Heath Ledger's Family Speaks Out on His Death

01/22/2008 at 10:30 PM EST

Heath Ledger's Family Speaks Out on His Death
Heath Ledger's father Kim (from left), mother Sally and sister Kate
Newspix/REX
Heath Ledger's father Kim has spoken out following the shocking death of the 28-year-old actor Tuesday in New York. According to a statement from the family:

Heath's family confirms the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda. He was found peacefully asleep in his New York apartment by his housekeeper at 3:30 p.m. U.S. time.

We would like to thank our friends and everyone around the world for their well wishes and kind thoughts at this time. Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life but few had the pleasure of truly knowing him.

He was a down to earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving and selfless individual who was extremely inspirational to many. Please now respect our family's need to grieve and come to terms with our loss privately.

Heath Ledger: Life in Photos: See all the actor's most recent photos – from life as a dad to being an Oscar nominee

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