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Tim Conway (1933–2019), "The Carol Burnett Show" star

Tim Conway (1933–2019), “The Carol Burnett Show” star

by Linnea Crowther

Tim Conway was one of the stars of “The Carol Burnett Show,” delighting audiences of the 1960s and ’70s with hilarious characters including Mr. Tudball and The Oldest Man.

Tim Conway was one of the stars of “The Carol Burnett Show,” delighting audiences of the 1960s and ’70s with hilarious characters including Mr. Tudball and The Oldest Man. Among Conway’s notable skills was the ability to get his “Carol Burnett” costars to break character, unable to resist laughing at his funny accents and unwavering straight face. Conway also played Ensign Charles Parker on “McHale’s Navy” and portrayed the character Dorf in a series of short films. He had recurring roles on “Married… With Children” and “Yes, Dear.” His movies include “The Shaggy D.A.,” “The Apple Dumpling Gang,” and “Speed 2: Cruise Control.”

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Died: May 14, 2019 (Who else died May 14?)

Details of death: Died in the Los Angeles area at the age of 85.

Is there someone you miss whose memory should be honored? Here are some ways.

The best Tim Conway sketches: Conway was a fixture on “The Carol Burnett Show” for its entire 11-season run, beginning as a frequent guest and then as a regular cast member. In those 11 seasons, he cracked up his costars more times than anyone could count. He didn’t even need words to do it, as he proved when he played Simba the lion, raised by humans but being returned to the wild, as he sulkily prepared to leave. As businessman Mr. Tudball, it was his ridiculous accent that made us laugh as he repeatedly overpronounced his secretary’s name: “Mrs. Ah-huh-wiggins.” He employed another silly accent as a Gestapo agent making a Hitler hand-puppet sing, and he cracked us up with physical comedy as the Oldest Man shuffled around the stage excruciatingly slowly. Physical comedy was also the key to one of his most enduring sketches as he played a dentist working on his first patient and seriously messing up with the Novocain.

Video gallery: The Inventive Comedy of Tim Conway

Notable quote: “My job on every show was to break everybody up.” —Conway in an interview with the Los Angeles Times

What people said about him: “I’m 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.” —Carol Burnett

“When I was a kid watching ‘The Carol Burnett Show,’ no one made me laugh harder than Tim Conway. What sweet and effortlessly funny man.” —Late night host Conan O’Brien

“The amount of joy Tim Conway brought my family as a child was immeasurable. The man was pure comedy. Riotously funny. I finally got to see him work when he guest starred on the Larry Sanders show and he was all I dreamed he would be. As kind as he was funny. He will be missed.” —Director Judd Apatow

“So sad right now about #timconway. Rarely do you get to meet and then work w a childhood idol. We even did a #dorf sketch! God Bless you sir.” —Actor-comedian Wayne Brady on Twitter

“Nobody ever made me laugh harder than the great Tim Conway. His joyful genius still destroys me. Heaven just got WAAAY funnier. Buckle up, Harvey Korman. #RIPTimConway” and THANK YOU!!” —Comedian Charles Esten

“Sad to read of the passing of Tim Conway. Both Tim and Harvey Korman couldn’t have been any nicer and funnier. Now together again making each other laugh.” —Actress Marlee Matlin

“You were always my favorite comedian. Thank you #TimConway for all the laughter over the years. RIP dear one.” —Actress Kristy Swanson on Twitter

“I cry laughing ….tears streaming…with almost every one of his sketches. RIP to the magnificent Tim Conway.” —Actress Rhea Seehorn on Twitter

“The first time I can remember laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe was watching Tim Conway on the Carol Burnett show. Every character infused with a lovable crazy that broke me week after week. Timing, commitment and roll on the floor funny. Love Tim Conway, comic genius, RIP.” —Comedian Christopher Titus on Twitter

“One of my favorite TV experiences growing up was seeing Tim Conway get Harvey Korman to break character and laugh during skits on The Carol Burnett Show. Conway was hysterical.” —Columnist Joel Sherman

Full obituary: New York Times

Related lives:

  • Harvey Korman (1927–2008), “The Carol Burnett Show” star
  • Don Knotts (1924–2006), Korman’s costar in “The Apple Dumpling Gang”
  • Ernest Borgnine (1917–2012), “McHale’s Navy” star


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