Tim Conway was an amazing comedian and Army veteran who has made millions of us laugh for years.
Tim Conway is an award-winning actor and comic best known for his roles on ‘McHale’s Navy’ and ‘The Carol Burnett Show.’
Actor Tim Conway was born Thomas Daniel Conway on December 15, 1933, in Willoughby, Ohio, and mainly grew up in nearby Chagrin Falls. The only child of European immigrants – dad Dan was from Ireland and mom Sophie from Romania – Conway moved often as his parents struggled to make ends meet during the Great Depression. Exposed to horses through one of his dad’s jobs as a stable hand, he initially wanted to become a jockey, but soon realized he had a gift for making people laugh.
Conway attended Chagrin Falls High School and then Bowling Green State University, where he studied television and radio and showcased his unique sense of humor as a disc jockey. After graduating in 1956, he spent two years in the U.S. Army.
After his discharge, Conway began writing promotional spots for radio and television in Cleveland. In 1961 he became the director of Ernie’s Place, a WJW-TV movie program that featured Ernie Anderson as host. Struggling to book guests, Conway began appearing on camera in various made-up roles, and the two would ad-lib an interview.
His antics caught the attention of actress Rose Marie, who helped him land a spot on Steve Allen‘s variety show. The gig brought a name change – to “Tim Conway,” as there was already a Tom Conway working in Hollywood – and the exposure that helped the actor garner his breakthrough role on McHale’s Navy. As Ensign Parker, second in command to Ernest Borgnine‘s Lieutenant Commander McHale, Conway played the sort of goofy, bumbling character that would become his trademark. He starred on the sitcom from 1962 to 1966, earning an Emmy Award nomination along the way, and joined the cast for two spinoff feature films.
‘The Carol Burnett Show’
Meanwhile, Tim was hitting his stride on The Carol Burnett Show, which proved the perfect outlet for his improvisational abilities and brand of physical humor. A regular guest since the program’s inception in 1967, Conway created such memorable characters as Mr. Tudball and the Oldest Man, and became known for making stars Burnett, Vicki Lawrence, Lyle Waggoner and especially Harvey Korman break down in laughter in the middle of a sketch.
Named a regular cast member in 1975, Conway remained a steadying presence on the show through the departures of Waggoner and Korman and the brief addition of Dick Van Dyke to the mix. By the time Carol Burnett finally signed off in 1979, he had garnered three Emmy wins for his performances and another for writing.
See more about Tim Conway at Bio.com.
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