What Drugs Led to the Death of Alan Ladd?


Quick Answer

According to his obituary in the February 5, 1964, issue of "Variety," actor Alan Ladd died on January 29, 1964, from an overdose of unspecified tranquilizers, barbiturates and alcohol. Ladd was best known for his numerous roles in western and crime thrillers during the 1940s and early 1950s.

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Full Answer

Alan Walbridge Ladd was born on September 3, 1913, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. After the death of his birth father, Ladd and his mother, Ina Raleigh, moved to North Hollywood, California, where Ladd began attending North Hollywood High School. During his attendance, he became involved in the school's dramatics program. After graduating, he pursued a full-time acting career, but had great difficulty landing consistent part.

After exploring other employment opportunities, including opening his own restaurant and working as a carpenter, he began taking roles in small theaters and on the radio. It was his radio work that allowed him to dedicate his full attention to acting. In 1939, Ladd appeared in his first full-length feature film entitled "Rulers of the Sea." This allowed him to obtain numerous small parts in films, including a small role in the film "Citizen Kane." By the 1940s, Ladd earned starring roles in films, often acting opposite actress Veronica Lake.

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