I warned Heath, says Nicholson

Los Angeles - Jack Nicholson warned Heath Ledger not to take the sleeping pill Ambien.

The 70-year-old Oscar-winning star - who played The Joker in the original Batman film, the role Ledger plays in new movie The Dark Knight - warned the 28-year-old insomniac of the dangers of the prescription drug.

Nicholson said: "Heath's death is tragic news. I warned him about Ambien. I took it once and somebody called me in the middle of the night and I woke up in my car 50 yards from my house. I almost drove off a cliff. I didn't know where I was.

"Ambien can get you. Not through excessive use, it's just some people react more strongly than others."

Ledger - who confessed to suffering from insomnia after playing The Joker - was found dead in his New York apartment on Tuesday morning with pills scattered around his naked body.

'Tragic accident'

Six prescription drugs were found, including Ambien, anxiety medication Valium, anti-depressant Zoloft, anxiety drug Xanax, highly addictive sleeping pill Zoplicone and antihistamine Donormyl.

A rolled up $20 bill was also found but police have revealed it tested negative for drug residue.

Nicholson was speaking at the London premiere of his new film The Bucket List on Wednesday night, which co-stars Morgan Freeman.

Freeman, who stars alongside Ledger in The Dark Knight as gadget man Lucius Fox, also paid tribute to the late actor.

He said: "Heath's death shocked everybody. It's a tragic accident and a terrible loss to the industry." - Bang Showbiz.com

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