Heath Ledger's parents Kim and Sally with his sister Kate react outside their home in Perth today.
He was down to earth, generous, kind hearted, life loving unselfish individual extremely inspirational to many
Heath Ledger 1979-2008 Actor's parents reveal their grief at the death of their son.
His parents Kim and Sally and sister Kate talked to reporters in Perth today of his untimely death.
"We, Heath's family can confirm the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda," his father said
"He was found peacefully asleep in his New York apartment by his housekeeper.
"He was down to earth, generous, kind hearted, life loving unselfish individual extremely inspirational to many."
The family had gathered at his mother's house in the leafy southern Perth suburb of Applecross after news broke of their loss.
Mr Ledger told reporters the family was grateful for the kind thoughts they were getting from around the world but wanted to grieve in private.
"We would like to thank our friends and everyone around the world for their well wishes and kind thoughts at this time," Mr Ledger said.
"Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life that few had the pleasure of truly knowing him.
"Please now respect our family's need to grieve and come to terms with our loss privately."
Earlier today a man, believed to be Ledger's stepfather, told reporters the family was "cut up" by the untimely death.
Neighbours were reluctant to talk but one teenage girl said Ledger had been in and out of his mother's house over the summer.
The actor spent much of December and January in Perth with his family and was grateful to the people of Perth and local media outlets for leaving him alone to be himself on his holiday.