Heath Ledger Found Dead In NYC Apartment

Last Revised on January 23, 2008

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Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday in a Manhattan apartment, naked in bed with sleeping pills nearby, police said. The Australian-born actor was 28. There was no obvious indication of suicide, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said.

The Times initially reported that Ledger was found in an apartment owned by actress Mary-Kate Olsen, but a spokesperson for the actress, who is at the Sundance Film Festival, later told the Times the apartment was not Olsen’s.

Ledger eschewed Hollywood glitz in favor of a bohemian life in Brooklyn, where he was one of the borough’s most famous residents. “Brokeback” would be his breakthrough role, establishing him as one of his generation’s finest talents and an actor willing to take risks.

Ledger told The New York Times in a November interview that he “stressed out a little too much” during the Dylan film, and had trouble sleeping while portraying the Joker, whom he called a “psychopathic, mass-murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy.”

“Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night,” Ledger told the newspaper. “I couldn’t stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going.” He said he took two Ambien pills, which only worked for an hour, the paper said.

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