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RIP Heath Ledger
- 4th April 1979 - 22nd January 2008
- Me, Myself, and I
- Tribute to the late and great Heath Ledger.
Australian-born actor Heath Ledger has been found dead at his home in New York in what authorities say is a possible drug-related death. He was 28.
A New York Police Department spokesman said Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the apartment that is believed to be his home in Soho in Manhattan.
The housekeeper went to tell Ledger the masseuse had arrived and found him dead on Tuesday afternoon, spokesman Paul Browne said.
"We are investigating the possibility of an overdose," NY Police spokesman Paul Browne told Reuters.
"There were pills within the vicinity of the bed," Browne said.
Ledger was an Oscar nominee for his role in Brokeback Mountain, where he met his wife, actress Michelle Williams, in 2005. Ledger and Williams lived in Brooklyn and had a daughter, Matilda, but split up last year.
Ledger played the suicidal son of Billy Bob Thornton in Monster's Ball and had starring roles in A Knight's Tale and The Patriot.
He was to appear as the Joker this year in The Dark Knight, a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins.
Ledger grew up in Perth and began doing amateur theatre at age 10. At 16, he moved to Sydney to pursue an acting career, quickly landing TV movie roles and guest spots on Australian television.
After several independent films and a starring role in the short-lived Fox TV series Roar, Ledger moved to Los Angeles and co-starred in 10 Things I Hate About You, a teen comedy reworking of The Taming of the Shrew.
Offers for other teen films came his way, but Ledger turned them down, preferring to remain idle than sign on for projects he did not like.
"It wasn't a hard decision for me," Ledger told The Associated Press in 2001.
"It was hard for everyone else around me to understand. Agents were like, 'You're crazy,' my parents were like, 'Come on, you have to eat.'"
His latest role was in I'm Not There, in which he played one of the many incarnations of singer Bob Dylan - as did Cate Blanchett, whose performance in that film earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress.
Film critic Margaret Pomeranz has described the death as devastating.
Pomeranz said she was shocked by the news of the 28-year-old actor's death.
"I am so upset, I just can't tell you," Pomeranz told ABC radio.
"I mean he is such a talented boy and really, I think a beautiful soul.
"And I think to choose the roles he chose shows such intelligence."
Reporters outside Ledger's apartment said the medical examiner had arrived and authorities were in the process of removing his body.
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