Coroner: Valium, alcohol killed painter Kinkade

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Officials are confirming that artist Thomas Kinkade died from an accidental overdose of alcohol and prescription tranquilizers.

The Santa Clara County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office said Tuesday the self-described "Painter of Light" died April 6 due to a combination of ethanol and Diazepam intoxication, or in common terms, alcohol and the tranquilizer often marketed as 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 Patrick Kinkade did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday, but has said the painter battled alcoholism and had relapsed before his death at his Monte Sereno home.

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