Celebrity deaths in 2011

Slideshow posted in Photos | Monday, January 03, 2011

43 of 84: Jeff Conaway, star of 'Taxi' and 'Grease,' died on May 27, 2011 at age 60 after he was taken off life support following a battle with pneumonia and sepsis in a hospital The 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 May 26, Conaway's family decided to remove him from life support. 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, his spokesperson said.

It was reported that he had suffered a prescription drug overdose but Dr. Drew Pinsky, who treated the actor on his reality show 'Celebrity Rehab,' denied this.

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. Conaway was also hospitalized in January 2010 after falling down a staircase in his 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 the 1990s, Conaway appeared on the sci-fi series 'Babylon 5' as Zack Allan. In recent years, he appeared in small film projects. Before his death, he was working on a thriller called 'Human Factor,' which features 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' actress Charisma Carpenter, Eric Roberts and Sean Patrick Flanery.

Conaway was married twice - first to Rona Newton-John, sister of the actor's "Grease" co-star Olivia Newton-John, between 1980 and 1985. He married his second wife, Kerri Young, in 1990. The two later separated. The actor has no children of his own.

Conaway also performed and recorded music with Vikki Lizzi, his then-girlfriend.

(Pictured: Jeff Conaway appears in a scene from 'Grease' in 1978. / Jeff Conaway appears on 'Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew' in 2008.) (VH1)