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Jeff Conaway of 'Grease' and 'Taxi' is now critically dead


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He died this morning. Some might say he died years ago and it just took this long for his body to accept it. Oh well, say no to drugs kids!



Jeff Conaway, who gained fame from his roles in the film "Grease" and the TV series "Taxi" before succumbing to substance abuse that landed him on reality shows dealing with rehabilitation ("Celebrity Rehab" and "Celebrity Fit Club"), is in critical condition following an apparent overdose.

Family members of Conaway, 60, said he has been hospitalized at Encino Hospital Medical Center with pneumonia and is unconscious.

Conaway became a star in 1978 when he costarred with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in the hit movie musical "Grease." He played Kenickie, the swaggering but sensitive member of the T-Birds gang who was the confidant of leader Danny Zuko (Travolta).

He then made a splash as struggling-actor-turned-taxi-driver Bobby Wheeler in the popular sitcom "Taxi," which debuted in 1978. The actor left the show in the fourth season, apparently due to clashes and creative differences on the set.

Even though he went on to other series and movies, including a regular role on the sci-fi series "Babylon 5," Conaway was never able to match his earlier stardom. And in recent years, his troubles with substance abuse have been extensively documented on reality television. "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" on VH1 found Conaway seeking treatment for addiction to cocaine, painkillers and alcohol. He also had a back problem due to an injury, which made it increasingly difficult for him to walk. Conaway became one of Dr. Drew Pinsky's most agitated patients, repeatedly threatening to quit and refusing to give up his co-dependent relationship with his girlfriend.


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This is not surprising at all. Don't hold your breath at him kicking his addiction. He doesn't act like he wants to. He has to help himself first (meaning wanting to get off the stuff). Sad that he's turned out like this, but like I said, not surprising.

Agreed. Hard for me to be sympathetic to a man who has had as much help as Jeff Conaway and still refuses to exercise the necessary discipline to change his life. Not only does he get repeated rehabs for free, he actually gets paid handsomely to attend plush, full-care, long-term facilities that Dr. Drew offers. I know a few hard core drug and/or alcohol addicts who would love to get the opportunities and attention Jeff has had.

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Jeff Conaway remained in a Los Angeles hospital Sunday with what a visitor said was a dangerous case of pneumonia and sepsis.

Addiction expert Dr. Drew Pinsky said on Twitter he visited the star of the television series "Taxi" Friday night and learned he had not overdosed on drugs.

"He is stable and looks like he will recover from his pneumonia," Pinsky tweeted. "Not an OD like press is alleging and certainly not dead."

Conaway has had a long history of drug abuse, which a source told CNN apparently prevented him from realizing he was sick until he lapsed into unconsciousness.

The source said Conaway came close to dying and was in a crucial period at the unidentified hospital.

Conaway, whose credits also include "Babylon 5" and the film "Grease," was featured on Pinsky's "Celebrity Rehab" series in 2008, Access Hollywood said.

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I met him in 1988 in an elevator at the Sheraton Centre Hotel on 52nd Street in NYC. I was coming down from the top floor and he got on at something like the 40th floor. He was a mess. I knew who he was but figured I wouldn't do the whole celeb thing. I asked him how it was going and he told me he was pissed off by all the construction noise (on the 40th floor - really?) and was going to the front desk to complain. He was wearing a bathrobe, pajamas and slippers. Just before we got out at the lobby he said "I mean, I can't sleep with all that noise man!!!"

It was about 3PM.

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