Tim Conway, the beloved comedy star of The Carol Burnett Show and McHale’s Navy, is suffering from dementia. The heartbreaking news about Conway’s rapidly declining health had been kept a secret until this weekend.
“He’s almost completely unresponsive,” explains Conway’s daughter Kelly.
Kelly, 56, is seeking conservatorship of her 84-year-old father after learning Conway’s wife Charlene is “planning to move him out of the excellent skilled nursing facility he is currently at” and move him somewhere without access to “registered nurses at all times and his 24-hour caregiver and speech therapist (to help with swallowing).”
She further revealed that Conway is confined to a wheelchair and cannot “properly provide for his personal needs for physical health, food, and clothing.”
Public speculation about Conway’s deteriorating health began after the star was unable to attend the 50th anniversary special of The Carol Burnett Show that aired last December.
Kelly filed the appropriate paperwork in Los Angeles last Friday. She hopes to administer her father’s medication herself.
Conway majored in speech and radio at the Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Despite his lack of experience in front of a camera, Conway became a television comedy knock out.
“I had no professional training,” Conway explained in a 2004 episode of The Interviews: An Oral History of Television. “I had a sense of humor and had been in front of a microphone.”
For 60 years Conway spread joy and good humor on popular programs ranging from McHale’s Navy and The Carol Burnett Show to SpongeBob SquarePants and Glee.
In 2002 Conway was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame. He was recently seen promoting The Carol Burnett Show a other classic TV on the MeTV network.