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The actor Heath Ledger was discovered dead, pills sprawled around his naked body, in the Broome Street apartment of Mary-Kate Olsen, the NYPD said Tuesday. According to various news accounts, the 28-year-old Australian actor appeared to be a victim of an accidental overdose or suicide.
The NYPD released a short statement that did not mention the actor by name:
ON TUESDAY, 01/22/08, AT APPROXIMATELY 1530 HOURS, IN THE CONFINES OF THE 5 PRECINCT, POLICE RESPONDED TO 421 BROOME STREET AND FOUND A M/W/28 UNCONSCIOUS. THE VICTIM WAS PRONOUNCED DOA AT THE SCENE. M.E.’S OFFICE TO DETERMINE THE CAUSE OF DEATH. INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.
Voice film critic J. Hoberman had this to say about Ledger in Brokeback Mountain: “But moony as Gyllenhaal is, he’s only barely able to hold up his side of the equation; it’s the self- contained Ledger’s repression and scary, sorrowful, hard-luck rage that fuel the movie.”
UPDATE: Early reports indicated that Ledger was found in the apartment of Mary-Kate Olsen. That is not true. Ledger was found in an apartment that he had rented himself. There were no indications of foul play or any apparent signs of suicide, such as a note, police said.