Tim Conway

Tim ‘Phantom’ Conway left his mark on BGSU

By AMBER STARK BGSU OFFICE OF MARKETING & COMMUNICATIONSLong before becoming a household name for his hilarious on-air antics, actor Tim Conway was known at Bowling Green State University as Tom Conway, and, sometimes, “Phantom.” Tom became Tim to avoid confusion with British movie star Tom Conway, but he may have never lost the “Phantom” nickname, which he earned for diving into the old golf course quarry in the middle of the night for golf balls. Conway, who earned his Bachelor of Arts in 1956, passed away May 14 at age 85. Perhaps most well-known for his portrayal of Ensign Charles Parker in “McHale’s Navy,” Conway also co-starred on “The Carol Burnett Show” and starred as the title character in the “Dorf” series of films. Younger fans might recognize him as the voice of Barnacle Boy in “SpongeBob SquarePants.” “Growing up, I remember watching icon Tim Conway on ‘The Carol Burnett Show’ and he was too funny,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. “We are saddened to learn of his passing. His acting and comedy career drove the culture vitality of our society.” While at BGSU, Conway was the Phi Delta Theta chaplain, sophomore class president and a member of the Catholic Newman Club. He also participated in student talent shows and was half of a comedy duo on the popular “Sunny Side Up” broadcast, which aired every weekday morning from the former University Union on radio station WWBG. Fellow Phi Delta Theta member Dick Moss ’56 was his “Sunny Side Up” partner. Larry Miles ’56, one of Conway’s Phi Delta Theta roommates, said Conway and Moss were the University’s version of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin, respectively. “Tim was always an entertainer,” Miles said. “He would have funny things to tell us about the day and/or what happened in the evening. Once in a while, it would run too long and we might be up until midnight listening to Tim tell us about his adventures.” Conway enlisted in the Army after graduation, briefly serving as master of ceremonies for an all-Army show. He then returned to the Cleveland area, working as a comedy writer for KYW-TV, then as producer-director of “Ernie’s Place” on WJW-TV. While at the station, Conway caught the attention of actress Rose Marie, who loaned tapes of Conway to TV personality Steve Allen, who signed him for three guest appearances on his show. This turned into…