BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Saturday, 9 February 2008, 10:53 GMT
Mourners say farewell to Ledger
Michelle Williams (left) and Heath's sister Kate Ledger
Michelle Williams (left) and Kate Ledger attended the service
International film stars and close relatives were among the mourners at a memorial service for Australian actor Heath Ledger in his home town of Perth.

The service was to be followed by a private burial for close family only.

The 28-year-old star of Brokeback Mountain died of an accidental drugs overdose last month in New York.

Hollywood star Cate Blanchett was a speaker at the service, along with Neil Armfield, who directed Ledger in his last Australian film, Candy.

Heath Ledger memorial service
We're finding it pretty difficult to cope by ourselves, let alone with everyone else around the world
Kim Ledger
Ledger's former fiancee, Michelle Williams, attended the service along with Australian actors Bryan Brown and Joel Edgerton.

'Difficult to cope'

Local musician Levi Islam told reporters outside that he opened the service by playing an ancient Aboriginal tune on a didgeridoo.

His father, Kim Ledger, told reporters the family wanted to be allowed to grieve alone.

"We're finding it pretty difficult to cope by ourselves, let alone with everyone else around the world," he said.

"Having said that, we do really appreciate the outpouring and the emotional support from all over the globe."

About 500 people attended the memorial service at Penrhos College, in the Perth suburb of Como.

Mourners then went to a wake at the city's Cottesloe Beach, which was one of Ledger's favourite places.

Lethal combination

Cate Blanchett and Bryan Brown
Actors Cate Blanchett and Bryan Brown were among the mourners
A memorial service was held in Los Angeles last weekend.

On Wednesday, the New York City medical examiner ruled that Ledger died from the combined effect of six different prescription drugs.

They included painkiller Oxycontin and anti-anxiety drugs Valium and Xanax.

Traces of painkiller Ibuprofen and the sleeping pills Restoril and Unisom were also found in Ledger's blood.

Kim Ledger said: "While no medications were taken in excess, we learned the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy."

Local media reported that Ledger would be buried in a family plot, next to his grandparents, in a Perth ceremony.

Michelle Williams arrives at the memorial service

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific