Jeff Conaway of Taxi fame dies at 60

By Alexandra Heilbron on May 27, 2011 | 9 Comments

Jeff Conaway, who played Bobby Wheeler on the sitcom Taxi and was Kenicki in the hit 1978 musical Grease opposite John Travolta, died today at the age of 60 in Los Angeles. He’d struggled with drug and alcohol addictions for years and had been in a medically-induced coma at Encino Tarzana Medical Center since being found unconscious following an apparent overdose of painkillers at his home on May 11. Conaway appeared in 2008 on Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew and said that his addiction to painkillers was due to numerous back surgeries. Also in 2008, during an appearance on Howard Stern’s radio show, he admitted to having attempted suicide 21 times, usually with pills. During his time on Taxi, he was twice nominated for Golden Globe awards. Conaway was married and divorced three times and leaves behind a sister and a stepson.

Comments & Discussion

  1. Tracy • May 27, 2011 @ 4:54 PM

    Peace to Jeff.
    It has been a long time coming and sadly now his inability to stop self-medicating has taken a gifted actor who publically fought his addiction(s) RIP

  2. Angela • May 27, 2011 @ 4:54 PM

    Sad news. RIP.

  3. Rita • May 27, 2011 @ 6:57 PM

    He looks like he’s a nice, I mean was a Nice person. How many deaths is it going to take B4 people realize, that each person’s precious body will Not allow drugs to be integrated into their Pure cells and organs, etc. They just damage your body slowly/very slowly till their organs stop functioning!

    This is very unfortunate that it happened! It proves that all pain killers should be made from a Natural source. Its just a no brainer! Fortunately there is a product made like that. My condolances to his sister and stepson!

  4. TheTruth • May 28, 2011 @ 12:40 AM

    Pure organ quackery or not, people suffering from infections still need antibiotics. People suffering from diabetes still need insulin shots. People suffering from post surgery still need some morphine to cope with the pain. Morphine is made from a natural source, but it can still be abused and cause death. Taking medication isn’t the problem, taking it without any sense of moderation is. You can go 100% natural all you want, but taking too much of something like vitamin-A will still kill you too.

    Bobby was a playa, RIP Mr.Conaway.

  5. A • May 28, 2011 @ 7:27 AM

    How did he get so ill any way that his body did not heal up from some back pain so he had no choice in the end it was a vicisious cycle of taking many pills just to function with the pain….something tells me with out knowing much other than that he was one of the dudes on my favorite movie of all time Grease, that he may of been in wrong crowd really way back in life, and that did not lead him to a more healthy or positve lifestlye..and got extremely run down..
    rest in peace Jeff ,

  6. OSCAR MAN • May 28, 2011 @ 8:01 AM


  7. C-Dub • May 28, 2011 @ 10:47 AM

    Grease was the best and always will be (yes it is to all you Burlesque or Moulan Rouge lovers out there), and he was huge intergral part in it. And Taxi was hilarious ensamble. Too bad he is no longer around. Another life wasted to drugs and alcohol. Prescription or otherwise, monitored moderation is key. I do agree with Rita on a point that people need to realize. Wake up. Stop with the bad things. And the phrase ‘well we are all going to die sometime..’ is a cop out stupid comment. I know a guy who said that and when death came knocking and it hurt real bad and ended up in the hospital and was going to miss his son growing up, he changed his tune real quick!
    RIP Jeff, at least you left a funny and memorable legacy.

  8. Marilyn • May 28, 2011 @ 4:32 PM

    I watched his struggle and I am so sorry to hear of his demise. Another wonderful life lost to drugs. Very Sad

  9. Helen • May 30, 2011 @ 9:12 AM

    Very sad news, rest in peace.

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