Jeffrey Charles William Michael Conaway was born on the 5th October 1950 in New York City, New York, and died on the 27th May 2011 in Encino, California, USA and was an actor, known for his performances in the movie “Grease” (1978) as well as in the television series “Taxi” (1978 – 1983) and “Babylon 5” (1993 – 1995). In 1992, he directed the film “Bikini Summer II”. Jeff was active in the entertainment industry from 1971 to 2011.
How rich was the actor? It has been reported by authoritative sources that the overall size of Jeff Conaway’s net worth was as much as $750,000, converted to the present day. Films and television were the major sources of Conaway’s wealth.
Jeff Conaway Net Worth $750,000
To begin with, the boy grew up in Astoria Flushing; later, their family moved to Forest Hills, Queens. Jeff began his artistic career on Broadway at the age of two, then from 11 years of age, he was nominated for Tony Award, at that time apparently appearing on stage over 300 times per year. Jeff was educated at the Quintano School for Young Professionals, and later enrolled at the North Carolina School of the Arts. He graduated from the New York University.
It should be said that from 1972 to 1980 he starred in the Broadway musical “Grease” as Kenicki and also in “The News” (1985). In addition to his performances on the stage, Jeff Conaway landed a number of roles for cinema and television screens. On the big screen, he appeared for the first time in the comedy “Jennifer on My Mind” (1971) starring Robert De Niro and Barry Bostwick, actually a complete financial flop. After several guest appearances in television series, including CBS’ “Kojak” (1978), the actor played the character of Kenickie in the movie Grease (1978), with John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. From 1978 to 1982, he starred in the sitcom “Taxi” aired on NBC, and for the role of Bobby Wheeler, Conaway was twice nominated for Golden Globe Awards as the Best Supporting Actor, Comedy or Musical Series as well as winning the Medallion Award. Then, he appeared as Mick Savage in the soap opera aired on CBS “The Bold and the Beautiful (1989 – 1990), and then in the sci-fi series “Babylon 5” (1994 – 1998) as Zack Allan. He was both the director and scriptwriter of “Bikini Summer II” (1992). Afterwards, he appeared in a number of films, among others “Do You Wanna Know a Secret?” (2001), “Living the Dream” (2006) and “Dante’s Inferno: Abandon All Hope” (2010). All added to his net worth.
However, the actor suffered from addictions as well as psychological problems, about which he talked openly. In 2008, he appeared on Howard Stern’s radio show and said he had committed suicide 21 times. The same year, in “Rehab With Dr. Drew Drew Pinsky” has revealed his addiction to alcohol and drugs (cocaine, marijuana) and painkillers. At the beginning of 2010, he had a serious accident that ended in a cerebral hemorrhage, hip fracture and neck fracture. He died on the 27th May 2011 at the Encino-Tarzana Regional Medical Centre in Encino, Los Angeles. He was hospitalized because of drug overdose. Later, it was found that Conaway suffered from pneumonia and septicaemia, a dangerous blood infection, but his drug use over many years was the main contributing factor. He remained in coma for over two weeks until his death.
Finally, in the personal life of Jeff Conaway, he was married to Rona Newton John from 1980 to 1985 and Kerri Young from 1990 to 2000. He had fathered one child.
Grease was the film on which actor Jeff Conaway became addicted to drugs. While playing Kenickie, he was shooting the "Greased Lightning" musical number, and he was accidentally dropped, hurting his back. He started taking pain killers, eventually then abusing prescription drugs, starting Conaway on the downward spiral into drug addiction until he died in 2011 at age 60.
Although he struggled with addiction problems throughout most of his adult life, many of Conaway's coworkers said he was always the consummate professional on the job. After Conaway's death, fellow Babylon 5 (1994) star, Bruce Boxleitner, stated publicly that he had never seen Conaway in any state but sober at work, and always arrived on-time and prepared.
He is survived by his girlfriend of seven years, Victoria Spinoza; his two sisters, Michele Conaway and Carla Conaway; a stepson, Emerson Newton-John and two step-grandchildren.
He studied for a year at the North Carolina School of the Arts and transferred to New York University in New York City.
Upon his death, he was cremated.
Played guitar and sang lead as a teenager for a rock band called "The 3 1/2". The band released four singles for Cameo Records in 1966 and 1967, one of which was produced and written by Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits.
Having struggled with addiction for many years, Jeff had been trying to treat himself with pain killers and cold medicine in May, 2011. He was found unconscious in his home on May 11, 2011. He remained in a coma until his family terminated life support on May 27, 2011.
Saw an episode of Babylon 5 (1994) on TV and liked it so much he went down to the production studio to see the show being filmed. He was spotted and used for a bit part, which grew into a recurring character and, eventually, a full-time role in the series.
Appeared in an episode of Murder, She Wrote (1984) ("Birds of a Feather") as an Off-Broadway actor from New York who had been "mostly a cab driver" - a reference to his role in the TV series, Taxi (1978).
Though he played Kenickie in the movie version of Grease (1978), he appeared in the Broadway production as Danny Zuko.
While filming Grease (1978), had to walk slightly stooped so John Travolta would appear taller.
Wanted to be an astronaut when he was little.
Is a (step)grandfather (grandson Brin born January 1997). (Admitted this on NBC's Later (1994), July 6/98, with guest host Rita Considine). Also has a granddaughter, Valerie.