Grease star Jeff Conaway"s family "decide to turn off life support machine"
Grease star Jeff Conaway”s family “decide to turn off life support machine”
9:36 PM on 26th May 2011
Losing battle: Jeff Conaway”s family are said to be turning off his life support machine today
Grease star Jeff Conaway”s family have decided to turn off his life support machine, according to reports.
The 60-year-old actor, who famously played Kenickie in the hit 1978 film, has been in a deep coma after taking an overdose of painkillers.
Conaway”s family, who have kept a vigil at the Los Angeles hospital over the past two weeks, have been told by doctors that the star is losing his battle to live, according to Radar Online.
“Doctors advised the family that Jeff has had no brain function since hewas brought into the hospital,” a source close to the situation told the website.
“The feeding tube has already been removed. The ventilator which is breathing for Jeff, will be removed sometime this afternoon.”
“No measures will be made to try and revive him once the breathing tube is removed,” the source said.
The actor has been in a coma since he was found unconscious on the floor of his Encino home on May 11, for what was thought to be a prescription drug overdose.
He is not thought to be in any pain.
“Jeff has remained unconscious and is unaware of what is going on,” the source added.
Fighting his demons: Jeff Conaway, who played Kenickie in Grease, is in a deep coma in a California hospital. He is seen here on U.S. reality show Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in which he spoke about his battle with drug addiction in 2008
DrDrew Pinsky, who treated Conaway on Celebrity Rehab, told the website that the actor was suffering from pneumonia and sepsis, a severe illnessin which the bloodstream is overwhelmed by bacteria, and had slipped into a coma.
Hopes had not been high for the actor”s recovery, with his spokesman Phil Brock saying on Wednesday that Conaway was showing no improvement.
“He is still unconscious, ventilated and intubated,” Brock told E! News.
The 60-year-old actor has been battling a long-time addiction to booze and drugs, with his battles with substance abuse said to date back to the 1980s.
His manager Kathryn Boole told MailOnline last week: “The doctors are not optimistic and he is fighting for life right now.
Overdose: Conaway (far left, with Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing) starred in the classic 1978 movie Grease
T-Bird: Jeff Conaway in his famous role
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.”
At the time of the overdose he was still recovering from a near-fatal fall at his Los Angeles home lastyear.
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.