Taxi, Grease Star Jeff Conaway Dead

He battled drug and alcohol addiction for years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 27, 2011 3:02 PM CDT
Jeff Conaway in 2009.   (Chris Pizzello)
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(Newser) – Jeff Conaway, who starred in the sitcom Taxi, played swaggering Kenickie in the movie musical Grease, and publicly battled drug and alcohol addiction on Celebrity Rehab, died today. He was 60. The actor was taken off life support yesterday and died this morning at Encino Tarzana Medical Center, according to one of his managers, Kathryn Boole. He was taken to the hospital unconscious on May 11 and placed in a medically induced coma while being treated for pneumonia and sepsis, which is blood poisoning caused by a bacterial infection.

Conaway had been treating himself with pain pills and cold medicine while in weakened health. Family members, including his sisters, nieces, and nephews and his minister, were with him when he died, Boole said. "It's sad that people remember his struggle with drugs," she said. "He has touched so many people. ... We respected him as an artist and loved him as a friend." Click for more on Conaway.

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