there to know? I have six Emmy’s. Big deal. I am also in The Comedy Hall of Fame, it was a natural since I spent alot of my time in grade school out in the hall. I went to Bowling Green State University for eleven years. A very slow lerner (I proof read my bio). I was in the army (ours) for two years and was in McHale’s Navy for three years. That is a total of five years of service. My ambition was to be a jockey, but at my weight, even the horses were asking me to get off. I have seven children, two grandchildren and a puppy. I have been married since 1984, a record for Hollywood. I do not have a serious thought in my head. Enjoy the show.”
He came to fame playing Ensign Charles Parker on McHale’s Navy, but his most famous television job may have been on The Carol Burnett Show, as Mr. Tudball and in other roles. He did a considerable amount of voice work, most notably as Barnacle Boy (Mermaid Man’s sidekick) in Spongebob Squarepants, but also as Hermie the Caterpillar in the Hermie & Friends cartoons, Deputy Sniffer in Disney’s Buddies movies and Mulch in The Dragons: Riders of Berk. He voiced roles in WordGirl, Pound Puppies, and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and Hercules.
Conway was nicknamed “the best second-banana in show business.” When he worked with Harvey Korman, Don Knotts, or Ernie Borgnine, he was brilliant. However, his attempts as a leading man seldom succeeded. His car had the license plate “13 WKS” because other than the western comedy Rango, his TV shows only lasted thirteen weeks. Rango, where he played a bumbling Texas Ranger who had a sidekick of his own, a cowardly Indian scout, lasted a grand total of 17 episodes.
He was born Thomas Daniel Conway, but changed his name to Tim to avoid confusion with actor Tom Conway (1904 -1967), who played Bulldog Drummond and the Falcon.
Tim Conway was married twice, to Mary Anne Dalton from 1961 to 1978, and to Charlene Fusco from 1984 until his death this morning. He had seven children.
He also starred in and wrote the Dorf comedies. In addition to voicing cartoon griffins and dogs for Disney, he appeared in several live-action Disney movies: as bumbling outlaw Amos Tucker in The Apple Dumpling Gang, as a crook’s minion in Gus, and the ice cream salesman in The Shaggy DA who mistook the transformed DA for his pet dog.
We offer our condolences to his wife and family. Tim Conway has made his mark, and it was a good one. Thank you, Tim. Sweet dreams.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.