Tim Conway, the impish funnyman best-known for more than a decade of side-splitting routines on "The Carol Burnett Show," has died, People magazine reports. He was 85.
His wife and daughter had fought in court for control of his care since 2018, leading to an unusually worded statement from his rep that Conway "suffered complications from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) and had no signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s."
“I’m heartbroken," Burnett told People magazine in a statement. "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.”
An Ohio native and army veteran, Conway was first a DJ and performed skits on local TV, where he was discovered by entertainer Rose Marie. Moving to New York City, he got his start on TV with Steve Allen, and within two years was starring as Ensign Charles Parker on the warmly received sitcom "McHale's Navy" (1962-1966).
Among many other TV appearances during that time, Conway starred on the one and only episode of "Turn-On," an infamous answer to "Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In" that was deemed so objectionably bad it was canceled within days. His final tweet, from 2018, made light of the debacle.
From 1967-1975, Conway was a special guest on "The Carol Burnett Show," becoming a regular from 1975-1978. He stole scenes with his ad-libbing and by breaking up his scene partners, especially the late Harvey Korman. His character Mickey Hart, part of the show's iconic "The Family" sketch series, once told a story about a circus elephant so outrageous it was too racy for TV, but has since racked up millions of views on YouTube. He was also known for a sketch about a novice dentist, for his frazzled Mr. Tudball (whose foil was Burnett's curvy, vapid Mrs. Wiggins), and for The Oldest Man.
Conway also anchored two attempts at his own series, "The Tim Conway Comedy Hour" (1970) and "The Tim Conway Show" (1980-1981).
Along with his accomplishments on TV, for which he won four Emmys and a Golden Globe, he appeared in a string of family-friendly films, including "The World's Greatest Athlete" (1973), "The Apple Dumpling Gang" (1975), "Gus" (1976), "The Shaggy D.A." (1976), "The Billion Dollar Hobo" (1977), "They Went That-a-Way & That-a-Way" (1978), "The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again" (1979) and "The Private Eyes" (1980).
Younger generations would know his voice as Barnacle Boy on "SpongeBob SquarePants" (1999-2012).
Conway, who published the memoir "What's So Funny?" in 2013, is survived by his second wife, his stepdaughter, six children and two granddaughters.