Comedian Tim Conway dead at 85

LOS ANGELES -- Actor and comedian Tim Conway, best known for his work on "The Carol Burnett Show," died on Tuesday morning in Los Angeles, according to his publicist.

Conway was 85.

He had been battling a longtime illness prior to his death, Howard Bragman, Conway's representative, told CNN. He was not suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's disease, Bragman said.

Conway won three Emmys for co-starring in "The Carol Burnett Show," which ran from 1967 to 1978, and a fourth as a member of its writing team. He also briefly headlined his own variety series and co-starred in several Disney live-action comedies during the '70s, such as "The Apple Dumpling Gang" and "The Shaggy D.A."

In his later years, Conway did numerous guest appearances -- winning additional Emmys for roles in the sitcoms "Coach" and "30 Rock" -- and voiceover work in animation, including "SpongeBob Squarepants."

The CEO of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Conway's friend, Joe Harper issued a statement on his friend's passing.

“Del Mar is greatly saddened to hear of the passing of Tim Conway today," stated Harper. "He was a true friend to many of us here going back nearly 50 years and will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with his wife, Charlene, and his family."

“Tim loved coming to the races, especially at Del Mar. He would often bring his show business pals – among them Harvey Korman and Bob Newhart -- for a day of fun, and he and his wife even owned horses for a while."

Harper added Conway always helped raise funds for racetrack charities, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars with Hall of Fame rider Chris McCarron over the years to help disabled jockeys.

Conway's improvisational antics frequently cracked up his co-stars, foremost among them Harvey Korman.

"I'm heartbroken. He was one in a million, not only as a brilliant comedian but as a loving human being," Burnett said about Conway in a statement to CNN on Tuesday. "I cherish the times we had together both on the screen and off. He'll be in my heart forever."

Burnett will dedicate a previously scheduled performance of her one-woman show, "An Evening of Laughter and Reflection Where the Audience Asks Questions," to Conway's memory on Tuesday night in North Carolina.

The legendary comedian was married twice, first to Mary Anne Dalton from 1961 to 1978 and together they had six children. Conway is survived by his wife of more than 30 years, Charlene Fusco.

The family has asked that instead of gifts, donations be made to The Lou Ruvo Brain Center at the Cleveland Clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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