A public memorial service will be held in Los Angeles next week for the actor Heath Ledger, following his sudden death on Tuesday.

Australia’s foreign minister Stephen Smith also said the actor’s family would be offered help in returning his body to Perth, where he is expected to be laid to rest.

He told reporters in New York that he believed a private memorial service had already been held.

However he gave no further details of any plans for the Los Angeles memorial and said any similar tributes in Australia would be determined by the 28-year-old’s family.

Ledger’s body was moved from a funeral home on Friday, surrounded by a crowd of reporters and photographers.

Arrangements for his funeral are being kept private at the request of his family.