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Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Heath Ledger 1979-2008
Hollywood actor Heath Ledger has been found dead at a residence in downtown Manhattan.
'He was found unconscious at the apartment and pronounced dead,' the New York Police Department said, adding that pills were found near the body.
Police are reportedly investigating if the Australian actor, who earned an Oscar nomination for Brokeback Mountain, died of a drug overdose, possibly from prescibed medication.
The 28-year-old was found dead in the flat at around 1530 (2030 GMT).
The exact cause of death is still being investigated, but suicide has not been ruled out. Apparently Heath Ledger had been in a spiral of addiction and depression for some time.
In September the Perth-born actor split from his girlfriend Michelle Williams, with whom he has a two-year-old daughter, Matilda. She played his wife in 2005 film Brokeback Mountain.
The film's director Ang Lee said Ledger's performance had been a 'miracle' of acting, echoing a young Marlon Brando.
He won an Oscar nomination for his role as a gay cowboy in the film but the award went to Philip Seymour Hoffman for his role as Truman Capote.
Ledger starred in I'm Not There, as one of several actors in a role representing singer Bob Dylan. He also plays the Joker in yet-to-be-released Batman film, The Dark Knight.
There can't be many gay men who were not touched by the intensity, strength, restraint and dignity of his acting in the iconic Brokeback Mountain.
Nothing in his work prior to Brokeback really gave any clue that he was capable of so completely inhabiting a character and giving such a moving and memorable performance.
And for that performance he will never be forgotten.