Heath Ledger found dead at 28

He was facedown at the foot of his bed with prescription sleeping pills nearby, police said.

heath ledger 88 224 (photo credit: AP)
heath ledger 88 224
(photo credit: AP)
Twenty-eight-year old-actor Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday in a Manhattan apartment, facedown at the foot of his bed with prescription sleeping pills nearby, police said. There was no obvious indication that the Australian-born Ledger had committed suicide, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the SoHo apartment that is believed to be the actor's home, Browne said. The massage therapist and a housekeeper found his naked body at about 3:30 p.m. They tried to revive him, but he was already dead. An autopsy was planned for Wednesday. While not a marquee movie star, Ledger was an award-winning actor who chose his roles carefully rather than cashing in on big-money parts. He was nominated for an Oscar for his performance as a gay cowboy in 'Brokeback Mountain.' During filming, he met Michelle Williams, who played his wife in the film. The pair had a daughter, now two-year-old Matilda, and lived together in Brooklyn until they split up last year. Though his leading man looks propelled him to early stardom in films like '10 Things I Hate About You' and 'A Knight's Tale,' his career took a notable turn toward dramatic and brooding roles with 2001's 'Monster's Ball.' Ledger began to gravitate more toward independent fare, including Lasse Hallstrom's 'Casanova' and Terry Gilliam's 'The Brothers Grimm,' both released in 2005. His 2006 film Candy now seems destined to have an especially haunting quality: In a particularly realistic performance, Ledger played a poet wrestling with a heroin addiction along with his girlfriend, played by Abbie Cornish. But Ledger's most recent choices were arguably the boldest yet: He costarred in 'I'm Not There,' in which he played one of the many incarnations of Bob Dylan. And in what may be his final finished performance, Ledger proved that he wouldn't be intimidated by taking on a character as iconic as Jack Nicholson's Joker. Ledger's version of the 'Batman' villain, glimpsed in early teaser trailers, made it clear that his Joker would be more depraved and dark.