A New York Police Department spokesman says the actor Heath Ledger has been found dead at a downtown Manhattan residence. According to TMZ.com, Ledger, 28, was found dead in his bed in one of his residences in Soho by his housekeeper at 3:35 p.m. ET Tuesday. The actor has a two-year-old daughter with former fiancée Michelle Williams. Ledger was set to play the Joker in the upcoming Batman film "The Dark Knight." He received an Academy Award nomination for his work in "Brokeback Mountain."
This is absolutely heartbreaking ... I just posted pictures of Heath on the set of his latest movie just yesterday and spent part of my Sunday watching his amazing performance in Brokeback Mountain again for the umpteenth time. CNN is reporting that a masseuse arrived at his apartment and found him dead. Thus far there is no concrete information as to what caused the death. I'll update with more information as soon as it becomes available. [Source]
UPDATE: The Detroit Free Press is reporting this information:
Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday at a downtown Manhattan residence in a possible drug-related death, police said. He was 28. NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said Ledger had an appointment for a massage at the Manhattan apartment believed to be his home. The housekeeper who went to let Ledger know the masseuse was there found him dead at 3:26 p.m.
UPDATE 2: The New York Times has a bit more information ... they are the first to allude to possible suicide and they reveal that the apartment that Heath was found in is owned by Mary-Kate Olsen BUT TMZ is reporting that the apartment is not owned by MK or related to her in any way:
The actor Heath Ledger was found dead this afternoon in an apartment in Manhattan inhabited by the actress Mary-Kate Olsen, according to the New York City police. Signs pointed to a suicide, police sources said. Mr. Ledger was 28. At 3:31 p.m., a masseuse arrived at Apartment 5A in the building, at 421 Broome Street in SoHo, for an appointment with Mr. Ledger, the police said. The masseuse was let in to the home by a housekeeper, who then knocked on the door of the bedroom Mr. Ledger was in. When no one answered, the housekeeper and the masseuse opened the bedroom and found Mr. Ledger naked and unconscious on a bed, with pills scattered around his body. They shook him, but he did not respond. They immediately called the authorities. The police said they did not suspect foul play. Officials said they believed Ms. Olsen, 21, was in California and said it was not clear how long or why Mr. Ledger had been in her apartment.
I'm very fearful of where this appears to be heading ... all I keep thinking about is his daughter Matilda Rose. This is a very sad, sad day.
I will miss this man very much.