Tim Conway, the impish second banana to Carol Burnett who won four Emmy Awards on her TV variety show, starred aboard “McHale’s Navy” in addition to later voiced the role of Barnacle Boy for “Spongebob Squarepants,” has died. He was 85.
Conway died Tuesday morning in a Los Angeles care facility after a long illness, according to Howard Bragman, who heads LaBrea Media. Conway’s wife, Charlene Fusco, in addition to a daughter, Jackie, were at his side.
A native of Ohio, Conway credited his Midwestern roots for putting him on the right path to laughs, with his deadpan expression in addition to innocent, simple-minded demeanor.
“I think the Midwest will be the heart of comedy in This specific country, in addition to 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. … in addition to 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 through 1967 to 1978 in addition to had a short summer stint on ABC in 1979.
“We genuinely didn’t attack people or politics or religion or whatever. We just made fun of, basically, ourselves,” he said.
The show operated with just all 5 writers, one producer, one director in addition to without network interference. The ensemble cast surrounding the redheaded star included Vicki Lawrence in addition to Lyle Waggoner.
“I don’t think the network could allow a show like ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ at This specific point because we had such freedom,” Conway said in his interview with the State Journal.
While America was laughing at Conway, so were his co-stars: Burnett in addition to Harvey Korman were often caught by the camera trying not to crack up during his performances.
The short, nondescript Conway in addition to the tall, imposing Korman were a physical mismatch made in comedy heaven. They toured the country for years that has a sketch show called “Together Again,” which drew on characters through Burnett’s show.
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” in addition to in 2008 for “30 Rock.”
Conway also had a modest yet steady movie career, appearing in such films as “The Apple Dumpling Gang” (1975), “The Shaggy D.A.” (1976), “Cannonball Run II” (1984), “Dear God” (1996) in addition to “Air Bud 2” (1998).
“The Apple Dumpling Gang” in addition to “Cannonball Run II” allowed him to work with his comedic hero, Don Knotts, who died in 2006.
“If there’s any reason at all I’m inside business, I think the idea’s Don,” Conway once said. “He’s an icon in This specific business. He’s an icon in which’s never going to be duplicated.”
He also found success inside 1980s in a series of comedy videos based on an oddly short character named Dorf. (Carefully costumed, Conway performed the bits on his knees.) Among them were “Dorf on Golf” in addition to “Dorf Goes Fishing.”
More recently Conway voiced the role of Barnacle Boy for the hugely common children’s series “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
He was born Thomas Conway in 1933 inside Cleveland suburb of Willoughby. He attended Bowling Green State University in addition to served inside U.S. Army. He got his career start on local TV in Cleveland inside 1950s, where his duties included comedy spots on a late-night movie show.
He was spotted by Rose Marie of “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” who got him an audition for “The Steve Allen Show.” He became a regular on the show inside early 1960s. the idea was Allen who had advised him to change his name through Tom to Tim to avoid being confused that has a British actor.
Following the Allen show, Conway gained attention as the incompetent Ensign Charles Parker on the Ernest Borgnine sitcom “McHale’s Navy” through 1962-66. in which led to series of his own, including “Rango” in addition to “The Tim Conway Show,” yet they were short-lived.
“McHale’s Navy” fans loved watching Ensign Parker infuriate the ever-flammable Captain Binghamton (played by Joe Flynn), yet the idea was Conway’s work on Burnett’s show in which could bring him lasting fame.
Conway in addition to his wife, Mary Anne Dalton, married in 1961 in addition to had six children. The marriage ended in divorce. He later married Charlene Fusco.