CLEVELAND-He was a comedy legend, who made the world laugh.
Tim Conway was also a well-known actor, working as a longtime cast member of “The Carol Burnett Show,” and also known for his roles in TV’s McHale’s Navy.
But what many may not know is that Conway got his start in the entertainment business right here at WJW in Cleveland, working alongside Ernie Anderson and Charles “Big Chuck” Schodowski in the early 60s -- both hired to work behind the scenes.
By phone, Chuck even admitted Tim lied to management to get the job here at Channel 8.
“When he came to TV 8, they actually put him in the director's chair. He was so bad that they knew immediately that he wasn't a director."
They would all eventually work together in front of the camera.
Even after leaving town, Conway would always stop by to goof around with his friends.
Conway, who was born in Willoughby and grew up in Chagrin Falls, would ultimately win six Emmys and one Golden Globe Award and countless other nominations.
His later work included voicing a character on SpongeBob SquarePants and the Simpsons.
Conway stopped by FOX 8 in 2013 to walk the hallways of his old stomping grounds…even taking time to talk with us about his time growing up in Northeast Ohio. “People cared about you, but I mean, really cared about you. It wasn't just nosy business; it's just a delightful town to be in, and all of my youth is there.”
Lil' John Rinaldi says Conway, who also went by the name Tom early in his career, was a natural from the beginning.
"He's just a super, he's the funniest guy you ever want to meet, he's always on, he's funny! And his wife told me one time that he would work 365 days a year if he had a chance."
A representative says the comedian passed away Tuesday morning after suffering from complications from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, and had no signs of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
No matter how popular he became, Tim often looked back fondly at his time in Cleveland.
“We had a promotion at the station one time throwing baseballs off the Terminal Tower, and if you caught the ball you got a season's pass to the Cleveland Indians. We threw the first ball off the top of the building and it went through a car roof so we decided, maybe that wouldn't work."