Getty heir, 47, died from ‘natural causes’

Police at the house of Andrew Getty, who was found dead. Picture: AP
Police at the house of Andrew Getty, who was found dead. Picture: AP
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ANDREW Getty, an heir to the fortune of one of the United States’ wealthiest and best-known families, was found dead at his home in the Hollywood Hills, it was confirmed yesterday.

His death was most likely from natural causes or an accident, authorities and family members said.

The death appeared to be from natural causes, Los Angeles county coroner’s assistant chief Ed Winter said, but was initially called an accident because of medication found at the scene.

“The tentative information that we do have is that he was not feeling good for the last couple of months,” Winter said. “And he supposedly had an appointment tomorrow with a personal physician.”

Neither the coroner nor police had officially identified the man, but a statement from 47-year-old Getty’s parents, Ann and Gordon Getty, confirmed it was him.

A woman calling to report that someone had died sent officers to the gated home on Montcalm Avenue shortly after lunchtime on Tuesday. They found a man dead in a bathroom, police spokesman Jack Richter said.

Commander Andrew Smith said the woman who had called police was co-operating with the investigation. Mr Richter said she was not arrested and he did not know her identity. Coroner’s vans and news trucks were parked outside the century-old luxury home on one of the winding roads in the hills that are home to many of the film industry elite.

Getty is one of four sons of Gordon Getty, a San Francisco multi-billionaire who is among the richest men in the US.

The family statement provided no further details on the death and asked that the media and public respect the family’s privacy. It said further statements will be issued as information becomes available.

Andrew Getty’s grandfather J Paul Getty was an industrialist who founded the Getty Oil Company and was at one point named the richest living American by Fortune magazine. He had five sons and died in 1976 at age 82. J Paul Getty was an avid collector of art and antiquities, and the Getty name is best known in the Los Angeles area for the museum that houses much of it, along with many other high-priced artworks bought since his death.

Another Getty grandson, J Paul Getty III, lost an ear in a grisly kidnapping in Rome when he was a teenager. The family reportedly stalled on paying a ransom, and the kidnappers cut off part of his ear, sending it to a newspaper to prove they had taken him captive.

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