Update: Dr. Drew Pinsky said on his Twitter that Jeff Conaway is in a medically induced coma and that there is no evidence to support reports that the actor intentionally overdosed. “Just visited Jeff Conaway. He is stable & looks like he will recover from his pneumonia. Not an OD like press is alleging & certainly not dead.”
“Taxi” and “Grease” star Jeff Conaway is in a coma following a possible overdose from pain pills, the Associated Press reports. Conaway’s manager said the actor was found unconscious on May 11 and is currently in critical condition at an unnamed hospital in Encino, Calif.
Conaway’s struggle with addiction was played out for the world to see on Season 2 of VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.” The actor attributes his abuse of alcohol and drugs to childhood sexual abuse and chronic pain stemming from a back injury, according to his VH1 bio.
“I am deeply saddened to learn of Jeff’s condition,” Dr. Drew Pinsky said in a statement. “My thoughts and prayers are with Jeff and his family.”
Model and actress Tawny Kitaen, who appeared with Conaway on the same season of “Celebrity Rehab,” called the actor “a very lovable guy.”
“He has been battling this for such a long time,” Kitaen said in a statement to the Post. “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 said Conaway “has a wonderful sense of humor and never took himself too seriously.”