Friday, May 27, 2011

Jeff Conaway

Jeff Conaway died today at the age of 60. Jeffrey Charles William Michael Conaway was born on October 5, 1950 and was best known for his roles in the movie Grease and the US television series Taxi and Babylon 5. He also directed the 1992 film Bikini Summer II. Conaway began acting on Broadway at age two. He appeared in the play All the Way Home in 1960. He attended North Carolina School of the Arts. He is best known for playing Kenickie in the 1978 motion picture musical Grease and for his role on the television series Taxi, where he played cocky, vain, struggling actor Bobby Wheeler from 1978 to 1981. He was nominated for a Golden Globe Award in 1978 for his role as Wheeler. Conaway left Taxi after the third season. Taxi writer Sam Simon recalled in 2008 that during production of Simon's first script for that show, an absent Conaway was found in his dressing room too high on drugs to perform, and that his dialog for that episode was divided up between fellow co-stars Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd. This contributed to Conaway's eventual firing. Conaway starred in the short-lived 1983 fantasy-spoof series, Wizards and Warriors. He appeared in an early episode of Murder, She Wrote and three more episodes later in the series. He made an appearance in the film, Jawbreaker, as the father of one of the teenage girls. In 1988, he appeared as a sleazy henchman in, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark. From 1989-1990, he was cast on The Bold and the Beautiful, in the role of "Mick Savage." In 1993, he appeared onstage in Real Life Photographs.

From 1994-1999, he played earnest and naive Sergeant Zack Allan, on Babylon 5 (seasons two through five and three telefilms). He made guest appearances on such shows as Barnaby Jones and George and Leo. He also appeared in the Disney film Pete's Dragon. In 2001, he was an F.B.I. agent in the film, Do You Wanna Know a Secret?.

After experiencing a crisis in the mid-1980s, Conaway came to grips with the fact that he had a substance abuse problem. He underwent treatment in the late '80s and often spoke candidly about his addictions.By the mid-2000s however, he had relapsed. Conaway appeared in VH1's Celebrity Fit Club, but was forced to leave and entered rehab. In early 2008 Conaway appeared with other celebrities in the VH1 reality series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. The show revealed that Conaway was addicted to cocaine, alcohol, and painkillers, and in a co-dependent relationship with his girlfriend Vikki, also a user of prescription opiates. Conaway had suffered a back injury earlier in his career on the set of Grease while filming the "Greased Lightning" scene, which had been exacerbated more recently as a result of lifting boxes in his home.

Conaway's appearance on the show's first and second seasons drew much attention due to his severely crippled state, his constant threats of leaving the facility and his frequent inability to speak clearly. Upon arrival at the Pasadena Recovery Center (which was filmed as part of Celebrity Rehab's first episode) Conaway, using a wheelchair, arrived drunk, mumbling to Dr. Drew that the night previous he had binged on cocaine and Jack Daniel's whiskey.

During the second episode of Celebrity Rehab's first season, Conaway, fed up with his dorsalgia, withdrawal symptoms and the humiliation of having to be assisted while using the toilet, told Dr. Pinsky that he was thinking of killing himself. After Pinsky asked him to elaborate upon how he would carry out a suicidal act, Conaway glared at the mirror in his room and said "I see myself breaking that mirror and slicing my **** throat with it." During group sessions, Conaway revealed "torture" from his childhood, as older boys in his neighborhood would put him into dangerous situations, tying him up and threatening him. When he was seven years old, he was a victim of pedophiles and child pornographers. Conaway stated that he had been an addict since he was a teenager.

With John Travolta's support, Conaway took courses and auditing from the Church of Scientology to cope with his drug problem and depression,[10] although he did not intend to become a Scientologist.

In June 2009, Conaway and Vikki joined Celebrity Rehab cast mate Mary Carey at the premier of her spoof flick Celebrity Pornhab with Dr. Screw. Dr. Drew said that he was saddened by the situation.

In August 2009 Conaway was interviewed by Entertainment Tonight. In the interview, the actor claimed he was much better after a fifth back operation, and that he had yet to use painkillers again. He also discussed unscrupulous doctors and enablers.

In March 2010, shortly after the death of actor Corey Haim, Conaway told E! News that he had warned Haim about dying due to prescription drug abuse.

On May 11, 2011, Conaway was found unconscious from what was initially described as an overdose of what was believed to be pain medication, and was taken to Encino Tarzana Medical Center in Encino, California, where he was listed as being in critical condition and in a coma. After the initial reports, Dr. Drew Pinsky, who had treated Conaway for substance abuse, said the actor was suffering not from a drug overdose but rather from "pneumonia with sepsis", for which he was placed into an induced coma.

Instead of a quote I'll play this clip because I love Bobby's reaction when Jim is taking the test. Sadly it seemed that Jeff turned into Jim.

Good Night Jeff Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
Post a Comment