Heath Ledger autopsy results due in 10-14 days

Wed Jan 23, 2008 11:03am EST
 
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By Daniel Trotta

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City's medical examiner conducted an autopsy on actor Heath Ledger on Wednesday and said a cause of death for the film star would be determined in 10 days to two weeks.

Ledger, 28, was found on Tuesday face down and naked at the foot of his bed with sleeping pills and other prescription medication nearby, police said, in a death that shocked his family, fans and Hollywood.

"The autopsy was finished and the cause of death for Mr. Ledger will be pending further study. We have to do additional testing and investigation. It's going to be about 10 days to two weeks," said Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the office of chief medical examiner.

The handsome Australian is best known for playing a gay cowboy in 2005's "Brokeback Mountain," for which he received an Oscar nomination. He had completed filming his role as The Joker in the new Batman film, "The Dark Knight," due out later this year.

His family in Australia called his death a tragic accident.

"We, Heath's family, can confirm the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda," his father, Kim, said, reading from a statement outside the family home in Perth, Australia.

Ledger's mother, Sally, and sister, Kate, gathered with Kim Ledger at the family's suburban home and said they wanted to be left to grieve in private.

RECENT SPLIT   Continued...

 
<p>Australian actor Heath Ledger poses during a photocall to present his film 'Candy' in the competition at the 56th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin in this February 15, 2006 file photo. New York City's medical examiner conducted an autopsy on actor Heath Ledger on Wednesday and said a cause of death for the film star would be determined in 10 days to two weeks. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/Files</p>