Tim Conway's Widow Recounts Their Love Story and His Final Two Weeks Before Death
Carol Burnett Show star Tim Conway died on Tuesday at the age of 85
On Tuesday, the Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor, who gained fame for his characters on The Carol Burnett Show, died in the Los Angeles area, his rep confirmed to PEOPLE.
Conway had suffered complications from Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH), and showed no signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Charlene, who was married to Tim for 35 years, says that her late husband was “a gift,” telling PEOPLE that he was “truly a gift.”
“People say that nothing is perfect and truly nothing ever is,” she shares. “But we had a marriage that… I feel that the two of us were meant to be together. We were just one mind and heart. And it was 35 years of heaven. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true.”
Charlene says she will remember Tim as a “devoted” and “funny” husband and father. (Tim shares six children and one stepdaughter with ex-wife Mary Anne Dalton.)
Tim “instill[ed] in the family, all the kids, the grandkids, that humor does help us deal with horrific experiences,” she explains. “It’s a way out. For him, it was a way out. It didn’t mean he felt or grieved any less. That was his outlet for it.”
Charlene also notes that Tim stayed “humble” despite being a celebrity.
“He was always shocked and surprised when other celebrities knew who he was,” she explains. “He truly was. He and Harvey [Korman] toured for ten years doing this two-man show in theaters all across the country, and he was always surprised that there were standing ovations and crowds around the stage door, entrance and exit.”
“That’s how humble he was,” she continues. “He never took his celebrity for granted, nor did he wallow in it.”
“When he did those shows, when he and Harvey were touring, I was with them and I wasn’t surprised that people stood up, and I wasn’t surprised that there were crowds at the stage door,” she adds. “And they were all ages, not just people who spent 11 years watching the Carol Burnett Show, but there were the kids who learned about these folks on the syndicated version, and they had their kids.”
Thanking fans for the “outpouring” of support and love after Tim’s death, Charlene says her late husband was beloved by generations of fans.
“Tim’s been out of the limelight for four, five years, but I’m just amazed at the outpouring of love from his fans and everybody,” she says. “And I’m so proud of him, and the man that he was.”
RELATED: Tim Conway Recalls Early Showbiz Beginnings and Changing His Name in Final On-Camera InterviewIn the wake of his death, Charlene says she and their family are “holding up,” adding, “We’re keeping busy and I think it’ll hit us, really, after the funeral.” Recalling their final moments together, Charlene reveals her late husband is now in a better place. “He was very sick the last two weeks of his life. And the only comfort we all have is that that suffering has ended,” she says.
How would she like Tim to be remembered? “Just as he was,” Charlene says.
“Funny. I mean, his brain, his body, everything is funny,” she continues. “And he was exactly what they saw. A very sweet, kind, humble guy.”