Grease star Jeff Conaway fighting for life after painkiller overdose
Grease star Kenickie fighting for life after painkiller overdose
2:51 PM on 19th May 2011
Grease star Jeff Conaway is in a deep coma after taking an overdose of painkillers, it has emerged.
The actor, who played T-Bird Kenickie in the classic 1978 film, is unlikely to survive, according to his manager.
Conaway has been in a California hospital for a week after being found unconscious on the floor of his Encino home on May 11.
Painkiller overdose: Jeff Conaway, far left, with Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing in Grease, is in a deep coma in a California hospital
His manager Kathryn Boole told MailOnline: “The doctors are not optimistic and he is fighting for life right now.
“We”re hoping he will pull through, but he is still in a coma”.
Phil Brock, another member of the star”s management team, told RadarOnline: “These could be his final moments.
“He slightly moved his head three days ago but since, there’s been no sign he’ll recover.”
The 60-year-old actor has been battling a long-time addiction to booze and drugs.
Fighting his demons: The star appeared on U.S. reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr.Drew in which he spoke about his battle with drug addiction in 2008
Ms Boole also told MailOnline that Conaway”s addiction to painkillersstems from back injuries he sustained while performing in Grease on Broadway in the 1970s.
She said she had pleaded with him to beat his addiction and added the star wanted to turn his life around and quit drugs.
Asked about reports that it was a suicide attempt, Ms Boole said: “I have heard those reports, but I would be highly surprised. He is not thesort of person who would intentionally take his own life.”
T-Bird: Jeff Conaway in his most famous role as Kenickie in Grease
At the time of the overdose he was still recovering from a near-fatal fall at his Los Angeles home last year.
Conaway had to undergo emergency surgery after he fractured his neck and broke his hip in the fall in January 2010.
He is best known for his role as Kenickie in Grease in which he starred alongside John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.
His character was second-in-command of the Rydell High School boys” gang with Danny, played by Travolta, as the leader.
Kenickieasks Danny to be his right-hand man at a race between him and Leo, thepockmarked leader of the T-Birds rival gang the Scorpions. But he isknocked unconscious just as the race is about to start and Danny stepsin to replace him.
Conaway is also known for his part in the US comedy series Taxi, in which hestarred as out-of-work actor Bobby Wheeler from 1978 to 1981.
In 1980, he married Olivia Newton-John”s sister Rona, but the couple, who have a son called Emerson, divorced five years later.
During that decade, Conaway was treated for a substance abuse problem which again became a problem in the mid-2000s.
In 2008 he signed up for Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew and spoke candidly about his addictions to cocaine, alcohol, and painkillers.
Healso took courses from the Church of Scientology to cope with hisproblems after Travolta came to his aid, but is believed to havestruggled recently with his addictions.
His life has been marred by personal problems too. He was recently involved in a court battle with ex-fiancee Vikki Lizzi who he accused of injecting himwith painkillers and planting cocaine in the LA home they shared.
Lizzi has claimed Conoway punched her in the face while she was driving and threatened to kill her.