The 60-year old star of TV series 'Taxi' and 'Babylon 5' and the movie 'Grease,' died back in May after he was hospitalized with pneumonia and sepsis.
Although Conaway had struggled with chronic substance abuse for years, Los Angeles County coroner Craig Harvey told the AP that coroners did not conduct a toxicology test -- Conaway had been hospitalized for weeks prior to his death, so his blood would have come back clean.
Actor Jeff Conaway, best known for his television and movie roles in 'Taxi,' 'Babylon 5' and 'Grease,' died Friday at age 60, RadarOnline.com reports and The Hollywood Reporter confirms. The news comes just a day after reports that the star would be taken off life support.
Radar calls it "the end a long, sad road of addiction that made him one of Hollywood's cautionary tales." Conaway, known for his roles as Bobby Wheeler on 'Taxi' and T-Bird Kenickie in 'Grease,' was a New York native whose brutal battles with substance abuse came to define the latter decades of his fame.
Conaway was checked into an LA hospital on May 11. As of May 26, he was reported to have been experiencing no brain activity. A source told Radar that Conaway's feeding tube had been removed as of Thursday afternoon and that "Jeff is in no pain whatsoever."
Conaway's substance abuse problems and shambolic life was made painfully public during a 2008 stint on 'Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew.'
His manager, Phil Brock, says the 60-year old was found unconscious on May 11, and was admitted to Encino Hospital Medical Center, Calif. He is said to be in critical condition, with his chances of recovery uncertain.
"He is in a coma and unresponsive at this time," Brock told E! Online. "He turned his head two days ago, but nothing since."
1. 'The Fugitive' - This series finale set records for television viewing until it was revealed who shot J.R. in 1980. It also did something unprecedented in 1967; it actually resolved the running storyline of the show by having Richard Kimble catch the one-armed man, even going so far as to using callbacks to previous episodes. In the end, Richard Kimble and Phillip Gerard shook hands after Kimble was declared a free man, giving everyone the happy ending they wanted.
2. 'The Mary Tyler Moore Show' - A brilliant and poignant ending in which the entire staff of WJM-TV is fired except for the disliked Ted Baxter (played fantastically by Ted Knight). It ended with a group hug. Who doesn't love a group hug? More importantly, it had the sense of optimism for the future despite current hardships that was prevalent in Mary's character.
The parents of Andrew Koenig, best known for playing Richard "Boner" Stabone on the television series 'Growing Pains', walked off the set of 'Larry King Live' when their segment was interrupted by a breaking news story. Andrew's father is Walter Koenig, who is best known for playing the character of Pavel Chekov on the original 'Star Trek' series (and is only slightly less known for playing the evil telepath Alfred Bester on 'Babylon 5').If I were the parents of a missing child, no matter what age, and I was invited to a major news program to plead for his safe return only to have the segment delayed, I'd be pissed off too. It's tough to blame the Koenigs for their behavior, particularly with a missing child. CNN should have rescheduled or at least pre-taped the segment like they did with Andrew's sister. It seems like Larry is getting a little insensitive in his old age.
While perusing around SlashControl tonight, I nearly stopped breathing when I came across Babylon 5. Not just a few episodes or even one or two seasons. All five seasons, 99 episodes total.
My sci-fi-loving mom taped the entire series on VHS, and I have the first few seasons on DVD. But what a thrill to find it on SlashControl. If you're not familiar with J. Michael Straczynski's groundbreaking show, it takes place in the year 2258, ten years after an Earth-Minbari War. Commander Jeffrey Sinclair (Michael O'Hare) takes command of a giant five-mile-long cylindrical space station, orbiting a planet in neutral space.
South Park - The most insightful show on television. Trey Parker and Matt Stone are willing to take issues that the rest of the more liberal Hollywood view as simple and show their complexity by taking other sides. I don't think they're invited to a lot of Hollywood parties as a result, but it makes for great television.
The Sarah Connor Chronicles - it's been hit and miss story-wise, but the overall arc has been satisfying. Hopefully, the series will develop a reasonable ending to satisfy the fans once it is canceled due to poor ratings as a result of Fox moving it to the Friday Night Death Slot.
Tony Dow, who played Beaver's older brother Wally Cleaver on the classic series Leave it to Beaver, is also an artist, and he's going to have one of his sculptures shown at the famed Paris museum The Louvre. It's an abstract sculpture titled "Unarmed Warrior."
Dow doesn't act much anymore, but he was busy behind the scenes of TV shows and movies while doing his artwork. He directed episodes of such shows as Deep Space Nine, Coach, Crusade, Get A Life, Swamp Thing, and Cover Me. He also did visual effects for the Doctor Who TV movie in the 90s, as well as Babylon 5.
So Dow didn't die from eating Pop Rocks, become a porn star, or end up dying in Vietnam, rumors which swirled around his Beaver costars and aren't true.
But that announcement got me thinking about all those sci fi and fantasy shows that never finish on television. It's a phenomenon us long-time science fiction/fantasy fans have learned to live with. We jump on any new genre show on television hoping against hope that the ratings will be strong enough that we'll get the whole story. Alas, we know that more often than not the plug will be pulled mid-stream and we'll be left wanting. And for every Joss Whedon who continues Buffy and Angel in comics, there are tons more who don't.
During our Buffy the Vampire Slayer Retro Squad week, I put out a call for an episode of Buffy a newbie could watch to get a feel for the show. And you guys came through in a big way. Most insisted it was a show that needed to be watched from the beginning, but at the same time warned that there was some cheese-factor in those early episodes. Your votes pushed me to "Hush," which I found to be incredibly enjoyable and a perfect introduction to the cleverness and tone of the show. Even better, it made me that much more eager to go back and watch the entire run of the show.
In the comments to that piece Doug Nelson asked if someone could do something similar for Babylon 5. That got me thinking about other serialized shows of this nature like The X-Files, The West Wing and to an extent Doctor Who and Quantum Leap. We're a community of TV-lovers here, so we should help each other out. Thus, the TVS Starter Kits. And for Doug Nelson, it starts with Babylon 5.
In short, he's against it. He feels that offerings like the TV movie, Babylon 5: The Legend of the Rangers, and the straight-to-DVD story, Babylon 5: The Lost Tales, take away from the strength of the original TV series.
He writes that The Lost Tales was commissioned at a $2 million budget, and they did the best they could with it. Apparently, the studio wasn't sure there was an audience for Babylon 5. Silly studio.
It's that festive time of year when children put tinsel on the television antennas and hang mistletoe over their favorite DVDs. Where celebrities check into rehab to spend the holidays with all their celebrity friends. And where the rest of America is invited to corporate non-specific, non-religious, non-alcoholic generic winter holiday luncheons where they can mingle with their co-workers and say things like "Remember when this company used to have real Christmas parties?"
But while political correctness may have ruined most holiday functions, nothing can ruin Festivus! That magical season in which TV Squadders hope and pray for televisions dreams come true. And I know just what I want...
Here are the new TV DVDs, in stores tomorrow.
- The Archie Show - Complete Series
- Babylon 5 - Lost Tales
- Dallas - Season 7
- Hawaii Five-0 - Season 2
- Popeye - Vol.1: 1933-38
- The Rhinemann Exchange - Complete Mini-Series
- Sabrina The Teenaged Witch - Season 2
- Sons of Hollywood - Season 1
- Space: 1999 - 30th Anniversary Set
- Thunderbirds - 40th Anniversary Set
That's getting ahead of the game though. Before we could get to the Peter and Bill hijinks, there was the loosely relevant opening at the Quahog Marine Center. While it was a long way to go to get to the main plot, there were a lot of funny bits in that opening. Herbert at the fondle tank, Stewie's stripper line, and Seamus saving Peter from the octopus were all good bits. I especially liked the Wacky Wall Walker finish to that.
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