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Australian actor Heath Ledger, 28, found dead


January 22, 2008/23.17

Australian-born, Oscar-nominated actor Heath Ledger, 28, has been found dead in a Soho, New York apartment.
   The New York Police Department has confirmed his death. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Ledger was found by a housekeeper at 3.26 p.m., who went to tell him that a masseuse had arrived for an appointment. ‘We don’t know the cause of the death,’ said Browne, who also told journalists that investigations were ongoing as to whether foul play was involved.
   Some sources are reporting that drugs may have been involved, and that sleeping pills were found at the apartment.
   Born April 4, 1979, Ledger grew up in his home town of Perth, WA and began his career in amateur theatre at age 10. When he was 16, he went to Sydney to pursue his career and began landing roles on television and independent movies. He moved to Los Angeles at age 19, and starred in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate about You.
   He was cast in the Mel Gibson starrer The Patriot, which then led to his leading role in A Knight’s Tale.
   He was nominated for an Academy Award in 2005—the youngest nominee in the Best Actor category—for his role in Brokeback Mountain.
   Ledger was engaged to actress Michelle Williams in 2005 but the couple split up last year. They have a daughter, Matilda Rose, aged two. Most recently, some tabloids have linked him romantically to Australian model Gemma Ward.
   Ledger was due to appear in the Batman film The Dark Knight, as the Joker.

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Filed by Jack Yan

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