Thomas Kinkade died of accidental alcohol, Valium overdose
The Santa Clara County coroner's office has concluded that famed artist Thomas Kinkade died of an accidental overdose of alcohol and Valium.
The autopsy report is scheduled to be released Tuesday, but NBC3 in San Francisco obtained details of its contents.
Kinkade, known as the "Painter of Light," died April 6 at his home in Monte Sereno, a community near Los Gatos in the Bay Area.
The findings of the coroner's report were published by NBC Bay Area News.
Millions of Kinkade's paintings and prints hang in homes around the world, popularity that translated into more than $50 million in earnings for the artist from 1997 to 2005 alone. Lauded for his generosity, he once gave an Anaheim widow $25,000 worth of his art to replace what she'd lost in a fire.
Kinkade’s brother Patrick told the Mercury News last month that years of mean-spirited personal attacks on the painter and a split from his wife and four daughters had worn Kinkade down. That led to a battle with alcoholism over the last four to five years, according to the report.
The paper reported earlier that Kinkade's girlfriend had told police that the painter had been drinking heavily before his death.
— Robert J. Lopez and Shelby Grad
Photo: Artist Thomas Kinkade unveils his painting "Prayer for Peace" in Atlanta on Sept. 15, 2006. Credit: Gene Blythe / Associated Press