Ledger's death ruled accidental

The untimely death of actor Heath Ledger has been ruled accidental by the New York City medical examiner, according to the Associated Press.

Hollywood was shocked when Ledger was found dead surrounded by pills in his SoHo apartment on January 22. The affable actor was not known to be a member of the hard-partying celebrity crowd, and early reports hinted that Ledger may have committed suicide.

Today, officials in New York said the cause of death stemmed from the combined effects of OxyContin, Valium, Xanax, Restoril, Hydrocodone, and Unisom. The drugs are prescribed as painkillers, sleeping aids, and anxiety suppressants.

Ledger's father released the following statement: "While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath's accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage."

The 28-year-old actor will star as The Joker in this summer's Batman movie, The Dark Knight. Ledger was nominated for an Academy Award for his breakout role in 2005's Brokeback Mountain, and got his start in Hollywood on the 1997 television show Roar.

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