Ledger’s Family Says Death Was Accidental

NEW YORK (AP) — Heath Ledger’s family says the actor’s death was an accident.

His father Kim read a statement to reporters in Australia, describing his son as a “down to earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving unselfish individual” who was “extremely inspirational to many.”

The 28-year-old was found dead Tuesday afternoon in his New York apartment. There were sleeping pills nearby but police say there’s no obvious sign that he took his own life. An autopsy is planned Wednesday.

The actor, who was nominated for an Oscar for his role in “Brokeback Mountain,” told The New York Times in a November interview that he had “stressed out a little too much” and had trouble sleeping while making his latest movies.

He had recently finished filming his role as the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” a sequel to 2005’s “Batman Begins.”

Mel Gibson, who played Ledger’s vengeful father in “The Patriot,” said in a statement that Ledger “was just taking off, and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss.”