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Tim Conway
American actor Tim Conway was born in Willoughby, Ohio, but grew up in the curiously named community Chagrin Falls, a fact that he'd later incorporate for a quick laugh in many of his comedy routines, TV films and movies. After majoring in speech and radio at Bowling Green State University, Conway went into the Eighth Army Assignment Team, where, much in the manner of his later bumbling screen characters, he managed to "misplace" a boat load of 7500 replacement troops. Once the army was through with him (and vice versa), Conway secured a job answering mail for a Cleveland radio deejay; his letters were so amusing that he was given a job as a writer in the promotional department, then went on to direct a TV program called Ernie's Place. Whenever Ernie was short a guest, Conway showed up as "Dag Hereford," a so-called authority on several subjects who'd reveal himself to be a blithering simpleton. Comedienne Rose Marie   happened to be in Cleveland in 1961, and upon catching Conway's routine recommended the young erstwhile comic to Steve Allen  ; Conway redid the Hereford bit for Allen's ABC variety series in the fall of '61, fracturing the audiences (and Allen) in three memorable appearances. Now that he was a full-fledged comic, he knew he couldn't continue performing under his real name, Tom Conway, since that was also the name of a well-known British actor; Allen advised Tom to "dot the O," and thereafter he was known as Tim Conway. In 1962, Conway was engaged to play the Doug Hereford-like role of Ensign Doug Parker on the wartime sitcom McHale's Navy, which lasted six seasons and made Conway a star. The actor has made several attempts over the last three decades to succeed as a solo TV star, but none of his post-McHale's Navy series have been anything resembling hits. Still, Conway was always welcome as a supporting comic, as witness his hysterically funny appearances opposite Harvey Korman  on The {$Carol Burnett Show} in the 1970s; Conway also enjoyed a measure of success as star or co-star of a number of Disney films and low-budget "regional" comedy pictures like The Prize Fighter   (1978) and The Private Eyes   (1980). More recently, Conway has starred in a popular series of satirical "how-to" home videos, playing a diminutive, dim-bulbed Scandinavian named Dorf. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

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