published Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Coroner: Valium, alcohol killed painter Kinkade

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2006 file photo, artist Thomas Kinkade unveils his painting, "Prayer For Peace," at the opening of the exhibit "From Abraham to Jesus," in Atlanta. A family member says Kinkade battled alcoholism over the past several years and had a relapse just before his death at his home in Santa Clara County. Kinkade died in Monte Sereno, Calif., on April 6, 2012, at age 54. (AP Photo/Gene Blythe, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2006 file photo, artist Thomas Kinkade unveils his painting, "Prayer For Peace," at the opening of the exhibit "From Abraham to Jesus," in Atlanta. A family member says Kinkade battled alcoholism over the past several years and had a relapse just before his death at his home in Santa Clara County. Kinkade died in Monte Sereno, Calif., on April 6, 2012, at age 54. (AP Photo/Gene Blythe, File)
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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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