Comedic legend Carol Burnett responded to the news of comedian Tim Conway’s death by stating that she was devastated by the news.
“I’m heartbroken. He was one in a million, not only as a brilliant comedian but as a loving human being. I cherish the times we had together both on the screen and off. He’ll be in my heart forever,” she told Fox News on Tuesday.
Conway, 85, died after battling a long illness, according to LaBrea Media’s Howard Bragman.
Conway was best known for his appearances on The Carol Burnett Show, which aired from 1967 through 1978. Conway joined the cast in 1975, and made audiences across the country laugh alongside fellow comedians Harvey Korman, Vicki Lawrence, and Lyle Waggoner. He won four Emmy Awards for his work on the show, which included a number of memorable goofball characters.
Conway also received Emmy Awards for guest appearances he made on the television shows Coach and 30 Rock.
At an event in 2013 — one promoting his memoir, What’s So Funny? My Hilarious Life — Burnett said that Conway was a prankster on the set. She added that his “goal in life was to destroy Harvey Korman,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Conway was notorious for ad-libbing many sketches on the show, a trait which often had others actors on stage fighting the urge to literally laugh out loud.
Burnett, 86, reportedly said one of her favorite performances by Conway was in an “Oldest Man” sketch. During this sketch, Conway threw himself down a staircase and rolled himself up in a rug on the floor — so that other actors had to step over him throughout the rest of the sketch. Burnett said she had a hard time keeping it together during the scene.
Tim Conway’s daughter, Kelly Conway, announced her father’s death. She told Fox that the laughter he gave the world would never be replaced.
“He is at peace now but I will miss him every second of every day until we meet again in heaven. We knew he would have to leave us someday, but that day came too soon. I want to thank everyone for their prayers, love and support over the past year or so,” she said.
Conway’s former publicist, Roger Neal, said that Conway was the same man — both off-screen and on-screen — adding that he was one of the true masters of comedy. Neal also said that it was a privilege to work with Conway, and that the years he spent working with the comedian were the best of his career.