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Tim Conway

Tim Conway

Tim ConwayThomas Daniel Conway was born in Willoughby, Ohio. He attended Bowling Green State University, where he majored in speech and radio, and served in the Army. He started his career in show business working for a radio station, eventually writing for the promotional department. There was already an actor named Tom Conway, so he became Tim.

After his Army service ended, Conway returned to Cleveland to work with Ernie Anderson on KYW-TV in 1958-59 and on WJW-TV from 1960-62 on a weekday morning film showcase (under the Ernie’s Place banner). Conway wrote material for the comedic skits shown in the film intermissions. He also recorded a comedy album with Anderson.

Comedienne Rose Marie discovered Conway and arranged for him to audition for “The Steve Allen Plymouth Show”; Allen was so impressed with Conway that the comedian became a regular on the show in 1960. Conway was also a regular on Allen’s next series, “The New Steve Allen Show,” in 1961.

The following year he was signed to play Ensign Charles Parker on “McHale’s Navy” and the show aired over 4 seasons from 1962-1966.

After that he starred in ABC’s brief comic Western series “Rango” as the title character, a bumbling Texas Ranger, but the show ran for only 17 episodes in 1967. He got his own series in 1970, but CBS’ “The Tim Conway Show,” in which he played an inept pilot at a fly-by-night airline, lasted only a single season.

It was his hilarious work on “The Carol Burnett Show” — memorable decades later to those who watched the show, and immortalized on YouTube — that was his real gift to audiences. Some of his best work may have been as golfer Derk Dorf and his clueless caddy, Loenard.

“Leonard, why don’t you consider getting to bed a little early tonight? You wouldn’t want to miss a visit from the IQ fairy.” Dorf on Golf.

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