Comedian Tim Conway died earlier today at a Los Angeles care facility. He was 85. According to a spokesperson, the cause of death was a disorder in which there is an excess of fluid on the brain. His wife and daughter were at his side when he passed.
A native of Ohio, Tim Conway credited his Midwestern roots for putting him on the right path to laughs, with his deadpan expression and innocent, simple-minded demeanor. “I think the Midwest is the heart of comedy in this country, and a little bit of the South, too,” he told the Wisconsin State Journal in 2005. “For some reason, we’re just more laid-back, more understanding. … And Midwesterners have a kinder sense of humor.”
Those qualities probably contributed to his wide popularity on “The Carol Burnett Show,” which he joined in 1975 after years as a frequent guest. The show aired on CBS from 1967 to 1978 and had a short summer stint on ABC in 1979. The short, nondescript Tim Conway, and his tall, imposing co-star, Harvey Korman were a physical mismatch made in comedy heaven. They toured the country for years with a sketch show called “Together Again,” which drew on characters from Burnett’s show.
In a statement released today, Carol Burnett said that she was heartbroken. “He was one in a million, not only as a brilliant comedian but as a loving human being. I cherish the times we had together both on the screen and off. He’ll be in my heart forever.”
Besides the four Emmys he won with Burnett (three as a performer, one as a writer), he won Emmys for guest appearances in 1996 for “Coach” and in 2008 for “30 Rock.” He also found success in the 1980s in a series of comedy videos based on an oddly short character named Dorf. Among them were “Dorf on Golf” and “Dorf Goes Fishing.” More recently Tim Conway voiced the role of Barnacle Boy for the hugely popular children’s series “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
Image source: https://www.phideltatheta.org/famous-phis/tim-conway/