Chris Penn's death was the result of either natural causes or an accident, investigators have claimed. The official cause of death for the 40-year-old actor - who was found dead in his Santa Monica home on Tuesday - will not be known for six weeks.

But David Smith, a Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman, did reveal that Penn had suffered from an illness and used multiple drugs in the past. He declined to release details of the illness or say if the drugs were prescribed.

Medical examiners performed an autopsy on Wednesday and are now waiting for toxicology tests to be completed. Bizarrely, Penn's latest film - 'The Darwin Awards' - premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on the day of his autopsy. Writer-director Finn Taylor paid his respects to the actor after the screening. He said: "Chris gave an incredible performance in the film. I think he is going to be remembered for years to come and we will miss

Penn was the younger brother of Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn. He appeared in numerous films, including Starsky & Hutch, Rush Hour and True Romance.