Comedian Tim Conway suffering from dementia; family feuds in court over care
Tim Conway, who made viewers and castmates on “The Carol Burnett Show” weep with laughter over his deadpan comic style, is suffering from dementia at age 84 and is “almost entirely unresponsive,” according to legal documents filed Friday in Los Angeles by his daughter, according to Roger Neal, Conway’s publicist.
People and The Blast were first to obtain the documents, which show that Kelly Conway, 56, is seeking to be appointed her father’s legal guardian. She wants to block her father’s wife, Charlene, from moving him from one nursing facility to another.
In the documents, she claims that her stepmother is “planning to move him out of the excellent skilled nursing facility he is currently at” and placing him in one that won’t give him access to “registered nurses at all times and his 24-hour caregiver and speech therapist (to help with swallowing).”
Kelly Conway wants to be in charge of administering her father’s medications “for the care and treatment of dementia,” asserting that he cannot “properly provide for his personal needs for physical health, food, and clothing” and is “almost entirely unresponsive.”
“We appreciate the outpouring of love and support for my dad,” Kelly Conway said in a statement. “Due to pending court case I cannot make any further statements at this time.”
Kelly Conway is one of seven children from Conway’s marriage to Mary Anne Dalton, which ended in divorce in 1978; he married Charlene Conway in 1984.
Conway is best known for his comic turns in skits, often in partnership with comic actor Harvey Korman, on Burnett’s sketch comedy/variety show in the 1970s. The duo spent the rest of their careers often performing together until Korman’s death in 2008. But they are best remembered for their 10 years on “Burnett,” when Korman hilariously struggled to contain his laughter at Conway’s antics, even in the middle of their skits.
Conway’s acting credits span six decades. He made a comic splash as Ensign Charles Parker on “McHale’s Navy,” the 1960s series about the wacky crew of a PT boat during World War II. After that, he was a regular guest star on dozens of TV comedy series and sitcoms until as recently as 2015.
His work on “Burnett” yielded him four Emmys and a Golden Globe. He also won two other Emmys for more recent guest roles on “Coach” and “30 Rock.”
Conway’s 2013 memoir, “What’s So Funny? My Hilarious Life” (with co-author Jane Scovell), looked back on 50 years in show business.
Conway, who largely retired in 2016, was unable to appear in the 50th-anniversary celebration of “The Carol Burnett Show,” which aired in December 2017.
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