Pret-a-Reporter

Thomas Kinkade Official Cause of Death Released; Valium, Alcohol Found in System

The "Painter of Light" died suddenly last month at the age of 54.

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- An autopsy has found that artist Thomas Kinkade's death was caused by an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription tranquilizers.

NBC Bay Area News reported Monday that the Santa Clara County medical examiner concluded that the self-described "Painter of Light" stopped breathing at his Northern California home on April 6 from a combination of alcohol and Valium.

Before his death, the 54-year-old Kinkade produced sentimental scenes of country gardens and pastoral landscapes that he sold in a nationwide chain of galleries.

In recent years, however, he had run into personal difficulties, including a 2010 bankruptcy filing by one of his companies.

His brother has said Kinkade battled alcoholism and relapsed before his death.

A judge last month issued a restraining order against a former girlfriend that prevents her from talking about the late painter.

 

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