Today's Evil Beet Gossip
Heath Ledger

Overmedicated?

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I have said it over and over again; rich people can get themselves way to much medication. For some odd reason if you are rich and famous…or you just “doctor shop” you can get yourself a deadly cocktail of uppers and downers.

Historically there have been way to many young stars whose doctors will give them everything and anything to deal with “stress.” Give someone too much medication and you are creating an addict.

Heath Ledger was found with five different kinds of “drugs” in his apartment. These “drugs” were actually pills that he had prescriptions for. These included

nearly full pill bottles containing the anti-anxiety medications Alprazolam (Xanax), Diazepam (Valium) and Lorazepam (Ativan) were found in the apartment. The sleeping medication Zoplicone (Lunesta) and the sedative Temazepam (Restoril) — which is used by people with “debilitating insomnia”

Drugs abuse is something that can creep up on you. Honestly I once broke my foot (which is when I started writing for the Beet) and three different doctors gave me three different kinds of pain medications. Mix a few of those with a couple glasses of wine when you hurt and you start feeling no pain. When I finally realized I was taking these all together and got the shakes when I didn’t I had a bit of a wakeup call.

Somebody should look into the doctor who prescribed all of this medication together. Methinks somebody is going to be held partially responsible for this tragedy.

Tributes

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Here are some quotes from those remembering Heath Ledger:

“Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life but few had the pleasure of truly knowing him. He was a down to earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving, unselfish individual who was extremely inspirational to many.”

Heath Ledger’s father, Kim.

“It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation’s finest actors in the prime of his life. Heath Ledger’s diverse and challenging roles will be remembered as some of the great performances by an Australian actor.”

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd

“I adored him. I don’t know how to compare his talent to others but he’s touched me deeply as a talent and it’s a great loss – losing him at any age would be a loss but it was pretty rough news. I was really shocked by it.”

John Travolta

“I had such great hope for him. He was just taking off and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.”

Mel Gibson

“What a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Heath’s family.”

Nicole Kidman

“I am shocked and very saddened by the news. I deeply respected Heath’s work and always admired his continuing development as an artist. My thoughts are with his family and close friends.”


Cate Blanchett

“I think Tennyson got it right in the poem when he described someone as having died at a young age but burning the candles at both ends, and oh what a beautiful flame he made, that was Heath, what a beautiful flame he made and a great talent. My heart goes out to everyone in his family and my family. The saddest thing is his daughter whom he just loved
dearly.”

Larry Williams – ex-partner Michelle Williams’ father.

“That’s terrible. Drugs today… when we stopped taking drugs, they started. It is just an epidemic. I am sorry to hear that. He was a great talent.”

Dennis Hopper

“It’s really, really sad. I hope his family is okay. I wish them the best.”


Charlize Theron

“The studio is stunned and devastated by this tragic news. The entertainment community has lost an enormous talent. Heath was a brilliant actor and an exceptional person. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.”

Warner Bros president Alan Horn and studio president Jeff Robinov.

“He made a decision about four years ago to stop being led by producers and managers and to forge his own way. He started working with the most interesting directors. He was so successful at breaking out of the teen idol image.”

Neil Armfield, who directed Ledger in his last Australian film, Candy.

“I went through a similar thing with River Phoenix in the fact that he was so young. It’s a real tragedy when someone so talented dies because you don’t know on the early part of their career what more they could offer us”

Director Rob Reiner

[source]

The Latest

The Sydney Morning Herald has done a good job of breaking down the story, from rumor to fact, complete with links.

Also, programming note, EvilT has been called in to help out during the Beet’s absence. She’s good people!

For you avid readers, you’ll notice I deleted the once funny, now weird, comment from my original post today. I’m fairly certain this blog doesn’t control the universe, so I don’t think I “jinxed” anything, but I of course noted the terrible coincidence and didn’t want you to think I was censoring all over the place.

Not much more to say tonight… we’ll talk tomorrow morning, bright and early.

More News Coverage on Heath…

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Heath Ledger coverage from NYC:

Paul Brown of the NYC Police Department has confirmed that Heath Ledger was found naked and on the bed of his SOHO apartment. A makeshift memorial has been put up outside of his apartment by fans who are still lingering. If I can get pictures of the memorial I will if it isn’t cleared by the morning.

In Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, where Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams lived before they split up in August 2007, fans are also reacting. Most are commenting on how much his little girl Matilda Rose seemed to give him joy. Heath and Michelle had been fixtures in their neighborhood. They were often seen with their little girl playing in the park and had moved in Brooklyn in an attempt to escape the paps though they still often hunted them down.

Heath Ledger, from what I had gathered meeting him and hearing him speak about his craft as an actor was a very private person. I have never met any actor that was more soft spoken or introverted. I think what some media outlets are jumping at, his “weirdness” in interviews was simply a bit of a quirky personality.

There is a lot of speculation about Heath’s drug use and past history of depression and hopefully we will get some kind of clear information. From what the media outlets are reporting, most are speculating that his death was an accidental overdose from a combination of both prescription and over the counter sleeping pills.

Fox 5 News also just ran a video of Heath’s body being removed from his apartment at 421 Broome. If you want to see it you can click here. It has been a bit of a zoo all day media wise.

Since the Beet is on vacation, I will be writing a bit hopefully giving more coverage to this very sad loss.

Heath Ledger Dead at 28

Heath Ledger Dead at 28

CNN Front Page is reporting that Heath Ledger has been found dead in a Manhattan Apartment.

FOX has now picked it up, police seem to think it may be drug related…

And now TMZ is on the scene saying pills were found all around him.

I’m going to update on the fly as much as possible… this is just terrible news. I really liked Heath.

Update: 2:15pm PST
Evidently he was still filming his new movie, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus in NYC. Details aren’t really out as to whether this was an OD, or whether he had a drug problem. This article seems to indicate, that at least as of 2006, he didn’t have an IV drug use problem… but it’s hard to call this “hard evidence.”

The quote is compelling:

I’m sure drugs and alcohol would inspire new thoughts but it’s certainly not something that I use as a tool or a mechanism to create.

The FOX entertainment reporter is now talking about an interview with Heath he had for Brokeback Mountain where Ledger was drinking. Ummm… okay. That’s a reach in terms of relevance.

TMZ’s latest: The pills found were prescription.

Heath Ledger’s Soho apartment was owned by Mary Kate Olsen?? That’s just odd.

Now they are saying it might have actually been HER apartment…. and the NY Times has confirmed that it actually is her apartment. Wow. She’s in California but he was staying at her place.

The New York Times is saying “signs point to suicide.”

The Mary Kate story has now been refuted. Not sure how that one got started…

TMZ Is now confirming that Ledger had a substance abuse problem that he was trying to kick.

The fire department has confirmed that prescription sleeping pills were found.

Update: 2:45pm PST
CNN has Dr. Drew on the phone… he’s pointing out that prescription sleeping pills would be much more likely to be fatal.

Dr. Drew, who is really good, is pointing out how odd a non-violent suicide from a male is.

CNN is confirming that Heath was dating model Gemma Ward, pictured below:

Gemma Ward

Update: 3:45pm PST
They are sort of backing off the Ward story (saying he may have been dating her), and mentioned he was dating Lohan at some point.

An autopsy will be conducted on Wednesday.

Many people are coming forward now mentioning how odd Heath could be in interviews… but having conducted a few hundred interviews myself I think I can safely say most people in the business are a little off. It sort of goes with the territory, of existing in such a strange world.

I really hope Heath doesn’t get painted badly here. Yeah, he may have been depressed, but that’s not exactly rare in this day and age.

I mean, anyone who has to talk to strangers all day about their art is either 1) super extroverted or 2) a little sick of it.

Back to the story… Heath was found at 3:27pm EST by his housekeeper. She was waking him up as he had an appointment with a masseuse that had just arrived. He was found in the nude. They called 911 to no avail.

Update: 4:10pm PST
I wanted to wait until someone else thought it… and now Fox has. James Dean. Dean died at the age of 24. He was nominated for two Oscars. Heath was older… and with one Oscar. But he certainly had the sex appeal and talent. I don’t know that it makes sense to compare across generations, they obviously had a ton of differences – but I think people are struggling to put this in context.

My only thought is that we’ve lost a great, great actor. Here’s a nice piece on the range of Heath.

Update: 4:27pm PST
This is totally creepy… Michelle Williams is at Sundance right now promoting a film called Incendiary. The plot?

A woman’s life is torn apart when her husband and infant son are killed in a suicide bombing.

Ugh. My prayers and thoughts go out to this poor woman and her child. What a mess.

Update: 4:47pm PST
I have to tell you, this is the worst headline I’ve seen in quite some time:

Ledger’s Death: What About Batman?

Really, guys? Really? I’m as big a Batman fan as there is… but a man, a father no less, died today in tragic circumstances. The fourth paragraph is even worse:

The good news is that The Dark Knight has been shot and wrapped, so the impact of Ledger’s death on the movie will be minimal, other than a pall cast over the film in remembrance of a talented actor.

Umm, no. That’s not the “good news.” There ISN’T good news. You gotta be kidding me. The “impact” will be “minimal???” How can anyone really think that? We’re going to hear about this story for years. It’s going to be impossible to watch the film without thinking about Heath’s death.

Man, the internet is super idiotic at times like these. Even worse than the tele.

Yes Of COURSE Kate Hudson’s Making Out with Heath Ledger

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Those wacky celebs!

In the wake of her ex-boyfriend’s suicide attempt and prompt return to the bar scene, Kate Hudson has found solace in the arms of Heath Ledger. She was spotted “kissing and making out” with the newly single hunk at NYC’s Beatrice Inn. Her rep firmly denies it, claiming that “they ran into each other and chatted briefly, but that was the extent of it.”

Whatever.

They totally hooked up.

Doing It for the Kids

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If there’s any good way to tell your 2-year-old “I’m sorry we divorced” it’s giving her the exact same room at Mommy and Daddy’s house.

HEATH Ledger and Michelle Williams are planning to create two identical bedrooms for their 2-year-old daughter, Matilda, in the separate apartments they’ve been living in since their summer bust-up. Williams has been staying in the Brooklyn brownstone the duo used to share, and Ledger has since moved to SoHo. “They are having them designed exactly the same so when she wakes up in Heath’s place she won’t feel displaced,” said a source.

Cute!