Heath Ledger, the Australian-born actor whose role as a gay cowboy in the 2005 movie Brokeback Mountain got him an Oscar nomination, was found dead on Tuesday in his Manhattan apartment.
The police said he was found naked on the floor by the bed in his SoHo residence and that they did not suspect foul play.
There were no illegal drugs found in the loft, which neighbours said Ledger had occupied for several months. Prescription pills were found on a nearby table, although it is not clear whether they had anything to do with his death. No obvious indication of a suicide was found. A spokesman for New York City’s medical examiner said that Ledger’s autopsy was “inconclusive”.
Ledger, who became one of Hollywood’s hottest under-30 stars with Brokeback Mountain, became a familiar figure in the neighborhood after moving there when he broke up with actress Michelle Williams. He clashed with paparazzi in Australia and partied in New York, but was not remembered as a difficult celebrity. Starting out as an actor on Australian television, he moved to Hollywood in 1999.