Jeff Conaway brain dead, to be taken off life support
The family of Jeff Conaway, star of "Taxi" and "Grease," has decided to take the actor off life support after doctors have deemed him brain dead following his battle with pneumonia and sepsis in a hospital, OnTheRedCarpet.com has learned.
UPDATE at 3 p.m. ET: Jeff Conaway has died.
The 60-year-old actor was rushed to a Los Angeles-area hospital on May 11 and was put in a medically-induced coma while doctors worked to treat his ailments.
On Thursday, his family decided to remove him from life support after doctors said there was no hope for recovery.
"We do not know if Jeff is still breathing right now," Conaway's spokesperson told OnTheRedCarpet.com on Friday, May 27 when asked if he was taken off life support. "We are awaiting word as well."
Doctors had said the actor has had no brain function since he was hospitalized and that it had been decided that no attempts to revive him would be made after his breathing tube is removed, the spokesperson confirmed.
Conaway's ex-girlfriend Vikki Lizzi has been trying to stop Conaway's family from taking him off life support, according to a RadarOnline.com report that she posted on her Facebook page.
"Am on my way to a beautiful cathedral to say prayers for Jeff," she wrote. "Please pray with me. Thank you to everyone."
Earlier reports had said Conaway had been hospitalized after suffering an overdose, which Dr. Drew Pinsky, who treated Conaway on the reality show "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew," has denied.
Conaway has battled addictions to cocaine, alcohol and prescription painkillers since he was a teenager and talked about his struggles on the reality series in 2008.
Pinsky had said on May 21 that Conaway's condition was "still considered critical with #sepsis. Many people die from septic shock."
Conaway was also hospitalized in January 2010 after falling down a staircase in his Los Angeles home. He broke his hip and arm, fractured his back and suffered a brain hemorrhage.
Conaway played Kenickie, a member of the T-Birds clique and friend to John Travolta's Danny in the 1978 musical film "Grease" and portrayed Bobby Wheeler on the television show "Taxi," which also starred late comedian Andy Kaufman and ran between 1978 and 1983.
In recent years, Conaway recorded music with Lizzi. On Sunday, she posted a video on her Facebook page of what she said was the pair's last musical performance together, from Dec 4, 2010. Check out the video below.