Dead People Server

Re: E-mail to the Webmaster
Regarding Heath Ledger's Death

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Here is an exchange between an anonymous Dead People Server reader and me. The first exchange took place on January 27, 2008; I followed up on February 6, 2008, after the coroner's report was released.


There has been NO evidence that Heath Ledger died from a drug overdose. It is fools like you that do not wait until the truth comes out. His family has to live with all the crap. Everything that the media has said about this young man has been wrong.

My Response

I expect when the coroner's report is out that his death will be ruled a combination of too many medications and illness.

If the pneumonia had killed him outright, the autopsy would have shown this.  If he'd had a previously undiagnosed heart defect, the autopsy would have shown this.

But a combination of pharmacology and illness is much tougher to make a determination on, which is why we have to wait for toxicology tests to come back before saying anything definitive.

Do you know what the phrase "suspected drug overdose" means?

A fool is a person who doesn't want to deal with the facts as they are. The fact is, as fine a person and as wonderful an actor as he may have been, too many medications most likely led to his tragically early death. And, if I'm wrong about that, I will, of course, update his record in Dead People Server.

My Followup, 2/6

Just out of curiosity, do you have any comment on the coroner's report? Or is it simply wrong because you can't take the truth?

And I say this has a fan of Heath Ledger's who feels pretty bad about his death and the cause of it.  Unfortunately, he's another bad example of a young, talented person not paying attention.

OK, so I probably got a little snippy with the person. And, I was partially wrong - whatever illness Heath Ledger may have had seemed to have no medical bearing on his death. I did get another response from the person, but s/he is still in powerful denial about the effect of drug abuse on Ledger's death ("the coroner could be wrong...").

11/7/2011 - I didn't seen Ledger's last movie, Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, until very recently. The movie is spooky, because it is a very death-obsessed movie. It's not a great movie, as the script goes all over the place, but Christopher Plummer is top-notch. Ledger is interesting, but with all of the night shoots in London in cold weather that fall, he does look quite run down.