Tim Conway

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Tim Conway
Tim Conway Rango 1966.JPG
Conway in a 1966 publicity photo
Thomas Daniel Conway [1]

(1933-12-15)December 15, 1933
DiedMay 14, 2019(2019-05-14) (aged 85)
Other namesThomas Daniel Conway, Tim Daniel Conway, Thomas Conway
Alma mater Bowling Green State University
OccupationActor, comedian, writer, director
Years active1956–2016
Mary Ann Dalton
(m. 1961;div. 1978)

Charlene Fusco(m. 1984)
Children6 biological, 1 step-daughter
Military career
Service/branchFlag of the United States Army (official proportions).svg  United States Army
Years of service1956–1958
Website timconway.com

Thomas Daniel "Tim" Conway (December 15, 1933 – May 14, 2019) was an American actor, comedian, writer, and director. He portrayed the inept Ensign Parker in the 1960s World War II situation comedy McHale's Navy , was a regular cast member on the 1970s variety and sketch comedy program The Carol Burnett Show , co-starred with Don Knotts in several films in the late 1970s and early 1980s, starred as the title character in the Dorf series of sports comedy films, and provided the voice of Barnacle Boy in the animated series SpongeBob SquarePants . He was particularly admired for his ability to depart from scripts with spontaneously improvised character details and dialogue, and he won six Primetime Emmy Awards during his career, four of which were awarded for The Carol Burnett Show, including one for writing.

<i>McHales Navy</i> American television series 1962-1966

McHale's Navy is an American sitcom starring Ernest Borgnine that aired 138 half-hour episodes over four seasons, from October 11, 1962, to April 12, 1966, on the ABC television network. The series was filmed in black and white and originated from an hour drama entitled Seven Against the Sea, broadcast on April 3, 1962.

<i>The Carol Burnett Show</i> television series

The Carol Burnett Show is an American variety/sketch comedy television show starring Carol Burnett, Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner. Original episodes ran from 1967 to 1978. In 1975, frequent guest star Tim Conway became a regular after Waggoner left the series. In 1977, Dick Van Dyke replaced Korman but it was agreed that it was not a match and he left after 10 episodes. The show originally ran on CBS from September 11, 1967, to March 29, 1978, for 279 episodes, and again with nine episodes in the fall of 1991. The series originated in CBS Television City's Studio 33, and won 25 primetime Emmy Awards, was ranked number 16 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time in 2002, and in 2007 was listed as one of Time magazine's 100 Best TV Shows of All Time.

Don Knotts American actor and stand-up comedian

Jesse Donald Knotts was an American actor and comedian, best known as Deputy Sheriff Barney Fife on The Andy Griffith Show, a 1960s sitcom for which he earned five Emmy Awards. He also starred in multiple comedic films, including playing Luther Heggs in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken (1966) and Henry Limpet in The Incredible Mr. Limpet (1964). He also portrayed landlord Ralph Furley on the sitcom Three's Company. In 1979 TV Guide ranked him #27 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list.


Early life

Conway was born in Willoughby, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, and grew up in nearby Chagrin Falls, the son of Sophia Murgoi and Daniel Conway, a groomer for polo ponies. [1] [2] [3] His father was an Irish immigrant and his mother was of Romanian origin. His original birth name "Toma" was Romanian, later changed to "Thomas." [1] [4] [5]

Willoughby, Ohio City in Ohio, United States

Willoughby is a city in Lake County, Ohio, United States and is a suburb of Cleveland. The population was 22,268 at the 2010 census.

Cleveland City in Ohio

Cleveland is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio, and the county seat of Cuyahoga County. The city proper has a population of 385,525, making it the 51st-largest city in the United States, and the second-largest city in Ohio. Greater Cleveland is ranked as the 32nd-largest metropolitan area in the U.S., with 2,055,612 people in 2016. The city anchors the Cleveland–Akron–Canton Combined Statistical Area, which had a population of 3,515,646 in 2010 and is ranked 15th in the United States.

Chagrin Falls, Ohio Village in Ohio, United States

Chagrin Falls is a village in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States and is a suburb of Cleveland in Northeast Ohio's Cleveland-Akron-Canton metropolitan area, the 15th-largest Combined Statistical Area nationwide. The village was established and has grown around a natural waterfall on the Chagrin River. As of the 2010 census, the village population was 4,104. The village was incorporated in 1844 from parts of three townships in two counties. Neighboring Chagrin Falls Township was established in 1845.

Conway attended Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, where he majored in television and radio and was a disc jockey, [6] and member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity. [7] When he graduated, Conway enlisted in the United States Army, where he served between 1956–1958. [6] [8]

Bowling Green State University public university in Bowling Green, Ohio, United States

Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is a large, primarily residential, public research university located in Bowling Green, Ohio, United States. The 1,338-acre (541.5 ha) main academic and residential campus is located 15 miles (24 km) south of Toledo, Ohio. The University has nationally recognized programs and research facilities in the natural and social sciences, education, arts, business, health and wellness, humanities and applied technologies. The institution was granted a charter in 1910 as a normal school, specializing in teacher training and education, as part of the Lowry Normal School Bill that authorized two new normal schools in the state of Ohio. Over the university's history, it developed from a small rural normal school into a comprehensive public university.

Bowling Green, Ohio City in Ohio, United States

Bowling Green is a city and the county seat of Wood County, Ohio, United States, located 20 miles southwest of Toledo. The population was 30,028 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Toledo Metropolitan Area and a member of the Toledo Metropolitan Area Council of Governments. Bowling Green is the home of Bowling Green State University.

A disc jockey, often abbreviated as DJ, is a person who plays existing recorded music for a live audience. Most common types of DJs include radio DJ, club DJ who performs at a nightclub or music festival and turntablist who uses record players, usually turntables, to manipulate sounds on phonograph records. Originally, the disc in disc jockey referred to gramophone records, but now DJ is used as an all-encompassing term to describe someone who mixes recorded music from any source, including cassettes, CDs or digital audio files on a CDJ or laptop. The title 'DJ' is commonly used by DJs in front of their real names or adopted pseudonyms or stage names. In recent years it has become common for DJs to be featured as the credited artist on tracks they produced despite having a guest vocalist that performs the entire song: like for example Uptown Funk.


Cleveland years

After his discharge from the Army, Conway returned to Cleveland and worked with Ernie Anderson on KYW-TV, an NBC affiliate, in 1958 and 1959. From 1960 to 1962, he was on WJW-TV (then a CBS affiliate, now a Fox affiliate) on a weekday morning film show (under the Ernie's Place banner), where he also wrote material for the comedic skits shown during film intermissions. Conway also recorded a comedy album with Anderson, who himself gained national prominence as a voice over announcer for ABC Television in the 1970s.[ citation needed ]

Ernie Anderson American disc jockey, and television and radio announcer/voiceover artist

Ernest Earle Anderson was an American radio and television personality, horror host, and announcer.

WKYC NBC affiliate in Cleveland

WKYC is an NBC-affiliated television station licensed to Cleveland, Ohio, United States. It broadcasts a high definition digital signal on UHF channel 17 from a transmitter in suburban Parma, Ohio. Owned by Tegna Inc., WKYC maintains studios on Tom Beres Way.

NBC American television and radio network

The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is an American English-language commercial terrestrial television network that is a flagship property of NBCUniversal, a subsidiary of Comcast. The network is headquartered at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, with additional major offices near Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia. The network is one of the Big Three television networks. NBC is sometimes referred to as the "Peacock Network", in reference to its stylized peacock logo, introduced in 1956 to promote the company's innovations in early color broadcasting. It became the network's official emblem in 1979.

WJW dismissed Conway in 1962, in part because he (and Anderson) misled station management into thinking he had experience as a director. [9] Because of this move, which deprived Anderson of his co-host and comic foil, the station asked Anderson if he could host a B-grade (and lower) horror film show on Friday nights instead. Conway continued to make many appearances alongside Anderson's alter ego Ghoulardi , in addition to "Big Chuck" Schodowski, a station engineer who Anderson got to assume much of Conway's sidekick status (and who ultimately succeeded Anderson as co-host of the horror film program).[ citation needed ]

Ghoulardi Fictional character

Ghoulardi was a fictional character invented and portrayed by voice announcer, actor and disc jockey Ernie Anderson as the horror host of Shock Theater at WJW-TV, Channel 8 in Cleveland, Ohio, from January 13, 1963, through December 16, 1966. Shock Theater featured grade-"B" science fiction films and horror films, aired in a Friday late-night time slot. At the peak of Ghoulardi's popularity, the character also hosted the Saturday afternoon Masterpiece Theater, and the weekday children's program Laurel, Ghoulardi and Hardy.

After he became famous, Conway resurfaced periodically on Cleveland television on the Hoolihan and Big Chuck and Big Chuck and Lil' John shows on WJW-TV, in guest spots and occasional skits. Conway also made regular guest appearances at numerous "Ghoulardifest" functions held by WJW over the years, along with former Cleveland TV personality Bob "Hoolihan" Wells, in tribute to Anderson, who died in 1997.[ citation needed ]

Big Chuck and Lil John television series

Charles "Big Chuck" Schodowski and "Lil' John" Rinaldi – together commonly known as Big Chuck and Lil' John – are a duo of entertainers who served as late-night horror hosts of The Big Chuck and Lil' John Show on television station WJW in Cleveland, Ohio from 1979 to 2007. In addition to hosting a movie with a live audience, they also performed original sketch comedy routines. At the end of each sketch was a very distinctive laugh voiced by comedian/actor Jay Lawrence, who was a disc jockey for KYW radio in Cleveland during the early 1960s.

Bob "Hoolihan" Wells American television anchor

Robert D. "Bob" Wells, known as Bob "Hoolihan" Wells, is an American former television and radio personality and actor, who is best known to Cleveland, Ohio television viewers for his appearances on the then-CBS affiliate WJW TV Channel 8 during the 1960s and 1970s as "Hoolihan the Weatherman" and one-half of the Hoolihan and Big Chuck Show movie hosting team. Wells and partner Charles "Big Chuck" Schodowski replaced the former movie host, Ernie Anderson aka "Ghoulardi," in 1966 when Anderson left for Los Angeles to pursue a free-lance announcing and acting career.

The Steve Allen Show

Comedic actress Rose Marie visited WJW in 1961, as part of CBS's promotional practice of sending their major show stars directly to local affiliates: in this case, it was for The Dick Van Dyke Show . She viewed tapes of some of Anderson and Conway's skits and proceeded to take Conway under her wing. Following his departure from WJW, Conway moved to New York City; where, with Rose Marie's assistance, he auditioned for, and gained a spot on, ABC's The Steve Allen Show as a regular player. [10] Conway (who by this point had officially changed his first name to Tim) continued on the show through its entire run.[ citation needed ]

McHale's Navy

Conway and Ernest Borgnine in a photograph of McHale's Navy, 1962 Ernest Borgnine Tim Conway McHales Navy 1962.JPG
Conway and Ernest Borgnine in a photograph of McHale's Navy , 1962

Conway gained a national following from his role as the bumbling, naive Ensign Charles Parker, Executive Officer of the World War II PT-73, in the 1960s sitcom McHale's Navy , alongside Ernest Borgnine and Joe Flynn. Borgnine became a mentor and a good friend. Conway appeared at Borgnine's 90th birthday celebration and, four years later, paid tribute to his friend at the 7th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on TNT. [11] Conway said Borgnine was "like a big teddy bear" and "a very pleasant person to be around" when he worked with him on the World War Two sitcom McHale's Navy. [12]

Afterwards, he starred in a string of short-lived TV series, starting with 1967's Rango which starred Conway as an incompetent Texas Ranger. [13]


Conway was part of an infamous network TV programming catastrophe: Turn-On , a counter-cultural sketch comedy show on ABC was derided as a ripoff of NBC's Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In . The show was in fact created and directed by Laugh-In's creator George Schlatter. Even though Conway was listed only as a guest star on the pilot, which ABC broadcast on February 5, 1969, it was the only episode that ever aired. [14]

Turn-On received enough immediate, negative reaction to force several ABC affiliates, including WEWS-TV in Conway's hometown of Cleveland, to refuse to return to the program after the first commercial break. WEWS management also sent an angrily-worded telegram to the network's headquarters. Many West Coast affiliates received advance warning and refused to air the show. Conway remarked that the show's premiere party he attended was also the program's cancellation party, [15] [16] but ABC did not officially cancel the program for several days.[ citation needed ]

The Tim Conway Show (1970)

Conway and Joe Flynn pose in front of Lucky Linda in a publicity photo for The Tim Conway Show taken on January 9, 1970 Tim Conway Joe Flynn Tim Conway Show 1970.JPG
Conway and Joe Flynn pose in front of Lucky Linda in a publicity photo for The Tim Conway Show taken on January 9, 1970

In 1970, The Tim Conway Show paired Conway with Joe Flynn of McHale's Navy in a sitcom as owner-pilots of a one-plane (a Beechcraft Model 18 named Lucky Linda) airline operated by the pair. Having "nowhere to run", this pressurized situation was ideal for the fast repartee of the lead actors. It debuted in January 1970 and the last new show aired in June 1970. [17] In the fall of the same year, Conway was given his own hour-long variety show, The Tim Conway Comedy Hour, [17] or The Tim Conway Comedy House, [10] which, as his other series had, folded quickly, lasting only 13 weeks. [17] Typical of his self-effacing humor, he ordered his car's license plate to reflect the short duration of the series: "13 WKS". [10] (Conway was given another one-hour variety show ten years later, which revived the title The Tim Conway Show; [17] see later section.)

Beginning in 1975, Conway was often paired with Don Knotts in family films from Disney, including The Apple Dumpling Gang and its 1979 sequel, The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again. They also starred in two independent films, a boxing comedy called The Prize Fighter in 1979, and a 1980 mystery comedy film called The Private Eyes . In 1983, he starred in another television show, Ace Crawford, Private Eye , a parody of detective series; it lasted only five episodes.

The Carol Burnett Show

Starting with the 1975–76 season, Conway became a regular on The Carol Burnett Show , after having been a frequent guest for the show's first eight seasons. [10] Conway's work on the show earned him four Emmy Awards  — one for writing and three for performance, one of which was before he became a regular. Two of Conway's memorable characters on the Burnett Show were:[ citation needed ]

Conway could also get results with no dialogue, such as in a sketch in which he played a tired businessman seeking restful sleep in his hotel — and pestered by a housefly, created only by a sound effect and Conway's gazing after it. After much struggle, he manages to get the fly out of the room through the window; after returning to bed, he hears a persistent knock on his door, gets up to answer it, and opens the door, letting the fly (who was doing the knocking) back in.[ citation needed ]

Another skit, also without a word from Conway, featured him playing Simba, a lion raised by humans then released to the wild (based on the lioness Elsa in the film Born Free ). Conway, told of the upcoming eviction from the comfortable home, caused Burnett and Harvey Korman to break up with an interminable process of packing to leave.[ citation needed ]

A prime example of his ability to make his co-stars laugh uncontrollably involved Lyle Waggoner as a captured American airman, with Conway as a stereotypical blond-haired Gestapo agent charged with his interrogation. Stating that "the Fuhrer" had taken particular interest, Conway produces a small Hitler hand puppet. Conway suggests to the puppet that singing might relax Waggoner's character to the point he is willing to talk. In a long, drawn-out fashion, the Hitler puppet (Conway providing a falsetto voice, with German accent) sings "I've Been Working on the Railroad", and with each passing verse, Waggoner loses more of his composure, finally laughing hysterically when puppet-Hitler screeches, "FEE-FI-Fiddely-I-O!".[ citation needed ]

A well-known outtake from the Carol Burnett Show is from the recurring "The Family" sketch, with Conway (as Mickey Hart) telling a mostly ad-libbed story about a circus elephant. As the story continues, the other cast members become increasingly unable to stay in character, leading up to Vicki Lawrence (in-character as Mama) finally asking, "You sure that little asshole's through?", resulting in all the cast members, including Conway, finally breaking up in gales of laughter.[ citation needed ]

Conway remained a regular cast member of The Carol Burnett Show until the program's run ended, in 1978.[ citation needed ]

The Tim Conway Show (1980–1981)

In 1980, Conway again was given his own one-hour variety program, titled The Tim Conway Show (the title that was previously used for his 1970 sitcom). It aired on CBS, as his previous shows had, and debuted on March 22, 1980. [17] It was originally a full hour but was reduced to half an hour in summer 1980. It lasted longer than any of his earlier self-titled series, ending in August 1981. [17] The format was similar to that of The Carol Burnett Show, with several regular cast members performing in comedy sketches, interspersed with the occasional musical performance by a guest musician. Among the regulars in the cast were Maggie Roswell, Miriam Flynn, Eric Boardman, Jack Riley, and Dick Orkin. Former Burnett cast member Harvey Korman also became a Tim Conway Show regular in late 1980, after having earlier made guest appearances on the show, as had Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence. [17]

In the spring of 1983, Conway starred in another situation comedy, Ace Crawford, Private Eye ; a spoof of detective shows, it lasted only a month. In the summer of 1990, he starred in Tim Conway's Funny America , playing pranks in disguise on unsuspecting passersby around the United States while hidden cameras recorded the results, which Conway presented to a studio audience; it, too, lasted only a few weeks.[ citation needed ]


In the 1980s, Conway began appearing in a series of satirical how-to videos in which he plays a diminutive, dark-haired Scandinavian known as Dorf (a variation on "dwarf"), reprising his goofy Mr. Tudball accent. The Dorf character first appeared on the January 3, 1986 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. In that episode, he was portraying a horse jockey. Dorf also appeared in the 1987 film Dorf on Golf and later appeared in eight other films on a variety of sports from baseball to auto racing. Dorf on Golf was remastered for DVD in 2007. In 2010, all of the Dorf films were remastered in a DVD Collection featuring all eight films, a behind-the-scenes with Dorf, and a commentary track by Tim Conway on "The Legend of the Paddle: The Oldie Hollis Story." Dorf also appeared on an episode of Tim Conway's Funny America in the summer of 1990, leading an aerobics class on his impossibly short legs.[ citation needed ]

In 2009, Conway's Dorf character started "helping" Santa Claus on the website iSpotSanta. [19] Each year, Dorf had three sketches; in 2009, he tried to give Santa his Christmas list, failing and accidentally hitting Santa with a golf ball. Then, in 2010, he tried to give all of the world's letters to Santa directly using jet rockets to fly to his sleigh, cannonballs, and more.[ citation needed ]

Other television

Conway as an angel with Robert Morse on That's Life, 1968 Tim Conway and Robert Morse - 1968.jpg
Conway as an angel with Robert Morse on That's Life , 1968

Conway made many guest appearances and other roles in television.[ citation needed ]

He guest-starred in ABC's Coach , for which he received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series playing Kenny Montague in the 1996 episode "The Gardener." [20] Conway won another Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Bucky Bright in the 30 Rock episode "Subway Hero," which initially aired on April 17, 2008.[ citation needed ]

He has lent his voice to other TV shows including The Simpsons , Disney spin-off Hercules , Lloyd in Space , The Wild Thornberrys , Cybill , What's New, Scooby-Doo? , The Proud Family , Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! , Caillou, and What's with Andy? . He also narrated The Secret Shortcut in Reading Rainbow and hosted The Flintstones' 25th Anniversary Celebration .[ citation needed ]

In 2002, Conway was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. [21]

On his 75th birthday in 2008, Conway was interviewed as a guest on The Bonnie Hunt Show and given a surprise cake by Bob Newhart.[ citation needed ]

In 2018, Conway was seen promoting The Carol Burnett Show and other classic television series on the MeTV television network.[ citation needed ]

Other film and video

He starred in Disney films such as The World's Greatest Athlete (1973), The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975), Gus (1976), and The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again (1979). He starred in the 1977 comedy film The Billion Dollar Hobo . Conway also co-starred with Don Knotts in The Prize Fighter (1979) and The Private Eyes (1980). He starred in the 1986 equestrian comedy, The Longshot . Conway also appeared with Dick Martin in Air Bud: Golden Receiver (1998) as Fred Davis, the main announcer for the Timberwolves' final game, with Martin as his co-announcer, Phil Phil. He was Herman Dooly in the 1996 film, Dear God.[ citation needed ]

Conway and Harvey Korman created a Collector's Edition DVD of new comedy sketches, titled Together Again; it was produced by Pasquale Murena and sold through Conway's official website. [22]

Starting in 2003, Conway teamed up with good friend Don Knotts again to provide voices for the direct-to-video children's series Hermie and Friends , which continued until Knotts' death in 2006. Conway continued to do the series.[ citation needed ]

In 2007, he hosted Thou Shalt Laugh 2: The Deuce, a collection of Christian stand-up comedians.[ citation needed ]

In 2012–13, he voiced the character Mulch in DreamWorks' Dragons: Riders of Berk series. [23]

In 2014, he played Professor VanVanguard, a knowledgeable character of the lives, characteristics and treating of zombies in the award-winning feature film Chip & Bernie's Zomance. [24]


Conway collaborated with many other notable performers and maintained long-term professional relationships with many of them.[ citation needed ]

Harvey Korman

Conway first met Harvey Korman in 1966 during the first of Conway's three appearances on The Danny Kaye Show . Korman was a four-year series regular on Kaye's CBS variety hour. 1967 saw the end of the Kaye show and the debut of The Carol Burnett Show . With Korman available, he stepped into a regular role there. Conway appeared as a guest during that first Burnett season and the two men immediately became friends starting a lifetime of working together until Korman's death in 2008. One of their most famous sketches was from The Carol Burnett Show called "The Dentist Sketch." In this sketch, Korman goes to the just-graduated dentist Conway for a toothache. Conway proceeds to remove Korman's tooth, but before he can inject the novocaine into Korman, he injects it into himself, causing his hand, leg, and head to go numb.[ citation needed ]

Korman and Conway performed together for 10 years on The Carol Burnett Show before Korman left to pursue his own show. Korman joined Conway on Conway's shows and then later on in the 1986 film The Longshot , which Conway wrote for the two men. Conway also wrote the direct-to-video films Tim and Harvey in The Great Outdoors and Together Again with Tim and Harvey, which the comedy pair starred in together. The pair also toured the U.S. performing together. The DVD Together Again with Tim and Harvey was a recording of their touring stage show that ran over 10 years to sold out markets until Korman's death in 2008. Conway has referred to Korman as, "The smartest man I knew but couldn't tie his shoelaces."[ citation needed ]

Don Knotts

When Conway was starting his career in Hollywood, so was Don Knotts. Both men were regulars on The Steve Allen Show , though at different times. They didn't have the chance to work together until Disney Studios paired the two men on the Apple Dumpling Gang series of films, and their comedy clicked; Knotts's boisterous, Barney Fife-style bungling both contrasted and meshed with Conway's quieter form of physical comedy. The first film starred Bill Bixby and Susan Clark in 1975 and was called The Apple Dumpling Gang . The film centered around Bixby being tricked into taking care of a trio of orphans as the pair of lovable holdup men named Amos Tucker (Conway) and Theodore Ogelvie (Knotts) attempt to steal the gold nugget the children find. The film was a commercial success and a sequel, starring the pair, was made in 1979, called The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again . The sequel did not have the other cast members but was hugely profitable for Disney. [25]

Conway wrote two other films for the pair to star in together starting with The Prize Fighter in 1979 and The Private Eyes in 1980. Both were independently produced and the highest grossing independent films of those years. They had a cameo in the Cannonball Run II film together and in later years voiced characters Hermie and Wormie in numerous children's shows from Max Lucado. [26]

Pasquale Murena

In 2007, Conway met filmmaker Pasquale Murena when Murena was brought in to direct additional scenes and edit the direct-to-DVD film Legend of the Paddle, starring Conway. [27] The two men subsequently worked together on numerous productions, including Murena producing the DVD releases of Together Again with Tim and Harvey, the re-releases of Tim and Harvey in The Great Outdoors, Dorf on Golf , and Dorf Goes Fishing . Murena directed, produced and co-wrote with Conway six Dorf comedy sketches for the DVD release of The Ultimate Dorf DVD Collection, which has sold over 3 million copies. [28]

Starting in 2009, the two men collaborated on their first sketches for the website iSpotSanta, where Dorf helps Santa deliver presents, and works at the North Pole as Santa's #1 elf. They have done over 25 comedy sketches and three short films for the website, while garnering over 35 million viewers. [29] Conway was quoted in an interview on the Disney Channel, stating that, "Pasquale has done more with Dorf than I ever imagined. We love making these films for kids." Continuing their success, Murena cast Conway as Professor VanVanGuard in his award-winning first feature film in 2014 called, Chip & Bernie's Zomance, with Conway adding his unique humor to this zombie film. [24]

Ernie Anderson

Conway first pitched the idea of Ernie Anderson and his doing a late night show together in Cleveland during the 1960s. That is where Rose Marie found Conway and got him a role on The Steve Allen Show. Before that, the duo recorded two comedy albums together: Are We On? (1966) and Bull (1967). Anderson turned to doing voiceovers after Conway moved on, but their collaborations continued with Conway's string of shows and Anderson's career as "The Voice of ABC". Anderson performed on sketches and was the voiceover talent for The Carol Burnett Show. [30]

Anderson become a cult icon in Cleveland as the character Ghoulardi during his own late night television show, where he showed horror B movies to viewers. In 2013, Conway went to the Ghoulardi Fest to promote his book and show his love for his friend Anderson. [31]

Personal life

Conway in 2007 Tim Conway cropped.jpg
Conway in 2007

Conway was married to Mary Anne Dalton from 1961 until 1978, and they had six children together. [6] He was then married to Charlene Fusco from May 18, 1984 until his death. [32] Among Conway's children is KFI Los Angeles radio host Tim Conway, Jr. His step-daughter through his second marriage became the tour manager for Conway's live tour with Harvey Korman.[ citation needed ] Conway and Charlene lived in Encino, California. [8]

Conway's memoir What's So Funny?: My Hilarious Life [33] was on The New York Times Best Seller list its first week on sale. [34] [35] Tony Rossi interviewed Conway [36] on November 20, 2013 on his podcast Christopher Closeup (on Patheos), [37] and Conway revealed that he had converted to the Catholic faith. This was also reported in an interview with Raymond Arroyo on his EWTN program The World Over. [38]

In 2018, Conway was diagnosed with dementia, began using a wheelchair, [39] and had brain surgery. His daughter Kelly and his wife Charlene each wanted sole conservatorship over his health. [40] Judge Robert Wada ruled against Kelly since he was in a hospital. [41] In March 2019, his wife was granted conservatorship. [42]


A brick sponsored by Tim Conway in a university building. Tim Conway Brick.jpg
A brick sponsored by Tim Conway in a university building.

In June 2010, Conway returned to his hometown of Chagrin Falls, Ohio, to put on fund-raising performances at the Chagrin Valley Little Theatre to help kick off its capital campaign. [43]

He was a spokesperson for the United Leukodystrophy Foundation. [44]

A fan of thoroughbred horse racing, and an occasional racehorse owner, Conway was the co-founder and vice-president of the Board of Directors of the Don MacBeth Memorial Jockey Fund. [45]

Health issues and death

In 2018, Conway was diagnosed with dementia, began using a wheelchair, [39] and had brain surgery. His daughter Kelly and his wife Charlene each wanted sole conservatorship over his health. [40] Judge Robert Wada ruled against Kelly since he was in a hospital. [41] In March 2019, his wife was granted conservatorship. [42]

Conway died on May 14, 2019, at the age of 85 from complications of normal pressure hydrocephalus. [46] [47]


Following Conway's death, numerous actors and celebrities paid tribute to him, including Dick Van Dyke, Patton Oswalt, Ben Stiller, Billy Gardell, Ed Asner, Buzz Aldrin, Neil Patrick Harris, Jamie Lee Curtis, Larry King, Judd Apatow, Wayne Brady, Marlee Matlin, Al Jean, John Scalzi, Richard Lewis, Marsha Warfield, Patricia Heaton, Tony Hale, Larry Wilmore, Vicki Lawrence, Yvette Nicole Brown, Andy Richter, and Conan O'Brien. [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53]

Close friend Bob Newhart made the following statement:

We lost one of the greatest today – Tim Conway may be the greatest ever. I will never forget on an Emmy Awards when Harvey Korman won & Tim did not. Harvey went up to accept his award, Tim went up and stood right next to him, not saying a word. Ginnie & I will miss him greatly. [48]

Close friend Carol Burnett made the following statement:

“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.” [54]



1964 McHale's Navy Ensign Charles Beaumont Parker
1965 McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force
1968 Star Spangled Salesman Telephone Repairman
1973 The World's Greatest Athlete Milo Jackson Comedy film directed by Robert Scheerer
1975 The Apple Dumpling Gang Amos TuckerComedy-western film directed by Norman Tokar
1976 Gus CrankcaseComedy film directed by Vincent McEveety
The Shaggy D.A. Tim
1977 The Billion Dollar Hobo Vernon PraiseworthyComedy film directed and co-written by Stuart E. McGowan
1978 They Went That-A-Way & That-A-Way Dewey Slapstick/comedy film directed by Stuart E. McGowan & Edward Montagne and written by Conway
1979 The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again Amos TuckerComedy-western film and sequel to The Apple Dumpling Gang (1975) directed by Vincent McEveety
The Prize Fighter BagsComedy film directed by Michael Preece and co-written by Conway
1980 The Private Eyes Dr. TartComedy-mystery film directed & co-produced by Lang Elliott and co-written by Conway
1984 Cannonball Run II CHP Officer #1Comedy film and sequel to The Cannonball Run directed by Hal Needham
1986 The Longshot DooleyComedy film directed by Paul Bartel
1987 Dorf on Golf DorfComedy film directed by Roger Beatty and written by Conway
1988 Dorf and the First Games of Mount Olympus Comedy film directed by Lang Elliott and written by Conway
Dorf's Golf Bible Comedy film directed by Roger Beatty and written by Conway
1990 Dorf Goes Auto Racing Comedy film directed by Barry Landon and written by Conway
1993 Dorf Goes Fishing
1996 Dear God Herman DoolyComedy film directed by Garry Marshall
Dorf on the Diamond DorfComedy film directed by Barry Landon and written by Conway
1997 Speed 2: Cruise Control Mr. Kenter, Driving Instructor Action-thriller film directed and produced by Jan de Bont
1998 Air Bud: Golden Receiver Fred Davis
2000The View from the SwingHenry WhitakerComedy film directed by Paul Tuerpé
2001Dorf Da Bingo KingDorfComedy film directed by Jack Boeki
2006 Scooby-Doo! Pirates Ahoy! Skip Jones
2008 Garfield's Fun Fest Freddy Frog, Gate Guard, Momma Bear, Roger, Narrator
2015 The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Seagull


1962–66 McHale's Navy Ensign Charles Beaumont Parker Contract role
1963 Channing The Young ManEpisode: "A Doll's House with Pompoms and Trophies"
1966 The Red Skelton Show Phil FumbleEpisode: "Gyp Off the Old Block"
1967 Rango RangoContract role
1967–78 The Carol Burnett Show Various
  • Recurring (1967–75)
  • Contract (1975–78)
1968 That's Life Guest Episodes:
  • "Bachelor Days"
  • "Our First Baby"
1970 The Tim Conway Show Tim "Spud" Barrett
  • Contract role
  • Short-lived sitcom
The Tim Conway Comedy Hour Various
1970–71 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Guest Recurring
1972Love is... Barbara EdenHimself Made-for-TV-Movie directed by Norman Campbell
1974The BoysEddie RyanMade-for-TV-Movie directed and co-written by Bill Persky
ABC Afterschool Special JanitorEpisode: The Crazy Comedy Concert
Roll, Freddy, Roll! Freddy DantonMade-for-TV-Movie directed and co-written by Bill Persky
1977The Chevy Chase ShowVarious Television special directed by Art Fisher
The John Davidson Christmas SpecialHimselfTelevision special directed by Tony Charmoli
1979 Carol Burnett & Company VariousTelevision specials and variety/sketch comedy
1980–81 The Tim Conway Show VariousVariety/sketch comedy
1983 Ace Crawford, Private Eye Ace CrawfordShort-lived sitcom
Great DayHoward SimpsonMade-for-TV-Movie directed by Michael Preece
1987 Faerie Tale Theatre Mayoral CandidateEpisode: "Rip Van Winkle"
1990 Newhart HimselfEpisode: "Dick and Tim"
1991 Carol & Company Audience MemberEpisode: "That Little Extra Something"
1992 The Golden Palace MiltonEpisode: "Marriage on the Rocks, with a Twist"
1995 The Tonight Show with Jay Leno HimselfEpisode: "April 24, 1995"
1995–96 Married... with Children Ephraim Wanker Recurring
1996 Coach Kenny MontagueEpisode: "The Gardener"
Cybill Major MiloEpisode: "Going Out with a Bang"
1997 The Larry Sanders Show HimselfEpisode: "The Matchmaker"
CoachKenny MontagueEpisode: "The Body Gardener"
Diagnosis: Murder Tim ConradEpisode: "Comedy Is Murder"
The Simpsons HimselfEpisode: "The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase"
Cosby Happy Clock
Clueless Mr. HubleyEpisode: "Shop 'Til You Drop"
Touched by an Angel FreddyEpisode: "The Comeback"
Suddenly Susan MickeyEpisode: "The Old and the Beautiful"
The Drew Carey Show Gus
  • Episode: "Volunteer"
  • Billed as Special Guest Star
Hiller and Diller Cliffy DukayEpisode: "The Cliffy Dukay Show"
1998 Ellen ComedianEpisode: "Ellen: A Hollywood Tribute, Part 1"
Hercules GriffinEpisode: "Hercules and the Griffin"
CluelessMr. HubleyEpisode: "Never P.E.T.A. Squirrel"
7th Heaven Rocky / Santa ClausEpisode: "Here Comes Santa Claus"
1999Diagnosis: MurderTim ConradEpisode: "The Roast"
Mad About You Clerk / Justice of PeaceEpisodes : "The Final Frontier" (Parts 1 & 2)
O Christmas Tree Squirrel
The Wild Thornberrys Zebra #1 / JackalEpisode: "Have Yourself A Thornberry Little Christmas"
1999–2012 SpongeBob SquarePants Barnacle Boy Recurring
2001–05 Yes, Dear Tom Warner Recurring
2002 The Proud Family Mr. PetersonEpisode: "A Hero for Halloween"
2003 Hermie: A Common Caterpillar Hermie
On the Spot Mr. Henderson
  • Contract role
  • Short-lived sketch comedy show
2008 30 Rock Bucky BrightEpisode: "Subway Hero"
2013 Major Crimes Howard GrayEpisode: "There's No Place Like Home"
2015Surprised by LoveGranddad Hallmark Channel movie

Video games

2001 SpongeBob SquarePants: SuperSponge Barnacle Boy
2002 Scooby-Doo! Night of 100 Frights Professor Alexander Graham
SpongeBob SquarePants: Employee of the Month Barnacle Boy Point-and-click adventure video game developed by AWE Games and published by THQ for the PC [59]
2003 SpongeBob SquarePants: Battle for Bikini Bottom
2005 SpongeBob SquarePants: Lights, Camera, Pants!
  • Based on the television show SpongeBob SquarePants, developed by THQ Studio Australia, WayForward Technologies, and AWE Games, and published by THQ
  • Released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube consoles as well as separate versions for Microsoft Windows and Game Boy Advance
  • First SpongeBob SquarePants title to feature multiplayer mini-games, similar to the Mario Party video game series. [60]
2009 SpongeBob's Truth or Square
2010 SpongeBob's Boating Bash
  • Based on the television show SpongeBob SquarePants, developed by ImPulse Games and Firebrand Games, and published by THQ
  • Released for the Wii and Nintendo DS


2004 Hermie & Friends: Flo the Lyin' Fly Hermie Animated short directed by Demetre Gionis and writtenwritten by Troy Schmidt
Hermie & Friends: Webster the Scaredy Spider
Rainbow Valley Fire DepartmentRusty the FirefighterAnimated short directed by Mark Page and written by Daniel E. Taylor [62]
2005 Hermie & Friends: Buzby, the Misbehaving Bee HermieAnimated short directed by Bill Boyce & Gionis with the story by Max Lucado and written by Schmidt
Hermie & Friends: A Fruitcake Christmas Animated short directed & co-written by Schmidt and co-written by Lucado
2006 Hermie & Friends: Stanley the Stinkbug Goes to Camp
Hermie & Friends: To Share or Nut to Share Animated short directed & written by Troy Schmidt
2007 Hermie & Friends: Milo the Mantis Who Wouldn't Pray Animated short directed by Rick Eldridge, written by Buddy Lewis & Schmidt, and story by Lucado
Buzby and the Grumble Bees Animated short directed by Boyce and written by Lewis & Schmidt
2008 Hermie & Friends: Hermie and the High Seas Animated short directed by Boyce and written by Schmidt
Huntin' BuddiesGame WardenShort video directed by Wayne Berry and written by Tom Lester


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Further reading