Officials: Heath Ledger death due to abuse of drugs
NEW YORK - Hollywood actor Heath Ledger, found dead in his New York apartment two weeks ago, died of acute intoxication, authorities said Wednesday, ruling the death an accident due to abuse of prescription drugs.
"Mr Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine," city Chief Medical Examiner Charles Hirsch said in a statement.
"We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications."
The cause of the 28-year-old's death had been shrouded in mystery, with an initial post-mortem inconclusive and conflicting speculation that he was a drug user and suffering from pneumonia.
Ledger scored critical acclaim for his powerful performance as a repressed gay cowboy in "Brokeback Mountain" in 2005, and was seen as a rising star in Hollywood.
He was found dead on January 22, sending shockwaves through Hollywood. His memorial service in Los Angeles drew an A-list of mourners including Tom Cruise and wife Katie Holmes, Sienna Miller and Ellen DeGeneres.
Arrangements for Ledger's burial in Perth have not been made public, but it is expected his family will hold a private funeral later this week at which they will bury their son in a family plot.