Health Ledger, Australian born actor and new "gay " icon has passed away suddenly in New York. AP is saying "A New York Police Department spokesman says actor Heath Ledger has been found dead at a downtown Manhattan residence.
Ledger rose to fame palying the role of a closeted gay man in the runaway hit Brokeback Mountain.
Ledger on Ellen talking about his Oscar nomination
Heath Ledger was born April 4, 1979, in Perth, Australia. He left school at 17 and went to Sydney. His big break came in 1999 when he did landed a role in "10 Things I Hate About You". From there things were on the rise. He was hunky and cute. He had attracted a gay following before this and was selected to play the leading role in what has been seen as a breakthrough movie on homosexuality, Brokeback Mountain.
Ledger starred in the The Batman film, The Dark Knight to be released soon. Ledger was 28.
more here on Brokeback Mountain and gay men and cowboy culture
The New York Times report says "Ledger was discovered by the housekeeper and a masseuse who arrived in the afternoon for an appointment.
They knocked on the door, but "when no one answered, the housekeeper and the masseuse opened the bedroom and found Mr. Ledger naked and unconscious on a bed. They shook him, but he did not respond," the Times said.
The newspaper quoted officials as saying pills were found near the body, but gave no further details."