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Last Updated: Wednesday January 23 2008 07:01 GMT

Hollywood star found dead at home

Heath Ledger

One of Hollywood's brightest young stars, Heath Ledger, has been found dead in his apartment in New York.

The 28-year-old Australian was a rising talent in the film world and had just finished playing the Joker in the new Batman movie The Dark Knight.

It's thought Heath may have died of a drug overdose. Police don't think anyone else was involved in his death.

His dad, Kim, said Heath had been a "down to earth, generous, kind hearted, life-loving, unselfish individual".

Speaking in the actor's home town of Perth, in Western Australia, Mr Ledger added that the death of his "dearly-loved son" had been tragic and accidental.

Heath Ledger with ex-girlfriend Michelle Williams
Heath had a two-year-old daughter with actress Michelle Williams
One of Heaths' first acting jobs was in the Aussie soap Home and Away, in which he played surfer Scott Irwin back in 1997.

Since then he's starred in loads of Hollywood films, receiving rave reviews and, more recently, Oscar, Golden Globe and Bafta nominations.

Tributes

Heath's fellow A-list stars have also paid tribute to the young actor's talent.

Golden Compass actress Nicole Kidman described Heath's death as a "terrible tragedy".

And Hairspray star John Travolta said Heath had been one of his favourite performers: "His abilities are rare...it's a tremendous loss."



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