Tim Conway Dead at 85

Tim Conway, bumbling star of The Carol Burnett Show, died May 14 in Los Angeles. He was 85. Conway won six Emmys and was a member of the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

“With a sweetly cherubic face, a deceptively athletic physicality and an utter devotion to foolishness and slapstick, Mr. Conway was among Hollywood’s most enduringly popular clowns,” said The New York Times.

He had had plans other than acting. “My ambition was to be a jockey, but at my weight, even the horses were asking me to get off,” he said on TimConway.com.

Conway was a regular on The Carol Burnett Show from 1967 to 1978. His TV credits also include McHale’s Navy, Rango and The Tim Conway Comedy Hour.

He got his start in television at a Cleveland TV station after he left the army, directing and on occasion performing comedy. As the Times notes, actress Rose Marie saw Conway work as she passed through Cleveland, and got him an audition for The Steve Allen Show, which led to work on the variety program.

His characters on Carol Burnett included Mr. Tudball and the Old Man.

He won an Emmy for best guest actor for his role as a gardener in Coach.

Conway also appeared in Married with Children, Mad About You, Touched By an Angel, Yes, Dear and 30 Rock. He did the voice of Barnacle Boy on SpongeBob SquarePants.

Conway’s film work includes The Long Shot, The Shaggy D.A., Dear God, The Apple Dumpling Gang and The Billion Dollar Hobo

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the L.A. Times and New York magazine.