Archive for the ‘Heath Ledger’ Category

2 doctors probed over Heath Ledger’s prescription painkillers

Heath Ledger

Federal drug investigators are probing two doctors over the death of actor Heath Ledger, it has been learned.

The doctors – one in California, one in Texas – are believed to have supplied the “Brokeback Mountain” star with the powerful painkillers Oxycontin and Vicodin, law enforcement sources said. Authorities want to know if the drugs were prescribed illegally. “It’s an ongoing investigation,” a law enforcement source told The News Tuesday. “It’s not clear if there was any wrongdoing.”

The revelation came more than a month after the 28-year-old Australian heartthrob’s naked body was found in his SoHo loft.

The city’s medical examiner ruled Ledger died on Jan. 22 of an accidental overdose of six prescription drugs, including the two painkillers, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has subpoenaed the medical examiner’s findings as part of its probe into the doctors, the sources said.

Posted Friday, February 29th, 2008 at 6:06am
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Heath Ledger’s final portrait.


Heath Ledger sat for a revealing portrait session just weeks before his tragic death on January 22.

Australian artist Vincent Fantauzzo tells his painting is the result of an intense collaboration between himself and the 28-year-old star. “Before we did the painting we talked to all hours,” he says. “The night before, we talked about the painting and about art, and about all sorts of things.”

The haunting image “was an idea we discussed together and came up with… it was about how we all have different consciences and voices in our head that tell us what to do and how to react. They’re not good or bad, they’re just voices that we hear, telling us how to behave. That’s what the other figures are in the painting.”

When it came to the sitting, however, the talk stopped. “Heath was really serious and focused and almost in a meditation. He’s quite serious.”

The friends, who met via Australian pop star N’fa (Heath directed a few of his music videos), had been planning the portrait for years. “Heath was very private. He never let anyone paint him for that reason, because he felt it was quite a personal thing, to be painted. I think Heath was really feeling quite comfortable with himself recently, so it was easy to do it this time around. He gave me a call [in December] and said he was in Perth… so I jumped on a plane right away, and that’s where we did the painting.”

Heath sat for a few hour-plus sessions, and then Vincent finished off the painting. Unfortunately, the actor never saw the finished product.

“It’s a real shame, because I never let people see a painting until it’s completely finished. I had been text-messaging photos to all our friends, and he was the only one who didn’t get to see it.”

Since Heath’s death, Vincent has been inundated with e-mails from fans all over the world. He says, “It’s amazing how many people he touched, and it’s pretty cool to be a part of sharing” the Heath that he knew. That Heath “loved and adored” daughter Matilda, got involved in his friends’ projects, and lit up a room. “He was very free-spirited and he took his own road, his own path to success. When you met Heath or when you were in a room with Heath, he had such an amazing energy, such a strong presence.”

Vincent hopes that comes through in the work. “Heath had such a distinctive voice, I wanted people to look at the painting and think of his voice and what he could be saying. I think that when someone looks at the painting, it’s tempting to know what he’s saying or what he’s whispering, so they can imagine it themselves, but they’ll never know.”

Vincent’s painting is up for Australia’s prestigious Archibald Prize for portraiture, which was his and Heath’s plan all along. Still, for the artist and other friends who knew Heath, the focus remains on their loss. “It’s just been really hard on everyone. I think now is a really hard time, because reality kind of kicks in. Time slows down and everyone just misses him.”

Page Six

Posted Thursday, February 21st, 2008 at 4:16pm
Filed under Heath Ledger | 3 Comments

Colin Farrell: “Playing Heath Ledger’s part is a painful honor”

Colin Farrell

Movie star Colin Farrell has confirmed that he’ll be among the stars acting out the scenes that Heath Ledger never got to shoot for his final film. He confessed that it will be an “incredibly painful tribute”.

Farrell, along with Jude Law, and Johnny Depp will help director Terry Gilliam complete the film he started with Heath. The superstar trio will pick up the role Ledger was playing in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus before he accidentally overdosed last month.

Farrell admits that he was flattered to be asked to help Gilliam complete Ledger’s last film. He said, “I will be honored to be part of that. It makes me feel uncomfortable to think about it too much and to get into it really here, but it’s an incredibly painful honor…..and an honor I wasn’t bestowed (on me), but an honor nonetheless. It’s about getting Heath’s work out there….He’s too good for any of his work not to be seen, you know, and I’m really keen and looking forward to doing it and just doing the best job I can do.”

The film, about a magical traveling theater, also features movie veteran Christopher Plummer. Production on the London set has been suspended since just before Ledger’s death.


Posted Thursday, February 21st, 2008 at 10:10am
Filed under Colin Farrell, Heath Ledger | 1 Comment

Lindsay Lohan blames movie industry for Heath Ledger’s death

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan has blamed the movie industry for “killing” her pal Heath Ledger. The Mean Girls actress was once romantically linked to Heath, was devastated after he was found dead in his New York apartment last month.

Lindsay believes that Heath was driven to an early grave by his profession. Likening his death to that of screen legend Marilyn Monroe, Lindsay says, “You know, it’s also tragic what just recently happened to someone else.”

When asked if she was referring to Heath Ledger, she nodded and said, “They are both prime examples of what this industry can do to someone.”



Posted Monday, February 18th, 2008 at 12:12pm
Filed under Heath Ledger, Lindsay Lohan | 10 Comments

In Case You Missed It: Heath Leger died of accidental overdose


The medical examiner has ruled that Heath Ledger’s death is an “accident,” resulting from the “abuse of prescription medications.”


UPDATE: The NYC medical examiner has finished the toxicology report following the death of Heath Ledger, and has just ruled that the actor’s death was caused by “acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam, and doxylamine.”

The NYPD found five medications in Ledger’s apartment after his death, including anti-anxiety medications alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) and Lorazepam (Ativan). The sleeping medication zopiclone (Lunesta) and the sedative temazepam (Restoril) — which is used by people with “debilitating insomnia” — were also found. Doxylamine is an antihistamine used in the short-term treatment of insomnia.


UPDATE: Heath Ledger’s father, Kim, has released the below statement following the news of the late actor’s cause of death:

We remain humble as parents and a family, among millions of people worldwide who may have suffered the tragic loss of a child. Few can understand the hollow, wrenching, and enduring agony parents silently suffer when a child predeceases them. Today’s results put an end to speculation, but our son’s beautiful spirit and enduring memory will forever remain in our hearts.

While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath’s accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.

Our family enjoyed an extremely happy two week visit with Heath just prior to the New Year. Those recent precious days will stay with us forever. We as a family feel privileged to have some of his amazing magic moments captured in film. To most of the world Heath was an actor of immeasurable talent and promise. To those who knew him personally, Heath was a consummate artist whose passions also included photography, music, chess and directing. We knew Heath as a loving father, as our devoted son, and as a loyal and generous brother and friend.

We treasure our beautiful granddaughter Matilda (to our dear Michelle) as well as an unbelievably wonderful network of close friends, forever, around the world. Families rarely experience the uplifting, warm and massive outpouring of grief and support as have we, from every corner of the planet. This has deeply and profoundly touched our hearts and lives. We are eternally grateful.

At this moment we respectfully request the worldwide media allow us time to grieve privately, without the intrusions associated with press and photography.

Posted Wednesday, February 6th, 2008 at 4:16pm
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