Stars pay tribute to Ledger at film premiere

The stars of a new Jack Nicholson movie paid tribute to Hollywood actor Heath Ledger at the film’s premiere.

The stars of a new Jack Nicholson movie paid tribute to Hollywood actor Heath Ledger at the film’s premiere.

Nicholson and co-star Morgan Freeman, both 70, took to the red carpet in London last night to promote their new film The Bucket List.

But the tragic premature death of Australian star Ledger dominated the evening.

Freeman said: “It’s a great loss to the industry. He was an enormous movie talent. It sounds like a tragic accident.”

Director Rob Reiner added: “It’s unbelievably sad. I directed a film ('Stand by Me') with River Phoenix. He also died at a young age. It’s so tragic when someone dies at that age for life to be cut short.”

Ledger was found dead with pills near his body at his New York apartment on Tuesday.

Post-mortem tests on the 28-year-old were inconclusive but speculation has mounted that he died from an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.

He recently admitted taking the prescription drug Ambien to combat insomnia.

Asked about Ledger’s death, Nicholson said: “Wasn’t that horrible.”

The actor, who was wearing sunglasses at last night’s premiere, said: “I took Ambien once. I fell asleep and then got a call and almost drove off a cliff 50 yards from my house.”

Reports have suggested that Ledger may have found playing the Joker role in the new 'Batman' movie too much, and that the part left him unable to sleep.

But asked about the role – which Nicholson also played – the veteran star simply said: “Oh the Joker role…”

'The Bucket List' features Nicholson and Freeman as two patients who escape the hospital where they are being treated for a fatal disease to go on a lifetime adventure.

The premiere took place last night at The Vue, West End in Leicester Square.

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