A toxicology test was not conducted on the actor, who had a history of drug problems, because he had been hospitalized for weeks before his death and his blood would have come back clean, Los Angeles County coroner Craig Harvey told the Associated Press.
When Conaway entered the hospital on May 10, he did register opiates and other drugs in his system. He was put into a medically induced coma a week later and taken off life support on May 26.
Conaway discussed his addiction struggles as part of the VH1 reality show Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew in 2008. He was a team captain for Season 3 of the cable outlet’s Celebrity Fit Club in 2006 but struggled and left after three episodes to enter rehab.
Conaway’s big acting break came when he was cast at the vain actor/cab driver Bobby on Taxi. He was nominated for Golden Globes in 1979 and ’80 but left the show after the third season, though he guest-starred in two episodes during Season 4.
He is perhaps best known for co-starring as Kenickie in the 1978 film adaptation of Grease, in which he’s featured prominently in two of the film’s most popular musical numbers, which also were released as singles: “Summer Nights,” which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and “Greased Lightnin.’
The actor was notably absent from this year’s Emmy Awards’ “In Memoriam” tribute.