Actor Heath Ledger is pictured in a
scene from "Brokeback Mountain" in this undated publicity photograph.
Ledger received a best actor nomination for his role for the upcoming 78th
Academy Awards. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
NEW YORK, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- "Brokeback Mountain"
star Heath Ledger died of an accidental overdose of several medications,
including painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication, the New York
City medical examiner said Wednesday.
Heath's death on Jan. 22 was caused by "acute
intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam,
temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine," spokeswoman Ellen Borakove was quoted as
saying in a statement.
The drugs are the generic names for the OxyContin
painkiller, the anti-anxiety drug Valium, Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug, and the
sleep aids Restoril and Unisom; Hydrocodone is a widely used prescription
painkiller, the Associated Press reported.
"What you're looking at here is the cumulative
effects of the semedications together," Borakove said.
The 28 year-old Australian-born actor's body was
discovered by his masseuse. Police found bottles of six types of prescription
drugs, including sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication, in his bedroom and
Ledger was nominated for an Oscar for his role in the
2005 film "Brokeback Mountain."
Ledger's family returned to the actor's hometown of
Perth, Australia, on Tuesday to prepare for his funeral.
Ledger was recently seen in the Bob Dylan biopic "I'm
Not There." He had recently finished filming a turn as the Joker in "The Dark
Night," a sequel to 2005's "Batman Begins."
He was survived by a daughter, Matilda. Matilda's
mother, actress Michelle Williams, whom Ledger met in 2005 while filming
"Brokeback Mountain," split with him last year.
Family to bring Ledger's body back home
BEIJING, Feb. 5 (Xinhuanet)-- Heath Ledger's heartbroken family is expected to bring his body back to his hometown Perth, Australia later this week, according to media reports Tuesday.
Ledger's father Kim, mother Sally Ledger Bell and sister Kate are among a group of about 15 family members who flew out of Los Angeles last night for Australia. Full story
Heath Ledger's ex-fiancee: "My heart
BEIJING, Feb. 2(Xinhuanet) -- Heath Ledger's ex-fiancee
said she is "heartbroken" by the Hollywood star's death and asked that she and
their little daughter be allowed to grieve in private, media reports said
Actress Michelle Williams, who reportedly split with
Ledger over his drug use in September, has stayed out of sight since rushing
home to New York after learning of Ledger's death two weeks ago. Full story
Heath Ledger driven to rehab center by
BEIJING, Jan. 31 (Xinhuanet) -- Actor Heath Ledger's abuse
of heroin, cocaine and pills forced his ex-fiancee Michelle Williams to send him
to rehab in 2006, Us Weekly reported Thursday.
A Ledger confidant was quoted as saying Williams had been
a firsthand witness to the "Brokeback Mountain" actor's use of alcohol and drugs
for three years. It included cocaine, heroin and "a variety of pills." Full story
Olsen won't talk to NYPD about
BEIJING, Jan. 28 -- Mary-Kate Olsen won't be talking to
the cops about Heath Ledger, but she did finally come forward to share her
thoughts on the late actor.
"Heath was a friend," Olsen said Friday. "His death is a
tragic loss. My thoughts are with his family during this very difficult
time." Full story
BEIJING, Jan. 25(Xinhuanet) -- Distressed celebrity
masseuse Diane Lee Wolozin who found Hollywood actor Heath Ledger dead in his
New York apartment made two calls to actress Mary-Kate Olsen before calling the
emergency services, media reports said Friday.
Diana Wolozin told police she first called Olsen, a friend
of Ledger's whose number was in his mobile phone, for advice when she thought
the 28-year-old actor was unconscious. But when she realized he may be dead she
called Olsen again, and then called for an ambulance. Full story