"Grease" and "Taxi" actor Jeff Conaway dies at 60

Fri May 27, 2011 4:19pm EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Actor Jeff Conaway, best known for his roles in the movie "Grease" and the 1970s TV series "Taxi", died on Friday at the aged of 60, his manager said.

Conaway, who had a history of addictions to drug, alcohol and prescription painkillers, was hospitalized two weeks ago after being found unconscious in his Los Angeles area home.

At the time, he was also suffering from pneumonia and sepsis and was recovering from a recent back surgery.

Those factors, coupled with the effects of long-term addiction, meant he never regained consciousness.

The actor's manager Phil Brock said his family took him off life support on Thursday and he died on Friday morning, surrounded by his sisters, nieces and nephews.

Conaway found fame when he starred as the wise-cracking teen Kenickie in the 1978 film musical "Grease," alongside John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

He also became a television regular for playing Wheeler, a cab driver, on the hit comedy "Taxi."

"We lost someone that we loved on a personal basis," Brock told Reuters on Friday. "We tried to guide him through his struggles. We know that right now, someone in heaven is getting a hickey from Kenickie."   Continued...