Ledger''''s death an accidentHeath Ledger died as the result of an accidental overdose of
prescription medication, the New York City medical examiner''''s office
said Tuesday. The actor died January 22 in a New York apartmentMr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the
combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam,
alprazolam, and doxylamine," the office said in a short statement. "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications."
Hydrocodone and oxycodone are painkillers. Diazepam is an anti-anxiety
drug commonly sold under the brand name Valium; alprazolam is also an
anti-anxiety drug, sold under such names as Xanax. Temazepam, sold
under such names as Restoril and Euhypnos, is a sleeping agent, as is
doxylamine. Ledger died January 22 at an apartment in Lower
Manhattan. The Oscar-nominated Australian actor, best known for his
role as a stoic, closeted cowboy in the 2005 film "Brokeback Mountain,"
was 28. An autopsy done on the actor
In a statement released through Ledger''''s publicist, Ledger''''s father,
Kim, said Wednesday: "While no medications were taken in excess, we
learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal
for our boy. Heath''''s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden
dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage." "Families rarely experience the uplifting, warm and massive
outpouring of grief and support as have we, from every corner of the
planet," his family added in the statement. "This has deeply and
profoundly touched our hearts and lives. We are eternally grateful."
Ledger''''s family returned to Perth, Australia, Tuesday for the actor''''s
funeral, according to The Associated Press. Arrangements were private.
Ledger had talked about his difficulty sleeping after back-to-back
roles as a Bob Dylan persona in "I''''m Not There" and the Joker in "The
Dark Knight," the latter of which is due out this summer. "Last
week I probably slept an average of two hours a night," Ledger told The
New York Times in November. "I couldn''''t stop thinking. My body was
exhausted, and my mind was still going." In the hours leading
up to Ledger''''s death two weeks ago, a housekeeper, identified as Teresa
Solomon, arrived at the apartment about 12:30 p.m., a police source
with knowledge of the investigation