The manager of Jeff Conaway, who starred in the movie “Grease” and the TV series “Taxi,” announced the actor’s death on Friday morning. Phil Brock, Conaway’s manager, shared that the actor had been in a medically-induced coma for two weeks, at a hospital in Encino, California. He had been suffering from pneumonia and sepsis in the weeks leading up to his death.
Brock said the following of Conaway: “He was the consummate performer and entertainer… We’re thankful his struggles are over, but we know he will be missed by legions of fans worldwide.” The actor was taken off life support on Thursday afternoon, surrounded by his family.
A feature on CNN.com shared that Conaway’s death has been attributed to pneumonia. However, Dr. Drew Pinsky, who treated Conaway for prescription drug abuse, said that his addiction also played a role in his demise.
Pinsky spoke during a taping for his show, “Dr. Drew,” on HLN: “Jeff was a severe, severe opiate addict with chronic pain, one of the most serious and dangerous combination of problems you could possibly interact with… The pain seemed to be motivating him back to the opiates, and I told him for years that it was going to kill him.”
Conaway had appeared on the reality show, “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” in 2008. Conaway had been struggling with alcoholism and drug abuse.
John Travolta, Conaway’s co-star in “Grease,” said the following upon receiving news of Conaway’s passing: “Jeff Conaway was a wonderful and decent man and we will miss him. My heartfelt thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this very difficult time.”