(Reuters) – Emmy-winning actor Tim Conway, who brought an endearing, free-wheeling goofiness to skits on “The Carol Burnett Show” that cracked up his cast mates as well as the audience, died on Tuesday at the age of 85, his publicist said.
Publicist Howard Bragman said Conway died in the Los Angeles area on Tuesday morning. Prior to his death, he had suffered complications from normal pressure hydrocephalus (NPH) and had no signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s, Bragman said.
Conway - Emmy - Awards - Burnett - Show
Conway won three Emmy awards for acting on the Burnett show and a fourth as a writer in the 1960s and ’70s. He also won guest actor Emmys for a 1996 appearance on “Coach” and another in 2008 for “30 Rock.”
Conway first found television fame on the 1960s comedy “McHale’s Navy” playing Ensign Parker, a befuddled by-the-book officer in a group of unconventional sailors in the Pacific during World War Two.
Success - Comedy - Sketches - Burnett - Show
He would find greater success in the comedy sketches on Burnett’s show starting in 1968. He was at his best with characters that were a little naive, clumsy or slow-witted, and especially when teamed with straight man Harvey Korman and given the chance to show off his improvisational and slapstick skills.
“Nobody could be with Tim and keep a straight face once he got on a roll,” Burnett said in a 2003 interview with the Television Academy Foundation.
Conway - Sketch - Script - Dress - Rehearsal
She said Conway would stick with a sketch’s script through dress rehearsal but once it was time to tape the performance for a broadcast, he began freelancing. His improvised antics often reduced his co-stars – especially his close friend Korman – to tears of laughter.
“I think Conway’s goal in life was to destroy Harvey,” Burnett told the Television Academy Foundation.
Skit - Conway - Portrayal - Dentist - Painkiller
In one popular skit, Conway’s portrayal of an inept dentist who accidentally injects himself with painkiller resulted in Korman,...
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