EXPIRED: 05/11/11 – Jeff Conaway, 60, was a heartthrob. Then he lost heart. Then his heart stopped.
He shot to fame as Kenickie in the movie adaptation of the Broadway musical “Grease” in 1978, costarring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. After “Grease,” Conaway went on to become Bobby Wheeler, a struggling actor-turned-cab driver on the TV hit “Taxi.” He tried his hand at singing and when he decided he was too big for the show, he left it. It hurt his career.
That wasn’t the only ain he was in though. Decades later he appeared on appeared on “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,” there to treat his addiction to painkillers. These appearances showed what was left of his fans how far he had spiraled.
“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,” said Dr. Drew Pinsky.
While pneumonia was the cause of death, the doctor who treated him for drug addiction for years says it was his dependence on prescription painkillers that eventually cost him his life. The actor had been in a medically induced coma before being removed from life support.