[QODLink]
Americas
'Accidental overdose' killed Ledger
US inquest shows star of Brokeback Mountain died after mixing medication.
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2008 23:31 GMT
Ledger, left, became famous for his role in the
gay western Brokeback Mountain [EPA]
Medical officers investigating the death of Hollywood star Heath Ledger two weeks ago have attributed his death to an accidental overdose of prescription medication.
 
Forensic specialists say the overdose was accidental, as the concentrations were not high enough to suggest a suicide attempt.
The New York City medical examiner said on Wednesday the Australian actor died from a combination of six different prescription drugs including sleeping pills and painkillers.
 
Ledger, 28, was found dead in his Manhattan apartment, lying naked in bed with a bottle of pills nearby.

Ledger's family returned to Australia from the US this week and are planning a private funeral service for the actor.

 

The actor is best known for playing a gay cowboy in the western film Brokeback Mountain, a performance that earned him an Oscar nomination in 2006.

 

News Ltd newspapers reported that Ledger's former girlfriend, Michelle Williams, and their daughter, Matilda, arrived in Perth on Wednesday for the ceremony.

 

'Lethal combination' 

 

Ledger's sudden death in the US sparked grief
all the way to Australia [GALLO/GETTY]
In a statement released on Wednesday, Kim Ledger said the toxicology results should "put an end to speculation" about his son's cause of death.

 

"While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy," he said.

 

"Heath's accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage."

 

"Few can understand the hollow, wrenching, and enduring agony parents silently suffer when a child predeceases them."

 

Following Ledger's death, Kevin Rudd, the Australian prime minister, said his death was a tragic loss of "one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life".
Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.