"Grease" actor Jeff Conaway critical after overdose

Thu May 19, 2011 3:24pm EDT
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Jeff Conaway, former star of the film "Grease" and the 1970s TV series "Taxi" has been hospitalized due to an apparent overdose of painkillers.

Conaway's manager Phil Brock said on Thursday the actor was in "critical but stable condition" at a Los Angeles area hospital and was "unconscious and unresponsive".

The 60-year-old actor, who has a history of addiction to cocaine, alcohol and prescription painkillers, was found unconscious at his home last week by a friend and may have been there for about 10 hours before being discovered.

Conway has yet to come to although he did turn his head briefly last Sunday, Brock said.

Brock said the actor was suffering from pneumonia and was already sick at the time of the overdose.

Conaway's troubles with addiction were documented in 2008 on the TV series "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew".

Brock said that prior to the overdose, his client "had been despondent in the last two months due to a girlfriend situation, but a week and a half ago he was much more upbeat."

Conaway was also recovering from back surgery, which hindered his ability to stand. But he recently made an appearance at an autograph show in southern California where he was able to stand and interact with fans.

"That was a positive point for him," said Brock.   Continued...