Heath Ledger has passed away

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We are saddened to report that actor Heath Ledger, 28, was found dead in his NYC apartment this afternoon. Heath leaves behind daughter Matilda Rose, 2, his child with actress Michelle Williams.

Paul Browne, Deputy Commissioner for Public Information of the New York Police Department stresses that a cause has not been determined, and an intial autopsy proved inconclusive. TMZ reports that Heath was found with prescription sleeping pills on his nightstand, however Browne points out that they were not ‘scattered around‘ and were prescription.

The NY Times reports that Heath’s housekeeper and a masseuse who arrived for an appointment with the actor found him unconscious and attempted to shake him awake, but he was in full cardiac arrest. When paramedics arrived, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Heath’s rep released a statement, saying,

We are all deeply saddened and shocked by this accident. 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.

When asked for comment, Larry Williams, Michelle’s father, said,

I think Tennyson got it right in the poem when he described someone as having died at ayoung age but burning the candles at both ends, and oh what a beautifulflame he made, that was Heath, what a beautiful flame he made and agreat talent. My heart goes out to everyone in his family and my family. The saddest thing is his daughter whom he just loved dearly.

A statement from Heath’s family reads:

We, Heath’s family, confirm the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda, who was found in a peaceful sleep in his New York apartment by his housekeeper at 3:30 p.m. We would like to thank our friends and everyone around the world for their kind wishes at this time. Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life, but few had the pleasure to truly know him. He was a down-to-earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving and unselfish individual who was an extreme inspiration to many. Please now respect our family’s need to grieve and come to terms with our loss privately.

Source: TMZ; NY Times

Please avoid speculation in the comments, as the rep asks.

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