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updated 12/27/2005 5:41:25 PM ET 2005-12-27T22:41:25

Comedian Mitch Hedberg died accidentally in March of "multiple drug toxicity," including cocaine and heroin, Spin magazine reports, citing reports filed by the New Jersey medical examiner's office.

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The medical examiner's findings were filed in May, according to an article in the January issue of Spin about the convergence of comedy and rock 'n' roll.

Hedberg, 37, died in a hotel room in Livingston, N.J., while on a club tour performing standup. The comedian, who was born with a heart defect, was initially believed to have died from heart failure.

He had struggled with drugs and alcohol, and took a hiatus from performing for several months after a May 2003 arrest in Austin, Texas, for felony possession of heroin.

In the Spin article, Maureen Taran, a comedy manager who knew Hedberg, is quoted as saying that life on the road is difficult for a struggling comedian.

"It's a very lonely existence," Taran says. "If you aren't born with manic-depression, you will have it after being in this business."

A hit on "The Late Show With David Letterman," on which he appeared 10 times, and "The Howard Stern Show," Hedberg once was dubbed "the next Seinfeld" by Time magazine. But TV-series fame eluded him because his unique style of mumbled one-liners didn't lend itself to the sitcom format.

Born in St. Paul, Minn., Hedberg rose through the ranks at Minneapolis' Acme Comedy Co. and caught his big break through a Comedy Central special. He had a role in the film "Almost Famous" — smoking fake pot with Peter Frampton — and appeared on Fox's hit series "That '70s Show."

Hedberg had two popular comedy CDs, "Strategic Grill Locations" and "Mitch All Together."

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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