Hollywood mourns 'Carol Burnett Show' actor Tim Conway

Los Angeles (AFP) –


Emmy Award-winning US actor and comedian Tim Conway, known for his deadpan delivery and cast of bumbling characters on "The Carol Burnett Show," died on Tuesday at the age of 85, his publicist said.

The versatile entertainer, who underwent brain surgery last September, had been suffering from a long-term illness in Los Angeles, Howard Bragman said.

A native of Willoughby, Ohio, Conway served in the army for two years before embarking on his showbiz career as a television presenter and writer. He then starred on the 1960s ABC series "The Steve Allen Show" and "McHale's Navy."

He was a fixture throughout the 1970s on "Carol Burnett," where he made his mark with memorable characters like the Oldest Man and Mr. Tudball -- as well as demonstrating a gift for ad-libbing and on-set pranks.

He won four Emmys and a Golden Globe Award during 11 years on the show -- capping his career with another two Emmy statuettes for guest appearances in "Coach" (1996) and "30 Rock" (2008).

He entertained modern audiences as the voice of Barnacle Boy in the animated series "SpongeBob SquarePants" and, on the big screen, starred as the title character in the "Dorf" comedy movies.

"I was born and then I did 'The Carol Burnett Show' for 11 years. What else is there to know?" the self-effacing humorist said on his website -- noting his Emmy wins and adding: "Big deal."

Comedian Larry Wilmore led tributes on social media, tweeting, "RIP to Tim Conway who was always always always always funny!"

"Dick Van Dyke Show" actress Rose Marie, who managed Conway and says she discovered his talent, described the actor as "a source of tremendous pride."

"He was, after all, one of the funniest men on the planet! My heart goes out to his family," she said.

"Delighting generations is a pretty good legacy for any entertainer," added sci-fi author John Scalzi, who came to know Conway's work through "SpongeBob Squarepants."

Conway is survived by his wife of 35 years, Charlene, a stepdaughter and six biological children from his first marriage, including KFI-AM talk show host Tim Conway Jr.

In the final months of his life, Conway was bedridden and unable to speak and under 24-hour care at a rehabilitation facility, according to court papers.

His daughter Kelly Conway had battled her stepmother in court over his care.