Four months after his death, the results of an autopsy performed on actor and Celebrity Rehab star Jeff Conaway have been released. L.A. County Coroner Craig Harvey has declared that Conaway’s death at the age of 60 was accidental and caused by a major internal infection. Harvey said that a toxicology test was not performed because Conaway had been hospitalized for weeks prior to his death and his blood would not have shown signs of drug use.
Conaway was admitted to the hospital on May 10 and spent two weeks in a coma before passing away on May 27, 2011.
[Photo: Getty Images]
Radar Online reports that Jeff Conaway was given a private memorial service on Tuesday in Encino, California, and many of his close friends and former so-stars were in attendance.
Attendees included Conaway’s former fiancee Vikki Lizzi, his Taxi co-star Christopher Lloyd, actors Corey Feldman and Ron Jeremy, and fellow Celebrity Rehab patients Amber Smith, Mary Carey. The service included a performance from The Temptations, who sang “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye” in Conaway’s honor. One guest told Radar “there wasn’t a dry eye in the house” during the service.
Conaway passed away on May 27 at the age of 60 and will be greatly missed.
Jeff Conaway‘s struggles with addiction and poor health tended to overshadow his acting talent toward the end of his life, but he wasn’t without his admirers who remember him for his huge talent and bigger heart. Over the weekend, several of his celebrity friends and former co-stars spoke out to honor Conaway, who passed away on Friday, May 27 a day after doctors removed him from life support after he fell into a coma.
Conaway’s sister, Carla Shreve, told TMZ that his Grease co-star John Travolta sent flowers and food to the family and Travolta released a statement that called Conaway “a wonderful and decent man.” Olivia Newton-John, who was not only Conaway’s co-star but his sister-in-law for five years also paid her respects, saying “Jeff had a good heart and was so very talented. He was a big part of our family for many years and he will be missed.”
Marilu Henner, who kept a bedside vigil for Conaway in his last days, starred with the actor on Taxi. “He reminded me of one of my brothers and I reminded him of one his sisters, so we had a real family bond,” she said. Fellow Taxi actor Danny DeVito called Conaway “a good man,” and said “I will always think of him fondly and of our days together with the Taxi family. Finally he’s at peace.”
In a longer interview, Celebrity Rehab star Dr. Drew Pinsky revealed an inside look at Conaway’s struggles with his childhood and his addictions. After the jump, read what the good doctor had to say about Conaway’s traumatic life and the way that the man “lit up the lives” of those around him.
Sad news to report today, actor Jeff Conaway has died at the age of 60. Conaway had been in a coma since May 11, when he was found unconscious in his home.
Dr. Drew Pinsky, who worked with Conaway as he battled addiction on Celebrity Rehab, disclosed that Conaway has been suffering from pneumonia and sepsis, and while in the hospital he was reliant on a feeding tube and a ventilator. His condition continued to deteriorate and his family chose to turn off his life support on May 26 after doctors pronounced him brain dead.
Conaway was best known for his roles in Taxi and Grease, as well for his appearances on Celebrity Rehab. It’s a tragic loss for his family, as well as the VH1 family. A VH1 spokesman just gave us this statement: ”We’re all saddened by the news of Jeff’s passing. His incredible talent and passion will be greatly missed. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.”
Actor Jeff Conaway remains hospitalized in a coma after an apparent overdose, reportedly of pain medication which he took to recover from back surgery.
Tawny Kitaen, who starred with Conaway on season two of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew knows the dangers of addiction herself and expressed her concern for Conaway, knowing the pain he was in as a result of his surgery. In a statement to the Washington Post she said “He has been battling this for such a long time. I saw first hand the 16 metal bolts he had going up his spine. He was in so much pain from his numerous back surgeries. I can’t imagine he could ever live without pain medication.” Kitaen continued, saying that Conaway “has a wonderful sense of humor and never took himself too seriously.” We wish Conaway the best and hopes he makes a full recovery from this.
Anyone who watched either of the first two seasons of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew recognizes that Jeff Conaway, who rose to fame in the 1970s thanks to his work in Grease and on Taxi, has a serious addiction to pain killers. This morning, it appears that his addiction has landed him in some life-threatening straits. TheWrap.com is reporting that Conaway is currently comatose in the Encino Hospital Medical Center, following an unspecified drug overdose last week.
You may recall that Conaway broke his hip in January last year after falling down a stairwell in his Los Angeles home. It is unclear what kind of medicine that he was prescribed to recover from that injury, but considering Conaway’s lengthy history of abuse, he looks to have a difficult road to recovery. There is a spot of promising news in all of this, though: According to his rep, Conaway moved his head four days ago, which is considered a promising sign. We here at VH1 wish Jeff the best of luck and have our fingers crossed that he makes a full recovery. In a statement released today, Dr. Drew also expressed his concern, saying “I am deeply saddened to learn of Jeff’s condition. My thoughts and prayers are with Jeff and his family.”