Saturday, May 28, 2011

Grease & Taxi Star Jeff Conaway Dies

Grease star Jeff Conaway dies at 60.
In the summer of 1978, I was five.  I remember we (my parents, aunts and uncles) were spending the weekend at my grandparent's Catskills summer house in upstate New York. Grease was like the biggest movie during the summer of 1978. I wish I could say this was the very first film I'd ever seen in the theater, but it wasn't. We saw Starwars in 1977 and I was bored to tears.

Yesterday, we learned Grease star Jeff Conaway -- he played Kenickie -- died at age 60. Conaway died of pneumonia. It was no secret that Jeff had an addiction to pain killers. He suffered from pain due to an accident and relied heavily on his pain medication.

Jeff Conaway's dependence on pain killers was such a struggle, he told Howard Stern he tried to commit suicide 21 times. We had watched Conaway decline on VH1's Celebrity Fit Club and Celebrity Rehab. We watched him grow close to celebrity therapist Dr. Drew and hoped he'd somehow kick his intense, relentless addiction.

It's especially sad for me to see another actor from my childhood gone. Grease was a special movie for me as a kid in the 1970s. I joked for years about how the only reason I agreed to see this "grown up movie" was because of the carnival scene below. At age five, I couldn't keep my eyes open long enough to catch it. I cried the entire ride home because I slept through what I deemed as my only reason for seeing Grease

View the famous Grease "We Go Together" carnival scene here:

Then of course there was Jeff Conaway in the hit show Taxi. I loved Taxi. What kid in the late 1970s didn't? Conaway was perfect as struggling actor and cab driver, Bobby Wheeler. He was tall, handsome and so very  New York.  My condolences to Jeff's family and friends. His struggle and pain are over. RIP Jeff! We will always remember you as the wisecracking Kenickie and adorable Bobby.

View a scene from Taxi staring Jeff Conaway as Bobby.


Ms. A said...

Oh, my, I hadn't heard this. said...

That's very sad. He was awesome. Nice tribute, Ally.

Ada said...

My brother adores Grease (go figure) and he would be devastated.

Kicking Rocks said...

may he rest in peace. He was probably suffering in that coma.

Following and supporting.

~ Noelle said...

I LOVED Grease... and was so sad to hear this...
"a hickey from kinicky!"


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