The New Stuff

L.A. Coroner Confirms Drugs Killed Actor Jeff Conaway


LOS ANGELES, Calif. –Actor Jeff Conaway’s death in May was the result of an accidental overdose that was complicated by pulmonary problems, the Los Angeles coroner said in a written statement.

Conaway, who had a history of drug abuse had been hospitalized for weeks prior to his death on May 27th.

Los Angeles County coroner Craig Harvey told the Associated Press that they could not conduct a toxicology test because a blood sample was not obtained in time.

However, when Conaway was admitted to a Los Angeles-area hospital on May 10, a drug screen revealed opiates, and other drugs present in his system.

The former “Taxi” star was put into a medically induced coma and died a week later after being taken off life support, according to The New York Daily News.

The 60-year-old actor discussed his addiction struggles as part of the VH1 reality series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2008. Conaway was team captain for season 3 of the cable outlet’s Celebrity Fit Club in 2006 but left after three episodes to enter rehab.

Conaway big acting break came when he was cast as vain actor/cab driver Bobby on the hit television show “Taxi.” He was nominated for Golden Globes in 1979 and`80 but left the show after the third season, though he returned to guest-star in two episodes during season 4.

The actor’s breakout role came in 1978, when he was cast alongside actors John Travolta and Olivia Newton John in the film adaptation of “Grease.” Playing the part of the slick-haired foil Kenickie, who recognized that his hickies were as valuable as Hallmark cards, Conaway’s role in the film propelled him into to America’s consciousness and forever immortalized him as Kenickie.

Conaway, who was married to Rona Newton-John, Olivia’s sister, in the early `80s, is survived by wife Kerri Young Conaway, sisters Shreve and Michele Goffin, and stepson Emerson.

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