Jeff Conaway, best known for his 1978 role as Kenickie in the hit movie “Grease” died Friday morning, surrounded by his sisters, nieces and nephews.
The actor was also widely known for his character Wheeler in hit comedy show “Taxi”.
Conaway had a long history of addictions to drug, alcohol and prescription painkillers. The extent of his addiction was made public with his appearance in a 2008 series of “Celebrity Rehab.”
However, his troubles had started long before then. Conaway’s manager Phil Brock commented on Conaway’s rough childhood. “When he was 7 years old, his grand-mother let him taste the moonshine she made in her bathtub; when he was 10 and a child actor, his dad took all his money and ran away. Later, Jeff had the world in his hand and would find ways to destroy it.”
Two weeks ago, he was hospitalized after being found unconscious in his home. At the time, he had been suffering from pneumonia, sepsis and was recovering from a recent back surgery. It is understood that because of the impact of his long term addictions, he never regained consciousness.
In response to Conaway’s passing, Brock commented: “Putting aside his demons, Jeff is the nicest, kindest, gentlest soul. He’s a wonderful man, which makes it doubly sad that he is unable to conquer drugs. As a human being, he’s the person who’d literally give the shirt off his back for someone.”