TV star Jeff Conaway, famous for his roles in Taxi and Babylon 5, was quietly taken to an Encino, California hospital several days ago and is now in a coma, apparently the victim of a drug overdose. Conaway, who had struggled with his career as well as with drug abuse problems over the years, joined the cast of Celebrity Rehab in 2008 and became one of Dr. Drew’s most cantankerous and emotional patients, frequently threatening to leave treatment. Conaway also appeared on Celebrity Fit Club. According to E!, he suffered health problems from a fall he took last year while allegedly under the influence of methadone and OxyContin. The injury made it difficult for him to walk, and he was frequently seen with a cane.
Ex-girlfriend Vicki Lizzi, in the midst of a blizzard of lawsuits and countersuits and restraining orders, with lurid accusations from Conaway that she had planted cocaine and injected him with drugs to set him up with police, told Radar: “...what this thing is all about, is the fact that he’s on so many pain meds that it’s affecting his mental state, all these things that he’s making up.[...]The reason I got the restraining order is because he came at me with a hammer and scared the living daylights out of me…. He’s just a loose cannon.”
Family members were reportedly at the hospital, and would only say that Conaway, 60, had been hospitalized for pneumonia and was now unconscious. Doctors could not say when or whether they expected the actor to regain consciousness, and his prognosis remains unclear. AP speculated that the overdose might have been due to pain pills.