Thomas Daniel “Tim” Conway is an American comedian and actor, primarily known for his roles in sitcoms, films and television. Conway is best-known for his role as the inept second-in-command officer, Ensign Charles Parker, to Lt. Commander Quinton McHale, in the popular 1960s WWII sitcom McHale’s Navy, and for co-starring alongside Carol Burnett on The Carol Burnett Show.
Conway was born in Willoughby, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, and grew up in nearby Chagrin Falls. He attended Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, having majored in speech and radio. After graduating from Bowling Green State University, he joined the Army, following which he took a job answering mail for a Cleveland radio station, where he went on to become a writer in the promotional department. Conway later changed his first name to “Tim” to avoid confusion with actor Tom Conway.
Conway later moved back to Cleveland to work with the late television broadcasting legend Ernie Anderson on KYW-TV, an NBC affiliate, in 1958 and 1959 and later, from 1960 to 1962, on WJW TV, on the weekday morning movie where he also wrote material for the comedic skits shown in between movie intermissions. Conway also recorded a comedy album with Anderson.
However, WJW would dismiss Conway, in part because he misled station management into thinking he was a director, whereas they found out he really wasn’t able to do so. Because of this move, which deprived Anderson of his co-host and comic foil, the station asked Anderson if he could host a B-grade horror movie show on Friday nights instead. Conway would continue to make many appearances alongside Anderson’s massively popular alter ego Ghoulardi, alongside “Big Chuck” Schodowski, a station engineer whom Anderson tapped to assume much of Conway’s sidekick status .