Patton Oswalt's wife Michelle McNamara has died aged 46.

Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt

The 'Ratatouille' star's spouse of 11 years passed away in her sleep at her home in Los Angeles, according to the comedian's publicist Kevin McLaughlin.

The reason for her death is not yet known but Kevin said: "(It) was a complete shock to her family and friends, who loved her dearly."

Stars have taken to social media to share the condolences and pay tribute to Michelle - who leaves behind the couple's seven-year-old daughter Alice - and her family.

'Arrested Development' star Will Arnett expressed his deep sadness for Oswalt, and wrote on Twitter: "My heart goes out to @pattonoswalt and his family. We love you man"

And fellow comedian John Mulaney penned: "Everything Michelle McNamara wrote @TrueCrimeDiary was excellent & thoughtful. She was an excellent & thoughtful person.

Michelle was a crime writer and founder of the website True Crime Diary, which covers breaking stories and old unsolved crimes otherwise known as cold cases.

She started the website almost by chance, because she wanted to satisfy her own curiosity of unsolved crimes.

She said previously: "I wanted to get more involved in the cases that were fuelling my own curiosity.

"It's the ones that really don't get that much attention that interest me because I think what's interesting about them is there's more stuff to be unearthed that hasn't been in the public yet and you can do it."