Several celebrities and producers have commented on the tragic passing of Heath Ledger, who was discovered dead in his apartment yesterday:
“What a tragedy. My heart goes out to his family.” – Nicole Kidman
“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, who starred with Ledger in The Patriot
“It was with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Heath Ledger. 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.” – Kevin Rudd, Prime Minister of Australia
“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., producers of The Dark Knight, Heath’s soon-to-be-released movie
“Heath Ledger was a courageous actor, and a great soul. He gave the gift of sharing his fearless and beautiful love — of his craft, and of all who worked with him — for which all of us will be eternally grateful.” – James Schamus, CEO of Focus Features, producers of Brokeback Mountain, for which Heath earned an Oscar nomination
“This is an unimaginable tragedy. Heath Ledger was a true artist, a deeply sensitive man, an explorer, gifted and wise beyond his years. There is no finer person on this earth.” – Todd Haynes, director of I’m Not There
Until the toxicology reports come in after the autopsy later today, no one will know for certain what killed Heath Ledger. But an NYPD source tells TMZ that the “operating theory” right now is that it was an accidental death, not suicide.
UPDATE: CNN reports that the autopsy findings where inconclusive Wednesday morning on Heath Ledger, and a cause-of-death determination will take 10 to 14 days, according to a spokesperson from the medical examiner’s office.
Follow the jump for more actors’ reflections on Heath Ledger …
“Actors need other actors to be inspired by. He was my actor. My feeling about Heath is that I don’t want to lose him at any age – 28 or 88… He’s a real valuable guy. So I’m truly sorry and my heart goes out to everyone that knew him and loved him. I would give back all my awards to have him back.” – John Travolta
“I was on my way over to pay him a visit when I found out. I had just left him a message and heard his voice on the machine. He was such a special and genuine person, so extraordinarily talented because he was so raw and honest with his feelings.” – Helena Christensen
“I am shocked and very saddened by the news. I deeply respect Heath’s work and always admired his continuing development as an artist. My thoughts are with his family and his close friends” – Cate Blanchett
“This is such a sad event. I admired Heath enormously. He was such a sensitive and committed and daring actor. This truly is a tragedy.” – Geoffrey Rush