Emmy-winning actor Tim Conway, who underwent brain surgery in September, is bedridden and cannot speak, according to conclusions reached by his doctor in court papers obtained Monday.
Dr. Maurice Zagha said he evaluated the 85-year-old Conway on Jan. 5. His findings were outlined in court papers filed in Los Angeles Superior Court by attorneys for Conway’s wife, Charlene. She opposes an effort by her stepdaughter, Kelly, to be named Conway’s conservator. Kelly Conway maintains her father has dementia.
Charlene Conway says her husband does not need to be placed under a conservatorship, but that if a judge decides he needs such protection, she should be the person selected as conservator.
According to Zagha, Conway understands what people are saying to him, but is unable to reply. He said the verbal impediment makes it hard for him to determine Conway’s overall mental capacity, but that over time he has been able to read the actor’s facial expressions.
Zagha says Conway usually shows his emotions only when someone like his daughter visits.
In a separate report filed Jan. 22, Conway’s court-appointed attorney, Michael Harris, says a hearing scheduled in December on the conservatorship issue was delayed until Feb. 5 so that the two opposing sides could try and agree on who would be the best conservator and how to accommodate the person not selected.
Harris said he believes Charlene Conway would be the best choice for a conservator, but that if she is chosen, Kelly Conway should be notified about important issues concerning her father, including when he is uprooted from one facility to another.
Harris said Conway has been moved many times to different places for his care. He said in a previous report filed in December that Conway has been transferred seven times in 12 weeks between rehabilitation centers and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
On Sept. 14, Judge Robert Wada rejected Kelly Conway’s petition for a temporary conservatorship, finding that her concerns about her stepmother’s medical decisions regarding her father were moot at the time because he was hospitalized Sept. 3 and underwent brain surgery.
Conway was a cast member on the 1961-62 ABC variety series, “The Steve Allen Show” before landing the role of Ensign Charles Beaumont Parker on the 1962-66 ABC comedy “McHale’s Navy.” In the 1970s, he became a cast member on “The Carol Burnett Show.”
Conway also starred as the title character in the “Dorf” comedy films and voiced the character of Barnacle Boy in the animated series “SpongeBob SquarePants.”
In addition to Kelly, Conway and his first wife Mary Anne Dalton had five other children, including KFI-AM (640) talk show host Tim Conway Jr. They divorced in 1978.