Thursday, January 24, 2008

Heath Ledger, Autopsy Suggests Accidental Death


Heath's Last photo, originally uploaded by ddbsweasel.

An inconclusive autopsy suggests that Heath did not overdose, as his closest friends and loved ones had already said. Heath was not one of those losers who took drugs because he wanted to feel alive.

It now appears that the world lost a fabulous actor because some over the counter medicine is too dangerous.

The unfair aspects regarding this tragedy are yet to be fully explored by the world press. Heath's death was not self inflicted, nor was it a result of ineptness on his part. He should not be compared with a drunk party girl on a boat, or a drug user who died from complications resulting from sexual dysfunction. He was a sick man, who purchased appropriate medication, and died.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Initial post-mortem on Heath Ledger is inconclusive
BY MICHAEL BODEY, DAVID NASON AND ROBERT LUSETICH
RESULTS of a post-mortem on actor Heath Ledger are inconclusive, US authorities say.
The 28-year-old actor was found dead at his New York apartment yesterday.

Police are treating his death as possibly drug-related and said sleeping pills were found close to his body.

But a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office said an autopsy had proved inconclusive and further tests are needed - which could take around 10 days.

There were unconfirmed reports that the Brokeback Mountain star was suffering from pneumonia at the time of his death.

Tributes poured in for Ledger, who was viewed within the Australian film and TV industry as a charismatic, inquiring and thoughtful actor whose private demeanour was at odds with his erratic media image.

His father, Kim, read a brief statement outside his Perth home, saying "few had the pleasure of truly knowing him".

"He was a down-to-earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving, unselfish individual who was extremely inspirational to many."

Ledger's family and New York City police sources played down suggestions his death was anything other than an accident.

Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said a masseuse and a housekeeper discovered the actor's body in a SoHo apartment after Ledger did not respond to their knocks on his bedroom door.

"There were prescription medications that included sleeping pills that were taken from the apartment," he said. "The reports that they were scattered around the body were untrue."

Police removed prescription medicines including sleeping pills and the anti-anxiety drugs Xanax and Valium. Toxicology tests will be performed on the body.

Ledger - the father of a two-year-old daughter, Matilda, with US actress Michelle Williams - also said recently he had been taking Ambien sleeping pills. The tablets, marketed as Stilnox in Australia, are known to have caused adverse reactions. In November, the Therapeutic Goods Administration reduced pack sizes and updated its warnings.

Police found nothing in Ledger's apartment resembling a suicide note, raising expectations that the death was accidental. But Mr Browne was leaving all options open, including the possibility of foul play.

Ledger's publicist, Mara Buxbaum, urged the media to resist unnecessary speculation. "This is an extremely difficult time for his loved ones and we are asking the media to please respect the family's privacy and avoid speculation until the facts are known," she said.

A huge, jostling mob of several hundred people was on hand when Ledger's body was wheeled out of the apartment building on a gurney and placed in the back of a white van.

Across town, at an Australia Plays Broadway promotional event for New York's Australia Week program, John Travolta was visibly distressed when he paid homage to Ledger after opening the show with the late Steve Irwin's daughter, Bindi.

Travolta said he would give up all his awards to have Ledger back. He later likened his passing as a tragic milestone in movie history every bit as significant as the death of James Dean in 1955.

"Actors need other actors to be inspired by, and he was my actor," Travolta said. "He was my favorite actor and my favorite talent. I think this is like losing James Dean. He's a real loss to all of us, as a person and as a talent."

In Los Angeles, Russell Crowe said: "He was a gentle, beautiful man, a fine actor, a loyal friend. I feel deeply for his family."

Mel Gibson, who played his father in the period blockbuster The Patriot, said he had great hope for Ledger as an actor. "He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss," he said.

The mother of international model Gemma Ward, Claire Ward, said her family had spent time with Ledger over Christmas when he was home in Perth, but she declined to comment on reports her daughter and Ledger had been seeing each other.

Ledger was in the middle of a career renewal after quickly shooting to Hollywood stardom in the late 1990s, a fame he readily admitted he was completely unprepared for. "With the support of his agents, Heath had taken his career in his own hands," said Neil Armfield, his director in Candy.

The actor who most struggled with Hollywood's demands will, ironically enough, be last seen in the biggest film of his career, the Batman sequel, The Dark Knight, which releases in July.