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Heath Ledger's Family Says His Death Was Accidental

Heath Ledger's family wants to put to rest any suggestion that the actor killed himself, and joined fellow Australians in mourning the rising star after he was found dead in a New York apartment.

Ledger was found face-down and naked at the foot of a bed in a Manhattan apartment Tuesday. Police have confirmed that there were prescription sleeping pills near the body, but say there is no obvious sign he had committed suicide. They do not suspect a crime, however, an autopsy would be conducted on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Ledger's grieving family in his hometown of Perth read a statement to the local media: "We, Heath's family, can confirm the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda," Ledger's father. He was found peacefully asleep in his New York apartment by his housekeeper at 3:30 p.m. U.S. time."

His father, Kim Ledger, said he remembered his 28-year-old son as a "down to earth, generous, kindhearted, life-loving, unselfish individual" who was "extremely inspirational."

Cate Blanchett, who starred with Ledger in the Bob Dylan bio-pic 'I'm Not There,' a role that earned her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress, said she was "shocked and saddened".

Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said they had lost "one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life."

January 23, 2008 |

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