Tim Conway had a knack for making Harvey Korman laugh. And Carol Burnett. And just about anyone else who played opposite him in a skit on "The Carol Burnett Show" in the 1960s and '70s. He was, in fact, a comedian's comedian — and audiences laughed too.
Conway, who was born in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, majored in speech and radio at Bowling Green State University. After having worked in Cleveland radio and TV and having a stint on "The Steve Allen Show" in New York, Conway came to prominence as a bumbling ensign in "McHale's Navy" opposite Ernest Borgnine from 1962 to 1966, The next year, "The Carol Burnett Show" premiered with Conway as a frequent guest star. The series, which ran to 1978, redefined his career as he played such characters as the Swedish American Mr. Tudball, but it took a long time for Conway to become a regular.
"All of a sudden in the ninth season of the show, we said, 'Why don't we have Tim on every week?' " Burnett told The Times in 2010. "He was already on about every other week. It was like ‘duh.' "
"This lady is responsible for my career," Conway said in response.
Conway, who changed his first name from Thomas to Tim so as to avoid confusion with actor Tom Conway, also had his own short-lived sitcom in 1970, starred in the "Apple Dumpling Gang" movies in the 1970s and made a string of DVDs, starting in the 1980s, as the 4-foot-tall athlete Dorf. He later gained fame with a new generation as the voice of Barnacle Boy on "SpongeBob SquarePants."
During his career, Conway has won six Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe.