Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jeff Conaway [1950-2011]

Jeff Conaway who played Kenickie from one of my favorite childhood films, Grease [1978], and starred as Bobby in the popular ensemble TV Series Taxi passed away at 60.

To science fiction fans Conaway was certainly best known for his role as Zack Allan, eventual Security Chief, on J. Michael Straczynski's Babylon 5 [1993-1998]. He certainly wasn't a genre regular, but portrayed the role with such enthusiasm he defined the part and became a welcomed character by the creators of the show.

He struggled with drug addiction for decades until his passing. It's another sad loss to all people who knew and loved him.


le0pard13 said...

Kenickie is dead?!? Oh, man... I remember him so vividly in GREASE. The TV show TAXI, too. May he rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to hear this. Zack from Babylon 5 wasn't a main character, but Conaway made him strangely endearing, and it was always enjoyable to see him on screen. RIP.

SFF said...

I know. Its sad to see these people go and I felt terribly for him and his addictions. I agree he was more like a recurring character on B5 but he always received credit in the opening as a regular. He was indeed strangely endearing. Well said.

take care and thanks for your own heartfelt expressions here.

will said...

He was great on Babylon 5. . .one of the show's saving graces when it was diving into the tank.

It's kind of sad. On later commentaries for B5 (on the DVDs), you can hear it in Conaway's voice that he was starting to lose it (this was before his reality show craziness). He just seemed like a troubled soul.

I met Bruce Boxlietner last weekend but forgot to ask him about Jeff.

SFF said...

Interesting observation about those commentaries. It was certainly difficult keeping the devil off his back. He was seemingly in a constant struggle with it.

Ironic, he took over for Garibaldi on the series, given Garibaldi was the one suffering from substance abuse issues.

It's really unfortunate.

TFKoP said...

Conaway was the third 'main' character to pass. Andreas Katsulas (G'Kar) died in 2006, and Richard Biggs (Dr Franklin) in 2004.

Bummer about how Conaway's life fell apart in the later years.

SFF said...

I know TFKOP.

It seems like yesterday we were commenting on all of those Babylon 5 episodes.

I knew of the others. Katsulas was just one of the show's finest. What an actor.

Biggs not so much but he went way too young.

Conaway just disintegrated. It's very sad. Cheers my friend.