The Australian actor, Heath Ledger, is found dead in a Manhatan apartment, on Tuesday afternoon. The housekeeper came in and found the actor “unconscious at the apartment and pronounced dead”, said the New York Police Departement, adding that pills were found on a nearby night table.
Earlier today the actor’s family and the police said his death was accidental. An autopsy will be carried out tonight, to find the exact cause of death.
Born in Perth, Australia, on April 4, 1979, the actor appeared in a play for a local theater company and then gained roles in children’s television. He played in Australian soap operas, then followed a girlfriend and moved to Hollywood.
They split up, but Heath Ledger get important roles in romantic movies like 10 Things I Hate about You, A Knight Tale. But he also played in darker films such as Monster’s Ball and Candy.
Recently he starred in more famous movies. He get an Oscar-nomination as best lead actor for being one of Ang Lee’s gay cowboys in Brokeback Moutain and he was one of the several actors representing Bob Dylan in I’m Not There.
He met his girlfriend during Brokeback Moutain and they’ve had a two-year-old daughter, Matilda. They’ve separated since, even though they played together in I’m Not There. The actress said she was “devastated” by Heath Ledger’s death and flew from Sweden to New York.
Father Kim Ledger, speaking in Perth, said that the death of his 28-year-old “dearly loved son” had been “tragic” and “accidental”. He added that his son had been a “down to earth, generous, kind hearted, life-loving, unselfish individual”.
Hollywood stars offered their tributes very quick. “I had such great hope for him”, said Oscar-winning acto-director Mel Gibson who had cast Heath Ledger to play his son in The Patriot in 2001.
“What a terrible tragedy. My heart goes to his family” said Australian actress Nicole Kidman.
“His abilities are rare…it’s a tremendous loss” said John Travolta, adding that the Australian actor had been one of his favourite performers.
Heath Ledger plays the Joker in the upcoming Batman movie, The Dark Knight. Here is a trailer :