By TOM HAYS
Associated Press Writer
NEW YORK (AP) _ Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan apartment, and police said drugs may have been a factor. The Australian-born actor was 28.
Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the residence in the tony SoHo neighborhood, NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. A housekeeper who went to let him know the massage therapist had arrived found him dead at 3:26 p.m.
A large crowd of paparazzi and gawkers began gathering Tuesday evening outside the building on an upscale block, where several police officers guarded the door.
Ledger was nominated for an Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain," where he met Michelle Williams in 2005. The two lived together in Brooklyn and had a daughter, Matilda, until they split up last year.
Ledger most recently appeared in "I'm Not There," in which he played one of the many incarnations of Bob Dylan — as did Cate Blanchett, whose performance in that film earned an Oscar nomination Tuesday for best supporting actress.
Ledger was to appear as the Joker this year in "The Dark Night," a sequel to 2005's "Batman Begins." He's had starring roles in "A Knight's Tale" and "The Patriot," and played the suicidal son of Billy Bob Thornton in "Monster's Ball."
Ledger grew up in Perth, and began doing amateur theater at age 10. At 16, he moved to Sydney to pursue an acting career, quickly landing TV movie roles and guest spots on Australian television.
After several independent films and a starring role in the short-lived Fox TV series "Roar," Ledger moved to Los Angeles and costarred in "10 Things I Hate About You," a teen comedy reworking of "The Taming of the Shrew."
Offers for other teen flicks came his way, but Ledger turned them down, preferring to remain idle than sign on for projects he didn't like.
"It wasn't a hard decision for me," Ledger told the Associated Press in 2001. "It was hard for everyone else around me to understand. Agents were like, 'You're crazy,' my parents were like, 'Come on, you have to eat.'"
By TOM HAYS
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This Week's Circulars
Arrangements are currently incomplete at Berry and Gardner Funeral Home for Mr. Dannie Hodges, 80, of Meridian, who died Sunday, June 13, 2021, at Rush Foundation Hospital, Meridian.
QUITMAN [ndash] Graveside services for Mr. Chester Andrews will be Monday, June 21, 2021, at 2 p.m., at Archusa Cemetery, Quitman. Visitation: Monday, June 21, 2021, from 12-1:45 p.m. at Berry & Gardner Chapel, Quitman.
QUITMAN [ndash] Arrangements are currently incomplete at Berry and Gardner Funeral Home for Mr. Robert Goodwin, 70, of Quitman, who died Tuesday, June 15, 2021, at The University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.
QUITMAN [ndash] Graveside services for Mrs. Alberta Moore will be Saturday, June 19, 2021, at 11 a.m., at Waynesboro Cemetery, Waynesboro. Visitation: Friday, June 18, 2021, from 5-7 p.m. at Berry & Gardner Funeral Home Chapel, Quitman.
QUITMAN [ndash] Arrangements are currently incomplete at Berry and Gardner Funeral Home for Mr. Chester Andrews, 74, of Elwood Community, who died Saturday, June 12, 2021, at his residence.
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