Tributes have been pouring in for Hollywood actor Heath Ledger, who died at his home on Tuesday of a suspected drug overdose. He was 28.

Mel Gibson, who cast Australian-born Ledger as his son in the 2001 epic The Patriot, led the tributes, describing the young actor’s death as ‘tragic’.

“I had such great hope for him,” he said. “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.”

Oscar-winning actress and fellow Australian Nicole Kidman said: “What a tragedy. My heart goes out to his family.”

And actor John Travolta, in Australia to attend a benefit dinner, described Ledger as one of his ‘favourite actors’.

The Pulp Fiction star said: “His abilities are rare… it’s a tremendous loss. It’s hard to be here celebrating Australia under these circumstances.”

Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan home at 3.26pm on Tuesday. Police say prescription drugs may have been a factor in his death.

One of the most promising actors of his generation, Ledger was Oscar-nominated for his role in 2005’s Brokeback Mountain, on the set of which he met his wife, American actress Michelle Williams.

They have a daughter, but split up last year.

Ledger had just completed filming his role as the Joker in the latest Batman movie The Dark Night, due for release later this year.

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