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On January 22, 2008, Australian actor Heath Ledger died of an accidental drug overdose at age 28. But that's just the start of the story.

When Heath Ledger died in 2008, the world was in shock. The handsome Australian actor was just 28 years old — and he was at the pinnacle of his career. To his adoring fans, he seemed to have it all. So what really happened on the day of Heath Ledger’s death?

Though Ledger was enjoying success in his professional life, his personal life was falling apart. Not only was he reportedly abusing drugs, he was also struggling with insomnia — sometimes sleeping just two hours per night. And his relationship with his beloved partner, Michelle Williams, had ended. Tragically, Ledger’s downward spiral would soon lead to his demise.

Officially, Heath Ledger’s cause of death was attributed to an accidental overdose. But his path to self-medication was complicated, dark, and misunderstood in the mainstream press.

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