Heath Ledger’s Father Opens Up on Son’s Death 8 Years Later
The father of Heath Ledger recalled “The Dark Knight” actor’s battle with prescription drugs, revealing new details.
Ledger, who posthumously won an Academy Award in 2009 for portraying the Joker in the “Dark Knight,” was found dead in his apartment in 2008. He was 28 years old.
His father Kim recalled the final conversation his daughter Kate had with him a day before his death.
“The last conversation Kate had with him was this discussion about his medications and she warned him, ‘You can’t mix drugs that you don’t know anything about,’ ” Kim told news.com.au in an exclusive interview this week. “He said ‘Katie, Katie, I’ll be fine.’ Well, that’s a cavalier boy’s answer. It just put his whole system to sleep I guess.”
At the time, New York City’s chief medical examiner ruled, “Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Diazepam, Temazepam, Alprazolam, and Doxylamine. We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications.” Opioids Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are painkillers, while benzodiazepines Diazepam, Xanax, and Temazepam treat anxiety and sleeplessness. Doxylamine is an antihistamine.
“[He] mixed a couple of drugs together with sleeping tablets and he’s gone forever. That’s something we [himself, Kate and wife Sally] just have to deal with,” Kim concluded. “It was a one-off thing. That’s what killed us, because he was warned by his sister the night before: ‘You shouldn’t mix what you’re taking for pneumonia with your Ambien.’ But most of Heath’s problems were self-induced,” he said.
At the time, Kim warned about the dangers of prescription drug overuse.
“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,” Kim said in a statement in 2008.