Actor Jeff Conaway, who was best known for his roles in the hit musical Grease and the TV show Taxi, has died aged 60.
Conaway had been in a medically induced coma at Encino Tarzana Medical Center in California since May 11 after taking an overdose of prescription medication.
The actor’s family took the decision to switch off his life support machine on Friday after doctors said that there was nothing more that they could do for him.
Conaway’s manager Phil Brock said he had tried to treat himself with pain pills and cold medicine while in weakened health.
John Travolta – who was his co-star in Grease – led the tributes to the actor, calling him a “wonderful and decent man”.
“My heartfelt thoughts are with his family and loved ones at this very difficult time,” he said in a statement. “We will miss him.”
Conaway is best remembered for his role as bad boy Kenickie in the film version of Grease, which was released in 1978.
He had previously appeared in the Broadway production of the show, at one point in the lead role of Danny Zuko which was played by Travolta in the film.
The actor also appeared in the sitcom hit Taxi alongside Danny DeVito, Judd Hirsch and Andy Kaufman from 1978-1981, earning himself two Golden Globe nominations for his role in the show.
However his movie career failed to take off and he appeared in several short-lived TV shows, before eventually landing the role of Zack Allan in sci-fi hit Babylon 5, from 1994-1998.
Conaway fought a long battle against drug and alcohol addiction during his career, which he blamed in part on back problems and pain from surgery.
He appeared on the TV shows Celebrity Fit Club in 2006 and also in the series Celebrity Rehab, in which he appeared in a wheelchair. However he had been in poor health since breaking a hip in a fall in 2010.
He was married twice, firstly to Kerri Young and secondly to Olivia Newton-John’s sister Rona, but both marriages ended in divorce.