Oscar-nominated actor Heath Ledger, 28, was found dead on Tuesday in his Manhattan apartment, according to New York City police. Officers say that he died from an overdose of anxiety pills, and that Xanax and Valium, both anti-anxiety drugs, were found in his apartment.
According to police, Ledger was found at about 3:20 p.m. by his maid and a masseuse, who was waiting for him for a 3 p.m. appointment. Ledger was lying naked with pills strewn around his bed, police sources said.
Police have maintained that it is unsure whether the death was accidental or intentional.
Ledger had major roles in 1999’s “10 Things I Hate about You,” 2000’s “The Patriot,” and 2001’s “Monster’s Ball.” He is perhaps best known for his Academy-Award nominated performance in “Brokeback Mountain,” in which he portrayed a gay cowboy alongside actor Jake Gyllenhaal.
At the time of his death, Ledger was separated from Michelle Williams, a costar of his from “Brokeback” and the mother of his two-year-old daughter, Matilda Rose. Students at St. John’s are shocked at the young actor’s death.
“I think this is unbelievable,” said transfer student Chante Sylvestre. “It makes you really wonder if he was sick or on drugs.”
She continued, “Heath Ledger was never much in the public eye or known for acting crazy, so I’m even more surprised about this.”
Junior Clynton Kakai was also surprised to hear of Ledger’s death. “Of course I’m surprised he’s deat,” Kakai said. “He was a great actor, and I really respect him for his role in ‘Brokeback Mountain.'”