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Heath Ledger

Heath Ledger

Overview
Heath Andrew Ledger was an Australian television and film actor. After performing roles in Australian television and film during the 1990s, Ledger moved to the United States in 1998 to develop his film career. His work encompassed nineteen films, including 10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate about You
10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American teen romantic comedy film. It is directed by Gil Junger and stars Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, and Larry Miller...

(1999), The Patriot
The Patriot (2000 film)
The Patriot is a 2000 historical war film directed by Roland Emmerich, written by Robert Rodat, and starring Mel Gibson, Chris Cooper, and Heath Ledger. It was produced by the Mutual Film Company and Centropolis Entertainment and was distributed by Columbia Pictures...

(2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx with the screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry...

(2005), and The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

(2008). In addition to acting, he produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director.

For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar
Ennis Del Mar
Ennis del Mar is the fictional main character of the short story "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx and the 2005 Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the same name directed by Ang Lee. Ennis's story is depicted by his complex, sexual, and romantic relationship with Jack Twist in the American...

 in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger won the 2005 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

 and the 2006 "Best Actor" award from the Australian Film Institute
Australian Film Institute
The Australian Film Institute was founded in 1958 as a non-profit organisation devoted to developing an active film culture in Australia and fostering engagement between the general public and the Australian film industry...

 and was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 as well as the 2006 BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.-Superlatives:...

.
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Quotations

I had a year where I sat around on my butt and declined generous offers to do more teen movies and more of the same characters as the one from 10 Things. I was literally living off Ramen noodles and water just because I was sticking to my guns. It was very hard because they offer you so much money. It's so easy to say, 'Ah fuck it, at least I can live and eat.'

Interview with Detour (magazine)|Detour (Summer 2000).

All of this is so insignificant. In the grand scale of things, there have been so many before who have been in this position. I'm just another one. Life is so short. It's like we're already gone, really, in retrospect.

On fame and celebrity, as quoted in the New York Daily News (New York)|Daily News, June 26, 2000.

[I'm] an extremely private dude and all this is happening so damn quick. I really haven't had any time to rationalize it. But it's nothing that I'm going to let freak me out or take control of me or my thoughts or my real life.

As quoted in the London The Times|Times, July 1, 2000.

I love acting. Oh, God, I love it. But all this fame and all this bullshit attention. I'm not supernatural. I've done nothing extremely special to deserve the position. It happens every couple of years, and it's happened to hundreds of people before me.

As quoted in Newsweek|Newsweek, July 10, 2000.

I'm in control of my life, not anyone in Hollywood. I only do this because I'm having fun. The day I stop having fun, I'll just walk away. I wasn't going to have fun doing a teen movie again. I don't want to do this for the rest of my life. I don't. I don't even want to spend the rest of my youth doing this in this industry. There's so much more I want to discover.

As quoted in an interview in Vanity Fair (magazine)|Vanity Fair (August 2000).

When anything is blocking my head or there's worry in my life, I just go sit on Mars or something and look back here at Earth. All you can see is this tiny speck. You don't see the fear. You don't see the pain. You don't see thought. It's just one solid speck. Then nothing really matters. It just doesn't.

As quoted in an interview in Vanity Fair (magazine)|Vanity Fair (August 2000).

I'm the worst auditioner, really, really bad. I mean, you're being judged and I'm just so aware of it that it consumes me. I can't relax, I'm tied in knots, so the voice is very taut and tense. You're so aware that you're acting 'cause you're sitting across from this lady with a piece of paper who's going, I'm. Going. To. Shoot. You. If. You. Don't. Blah, blah, blah, in this emotionless voice. It's foul. I hate it.

As quoted by EW.com (May 2001).

Most of the time you don't even know they're there. Now, that's the scary thing. It's really strange and invading, but I'm still working it all out. I try to not let it bother me. And if I want to swim naked in my pool, I'm still going to do it. I certainly don't want to feel that I have to change everything in my life that I do to cater to them. I just won't let it happen.

Speaking on his problems with the paparazzi, as quoted in the National Post|National Post (May 2001).
Encyclopedia
Heath Andrew Ledger was an Australian television and film actor. After performing roles in Australian television and film during the 1990s, Ledger moved to the United States in 1998 to develop his film career. His work encompassed nineteen films, including 10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate about You
10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American teen romantic comedy film. It is directed by Gil Junger and stars Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, and Larry Miller...

(1999), The Patriot
The Patriot (2000 film)
The Patriot is a 2000 historical war film directed by Roland Emmerich, written by Robert Rodat, and starring Mel Gibson, Chris Cooper, and Heath Ledger. It was produced by the Mutual Film Company and Centropolis Entertainment and was distributed by Columbia Pictures...

(2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx with the screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry...

(2005), and The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

(2008). In addition to acting, he produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director.

For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar
Ennis Del Mar
Ennis del Mar is the fictional main character of the short story "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx and the 2005 Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the same name directed by Ang Lee. Ennis's story is depicted by his complex, sexual, and romantic relationship with Jack Twist in the American...

 in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger won the 2005 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
The New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor is one of the awards given by the New York Film Critics Circle to honor the finest achievements in filmmaking....

 and the 2006 "Best Actor" award from the Australian Film Institute
Australian Film Institute
The Australian Film Institute was founded in 1958 as a non-profit organisation devoted to developing an active film culture in Australia and fostering engagement between the general public and the Australian film industry...

 and was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 as well as the 2006 BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Best Actor in a Leading Role is a British Academy Film award presented annually by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding leading performance in a film.-Superlatives:...

. Posthumously he shared the 2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award with the rest of the ensemble cast, the director, and the casting director for the film I'm Not There
I'm Not There
I'm Not There is a 2007 biographical musical film directed by Todd Haynes, inspired by iconic American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Six actors depict different facets of Dylan's life and public persona: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw...

, which was inspired by the life and songs of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

. In the film, Ledger portrayed a fictional actor named Robbie Clark, one of six characters embodying aspects of Dylan's life and persona. Ledger received numerous accolades for his critically acclaimed portrayal of the Joker
Joker (comics)
The Joker is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain published by DC Comics. He is the archenemy of Batman, having been directly responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon and the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin...

 in The Dark Knight, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

, a Best Actor International Award at the 2008 Australian Film Institute
Australian Film Institute
The Australian Film Institute was founded in 1958 as a non-profit organisation devoted to developing an active film culture in Australia and fostering engagement between the general public and the Australian film industry...

 Awards, for which he became the first actor to win an award posthumously, the 2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor is one of the annual awards given by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.This award has been awarded since 1977.-1970s:-1980s:-1990s:-2000s:-2010s:...

, the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and the 2009 BAFTA Award
British Academy Film Awards
The British Academy Film Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts . It is the British counterpart of the Oscars. As of 2008, it has taken place in the Royal Opera House, having taken over from the flagship Odeon cinema on Leicester Square...

 for Best Supporting Actor.

Ledger died in January 2008, from an accidental "toxic combination of prescription drugs
Combined drug intoxication
Combined drug intoxication , also known as multiple drug intake or lethal polydrug/polypharmacy intoxication, is an unnatural cause of human death...

". A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming his penultimate performance, as the Joker in The Dark Knight, his death coming during editing of the film and casting a shadow over the subsequent promotion of the $180 million production. At the time of his death, on 22 January 2008, he had completed about half of his work performing the role of Tony in Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam
Terrence Vance "Terry" Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam is also known for directing several films, including Brazil , The Adventures of Baron Munchausen , The Fisher King , and 12 Monkeys...

's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009 fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam and Charles McKeown. The film follows a traveling theater troupe whose leader, having made a bet with the Devil, takes audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations...

.

Early life


Heath Ledger was born in Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

, Western Australia, the son of Sally Ledger (née Ramshaw), a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a racing-car driver and mining engineer, whose family established and owned the Ledger Engineering Foundry. The Sir Frank Ledger Charitable Trust is named after his great-grandfather. He was half Scottish
Scotland
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

 on his mother's side and his father has Irish
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

 ancestry. Ledger attended Mary's Mount Primary School, in Gooseberry Hill
Gooseberry Hill, Western Australia
Gooseberry Hill is a suburb of Perth, Western Australia, located within the Shire of Kalamunda. It is the site of Gooseberry Hill National Park....

, and later Guildford Grammar School
Guildford Grammar School
Guildford Grammar School, informally known as Guildford Grammar, Guildford or GGS, is an independent, day and boarding school for boys situated in Guildford, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia....

, where he had his first acting experiences, starring in a school production as Peter Pan
Peter Pan
Peter Pan is a character created by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie . A mischievous boy who can fly and magically refuses to grow up, Peter Pan spends his never-ending childhood adventuring on the small island of Neverland as the leader of his gang the Lost Boys, interacting with...

 at age 10. His parents separated when he was 10 and divorced when he was 11. Ledger's older sister Kate, an actress and later a publicist
Publicist
A publicist is a person whose job is to generate and manage publicity for a public figure, especially a celebrity, a business, or for a work such as a book, film or album...

, to whom he was very close, inspired his acting on stage, and his love of Gene Kelly
Gene Kelly
Eugene Curran "Gene" Kelly was an American dancer, actor, singer, film director and producer, and choreographer...

 inspired his successful choreography, leading to Guildford Grammar's 60-member team's "first all-boy victory" at the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge
Rock Eisteddfod Challenge
The Rock Eisteddfod Challenge is a series of dance and drama events staged worldwide by school pupils as part of the Global Rock Challenge. These events are initiated by the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge Foundation, and aim to promote healthy lifestyle choices, particularly abstinence from drugs,...

. Heath's and Kate's other siblings include two half-sisters, Ashleigh Bell (b. 1989), his mother's daughter with her second husband and his stepfather Roger Bell, and Olivia Ledger (b. 1997), his father's daughter with second wife and his stepmother Emma Brown.

1990s


After sitting for early graduation exams at 16, Ledger left school to pursue an acting career. With Trevor DiCarlo, his best friend since he was three years old, Ledger drove across Australia from Perth to Sydney, returning to Perth to take a small role in Clowning Around
Clowning Around
Clowning Around is an Australian family film that was shot on location in Perth, Western Australia and Paris, France.The film was produced by independent film company Barron Entertainment Films in Western Australia and educational film company WonderWorks in the United States, was directed by...

(1992), the first part of a two-part television series, and to work on the TV series Sweat
Sweat (TV series)
Sweat was an Australian drama series created by John Rapsey and produced by Barron Entertainment in Perth. The show aired on Network Ten in 1996 and centred around students at an Australian school for the athletically gifted.Sweat was Heath Ledger's first regular role on a television show...

(1996), in which he played a gay cyclist. From 1993 to 1997, Ledger also had parts in the Perth television series Ship to Shore (1993); in the short-lived Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

 fantasy-drama Roar
Roar (TV series)
Roar is an American television show that originally aired on the Fox network in the summer of 1997. In the year AD 400, a young Irish man, Conor , sets out to rid his land of the invading Romans, but in order to accomplish this, he must unite the Celtic clans.-Premise:Roar chronicles the...

(1997); in Home and Away
Home and Away
Home and Away is an Australian soap opera that has been produced in Sydney since July 1987 and is airing on the Seven Network since 17 January 1988. It is the second-longest-running drama and most popular soap opera on Australian television...

(1997), one of Australia's most successful television shows; and in the Australian film Blackrock
Blackrock (film)
Blackrock is a 1997 Australian film directed by Steven Vidler and written by Nick Enright. Internationally, it is best remembered as the first prominent role of actor Heath Ledger.-Origin:...

(1997), his feature film debut. In 1999, he starred in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate about You
10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American teen romantic comedy film. It is directed by Gil Junger and stars Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, and Larry Miller...

and in the acclaimed Australian crime film Two Hands, directed by Gregor Jordan
Gregor Jordan
Gregor Jordan is an Australian film director.Jordan's films include Two Hands , Buffalo Soldiers , and Ned Kelly . He has also directed the concert video These Days: Live in Concert by Australian rock band Powderfinger.His film Two Hands won the Australian Film Institute Award for Best Direction...

.

2000s


From 2000 to 2005, he starred in supporting roles as Gabriel Martin, the eldest son of Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson
Mel Gibson
Mel Colm-Cille Gerard Gibson, AO is an American actor, film director, producer and screenwriter. Born in Peekskill, New York, Gibson moved with his parents to Sydney, Australia when he was 12 years old and later studied acting at the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art.After appearing in...

), in The Patriot
The Patriot (2000 film)
The Patriot is a 2000 historical war film directed by Roland Emmerich, written by Robert Rodat, and starring Mel Gibson, Chris Cooper, and Heath Ledger. It was produced by the Mutual Film Company and Centropolis Entertainment and was distributed by Columbia Pictures...

(2000), and as Sonny Grotowski, the son of Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton
Billy Bob Thornton is an American actor, screenwriter, director and musician. Thornton gained early recognition as a cast member on the CBS sitcom Hearts Afire and in several early 1990s films including On Deadly Ground and Tombstone...

), in Monster's Ball
Monster's Ball
Monster's Ball is a 2001 romantic drama film directed by Marc Forster, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, and Heath Ledger, and written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos. It was produced by Lionsgate and Lee Daniels Entertainment....

(2000); and in leading or title roles in A Knight's Tale
A Knight's Tale (film)
A Knight's Tale is a 2001 American action-adventure film directed, produced, and written by Brian Helgeland. The film stars Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon, Mark Addy, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell, Paul Bettany as Geoffrey Chaucer, and James Purefoy as Sir Thomas Colville/Edward, the Black Prince.The...

(2001), The Four Feathers
The Four Feathers (2002 film)
The Four Feathers is a 2002 action drama film directed by Shekhar Kapur, starring Heath Ledger, Wes Bentley, Djimon Hounsou and Kate Hudson...

(2002), The Order
The Order (2003 film)
The Order, also known as The Sin Eater, is a 2003 mystery horror film written and directed by Brian Helgeland, starring Heath Ledger, Benno Fürmann, Mark Addy, and Shannyn Sossamon...

(2003), Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly (2003 film)
Ned Kelly is an Australian drama film directed by Gregor Jordan. The film portrays the life of Ned Kelly — a legendary bushranger in northeast Victoria. Ned Kelly, his brother Dan, and two other men — Steve Hart and Joe Byrne — formed a gang of Irish Australians in response to Irish and...

(2003), Casanova (2005), The Brothers Grimm
The Brothers Grimm (film)
The Brothers Grimm is a 2005 fantasy Adventure film directed by Terry Gilliam. The film stars Matt Damon and Heath Ledger in an exaggerated and fictitious portrait of the Brothers Grimm as traveling con-artists in French-occupied Germany during the late 18th century...

(2005), and Lords of Dogtown
Lords of Dogtown
Lords of Dogtown is a 2005 biographical film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, written by Stacy Peralta. The film is based on the story of "The Z-Boys", an influential group of skateboarders who revolutionized the sport...

(2005). In 2001, he won a ShoWest
National Association of Theatre Owners
The National Association of Theatre Owners is a trade organization based in the United States whose members are the owners of movie theaters. Most major theater chains are members, as are many independent theatre operators; collectively, they account for the operation of over 26,000 motion...

 Award as "Male Star of Tomorrow".

Ledger received "Best Actor of 2005" awards from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle
San Francisco Film Critics Circle
The San Francisco Film Critics Circle was founded in 2002 as an organization of film journalists and critics from San Francisco, California based publications....

 for his performance in Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx with the screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry...

, in which he plays Wyoming
Wyoming
Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

 ranch hand Ennis Del Mar
Ennis Del Mar
Ennis del Mar is the fictional main character of the short story "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx and the 2005 Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the same name directed by Ang Lee. Ennis's story is depicted by his complex, sexual, and romantic relationship with Jack Twist in the American...

, who has a love affair with aspiring rodeo rider Jack Twist
Jack Twist
Jack Twist is a fictional character of the short story "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx and the 2005 Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the same name directed by Ang Lee, where he was portrayed by American actor Jake Gyllenhaal...

, played by Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal
Jacob Benjamin "Jake" Gyllenhaal is an American actor. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal began acting at age ten...

. He also received a nomination for Golden Globe Best Actor in a Drama and a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor
Academy Award for Best Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

 for this performance, making him, at age 26, the ninth-youngest nominee for a Best Actor Oscar. In The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

review of the film, critic Stephen Holden
Stephen Holden
Stephen Holden is an American writer, music critic, film critic, and poet.Holden earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Yale University in 1963...

 writes: "Both Mr. Ledger and Mr. Gyllenhaal make this anguished love story physically palpable. Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando, Jr. was an American movie star and political activist. "Unchallenged as the most important actor in modern American Cinema" according to the St...

 and Sean Penn
Sean Penn
Sean Justin Penn is an American actor, screenwriter and film director, also known for his political and social activism...

." In a review in Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

, Peter Travers
Peter Travers
Peter Travers is an American film critic, who has written for, in turn, People and Rolling Stone. Travers also hosts a celebrity interview show called Popcorn on ABC News Now and ABCNews.com.-Career:...

 states: "Ledger's magnificent performance is an acting miracle. He seems to tear it from his insides. Ledger doesn't just know how Ennis moves, speaks and listens; he knows how he breathes. To see him inhale the scent of a shirt hanging in Jack's closet is to take measure of the pain of love lost."

After Brokeback Mountain, Ledger costarred with fellow Australian Abbie Cornish
Abbie Cornish
Abbie Cornish is an Australian actress. She is well known in Australia for a number of film and television roles, particularly her award-winning lead performance in 2004's Somersault, and internationally for her role as Fanny Brawne in Bright Star and her appearance as Sweet Pea in Sucker Punch.-...

 in the 2006 Australian film Candy
Candy (2006 film)
Candy is a 2006 Australian romantic drama film, adapted from Luke Davies's novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction. Candy was directed by debut film-maker Neil Armfield and stars Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish and Geoffrey Rush....

,
an adaptation of the 1998 novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction
Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction
-Plot introduction:In Luke Davies' Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction, the unnamed narrator falls in love with Candy, who gravitates to his bohemian lifestyle... and his love of heroin...

,
as young heroin addicts in love attempting to break free of their addiction, whose mentor is played by Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Rush
Geoffrey Roy Rush is an Australian actor and film producer. He is one of the few people who has won the "Triple Crown of Acting": an Academy Award, a Tony Award and an Emmy Award. He has won one Academy Award for acting , three British Academy Film Awards , two Golden Globe Awards and four Screen...

; for his performance as sometime poet Dan, Ledger was nominated for three "Best Actor" awards, including one of the Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards
Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards 2006
The 15th Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards, 2006, honored the best in film for 2006.-Winners:Best Film*Ten Canoes Best Director*Ray Lawrence Best Actress*Abbie Cornish...

, which both Cornish and Rush won in their categories. Shortly after the release of Candy, Ledger was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures...

.

As one of six actors embodying different aspects of the life of Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

 in the 2007 film I'm Not There
I'm Not There
I'm Not There is a 2007 biographical musical film directed by Todd Haynes, inspired by iconic American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Six actors depict different facets of Dylan's life and public persona: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw...

,
directed by Todd Haynes
Todd Haynes
Todd Haynes is an American independent film director and screenwriter. He is best known for his feature films Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Poison, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, and the Academy Award-nominated Far from Heaven and I'm Not There.- Style and themes :The writes that "Haynes is...

, Ledger "won praise for his portrayal of 'Robbie [Clark],' a moody, counter-culture actor who represents the romanticist side of Dylan, but says accolades are never his motivation." Posthumously, on 23 February 2008, he shared the 2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award with the rest of the film's ensemble cast, its director, and its casting director.

In his next to last film performance, Ledger played the Joker in The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

, directed by Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Jonathan James Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer.He received serious notice after his second feature Memento , which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him,...

, first released, in Australia, on 16 July 2008, nearly six months after his death. While still working on the film, in London, Ledger told Sarah Lyall
Sarah Lyall
Sarah Lambert Lyall is an American-born English journalist, who currently works as London correspondent for The New York Times.-Biography:...

, in their interview published in the New York Times on 4 November 2007, that he viewed The Dark Knights Joker as a "psychopathic
Psychopathy
Psychopathy is a mental disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness. Psychopaths are highly prone to antisocial behavior and abusive treatment of others, and are very disproportionately responsible for violent crime...

, mass murder
Mass murder
Mass murder is the act of murdering a large number of people , typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time. According to the FBI, mass murder is defined as four or more murders occurring during a particular event with no cooling-off period between the murders...

ing, schizophrenic
Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social...

 clown
Clown
Clowns are comic performers stereotypically characterized by the grotesque image of the circus clown's colored wigs, stylistic makeup, outlandish costumes, unusually large footwear, and red nose, which evolved to project their actions to large audiences. Other less grotesque styles have also...

 with zero empathy
Empathy
Empathy is the capacity to recognize and, to some extent, share feelings that are being experienced by another sapient or semi-sapient being. Someone may need to have a certain amount of empathy before they are able to feel compassion. The English word was coined in 1909 by E.B...

."

To prepare for the role, Ledger told
Empire
Empire (magazine)
Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. From the first issue in July 1989, the magazine was edited by Barry McIlheney and published by Emap. Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008...

, "I sat around in a hotel room in London for about a month, locked myself away, formed a little diary and experimented with voices – it was important to try to find a somewhat iconic voice and laugh. I ended up landing more in the realm of a psychopath – someone with very little to no conscience towards his acts"; after reiterating his view of the character as "just an absolute sociopath
Antisocial personality disorder
Antisocial personality disorder is described by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fourth edition , as an Axis II personality disorder characterized by "...a pervasive pattern of disregard for, and violation of, the rights of others that begins in childhood...

, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown", he added that Nolan had given him "free rein" to create the role, which he found "fun, because there are no real boundaries to what the Joker would say or do. Nothing intimidates him, and everything is a big joke." For his work in The Dark Knight, Ledger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

, his family accepting it on his behalf, as well as numerous other posthumous awards including the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
The Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture was first awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in 1944 for a performance in a motion picture released in the previous year....

, which Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Jonathan James Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer.He received serious notice after his second feature Memento , which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him,...

 accepted for him.

At the time of his death, on 22 January 2008, Ledger had completed about half of the work for his final film performance as Tony in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009 fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam and Charles McKeown. The film follows a traveling theater troupe whose leader, having made a bet with the Devil, takes audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations...

.

Directorial work


Ledger had aspirations to become a film director and had made some music videos, which director Todd Haynes
Todd Haynes
Todd Haynes is an American independent film director and screenwriter. He is best known for his feature films Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story, Poison, Velvet Goldmine, Safe, and the Academy Award-nominated Far from Heaven and I'm Not There.- Style and themes :The writes that "Haynes is...

 praised highly in his tribute to Ledger upon accepting the ISP Robert Altman Award, which Ledger posthumously shared, on 23 February 2008. In 2006 Ledger directed music videos for the title track on Australian hip-hop artist N'fa
N'fa
N'fa is an African Australian rapper born in London, but raised in Perth, Western Australia, best known as the former frontman for 1200 Techniques. His father is from Sierra Leone. Forster-Jones met Heath Ledger in primary school and remained friends until the actor's death in 2008...

's CD debut solo album Cause An Effect
Cause An Effect
Cause An Effect is the first album by the former 1200 Techniques frontman, N'fa. The Australian hip hop artist collaborated with various producers around the world including Roots Manuva, Mr Yoshiaki , DJ Peril and Deceptikonz...

 and for the single "Seduction Is Evil (She's Hot)". Later that year, Ledger inaugurated a new record label, Masses Music, with singer Ben Harper and also directed a music video for Harper's song "Morning Yearning".

At a news conference at the 2007 Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the...

, Ledger spoke of his desire to make a documentary film about the British singer-songwriter Nick Drake
Nick Drake
Nicholas Rodney "Nick" Drake was an English singer-songwriter and musician. Though he is best known for his sombre guitar based songs, Drake was also proficient at piano, clarinet and saxophone...

, who died in 1974, at the age of 26, from an overdose of an antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressant
Tricyclic antidepressants are heterocyclic chemical compounds used primarily as antidepressants. The TCAs were first discovered in the early 1950s and were subsequently introduced later in the decade; they are named after their chemical structure, which contains three rings of atoms...

. Ledger created and acted in a music video set to Drake's recording of the singer's 1974 song about depression "Black Eyed Dog"—a title "inspired by Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill
Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill, was a predominantly Conservative British politician and statesman known for his leadership of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest wartime leaders of the century and served as Prime Minister twice...

’s descriptive term for depression" (black dog); it was shown publicly only twice, first at the Bumbershoot Festival, in Seattle, held from 1 to 3 September 2007; and secondly as part of "A Place To Be: A Celebration of Nick Drake", with its screening of Their Place: Reflections On Nick Drake, "a series of short filmed homages to Nick Drake" (including Ledger's), sponsored by American Cinematheque
American Cinematheque
The American Cinematheque is an independent, non-profit cultural organization in Los Angeles dedicated exclusively to the public presentation of the Moving Image in all its forms. It is considered among the premier organizations of its kind in America....

, at the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre
Grauman's Egyptian Theatre
Grauman's Egyptian Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, is one of the world's most famous movie theatres. Opened in 1922, it was the venue for the first-ever Hollywood premiere.- History :...

, in Hollywood, on 5 October 2007. After Ledger's death, his music video for "Black Eyed Dog" was shown on the Internet and excerpted in news clips distributed via YouTube.

He was working with Scottish screenwriter and producer Allan Scott
Allan Scott (Scottish screenwriter)
Allan Scott, the alias of Allan Shiach, is a Scottish screenwriter and producer, nominated for BAFTA's Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film and a Genie Award for his 1997 film Regeneration...

 on an adaptation of the 1983 novel The Queen's Gambit
The Queen's Gambit (novel)
The Queen's Gambit is an American novel by Walter Tevis. The bildungsroman coming-of-age novel was originally published in 1983 and covers themes in feminism, chess, drug addiction, and alcoholism.-Epigraph:...

 by Walter Tevis
Walter Tevis
Walter Stone Tevis was an American novelist and short story writer. Three of his six novels were adapted into major films: The Hustler, The Color of Money and The Man Who Fell to Earth...

, for which he was planning both to act and to direct, which would have been his first feature film as a director. Ledger's final directorial work, in which he shot two music videos before his death, premiered in 2009. The music videos, completed for Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse
Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington, by singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. They are based in Portland, Oregon. Since their 1996 debut album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think...

 and Grace Woodroofe, include an animated feature for Modest Mouse's song, "King Rat
King Rat (song)
"King Rat" is a song by indie rock band Modest Mouse and appears as the title track to their fifth promotional single, following "The World At Large". The single was later released on the band's 2009 EP No One's First and You're Next...

", and the Woodroofe video for her cover of David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

's "Quicksand
Quicksand (David Bowie song)
"Quicksand" is a song written by David Bowie in 1971 for the album Hunky Dory. This ballad features multi-tracked acoustic guitars and a string arrangement by Mick Ronson...

". The "King Rat" video premiered on 4 August 2009.

Personal life



Ledger was an avid chess player, winning Western Australia's junior chess championship at the age of 10. As an adult, he often played with other chess enthusiasts at Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park
Washington Square Park is one of the best-known of New York City's 1,900 public parks. At 9.75 acres , it is a landmark in the Manhattan neighborhood of Greenwich Village, as well as a meeting place and center for cultural activity...

. Allan Scott
Allan Scott (Scottish screenwriter)
Allan Scott, the alias of Allan Shiach, is a Scottish screenwriter and producer, nominated for BAFTA's Alexander Korda Award for Best British Film and a Genie Award for his 1997 film Regeneration...

's film adaptation of the chess-related 1983 novel The Queen's Gambit
The Queen's Gambit (novel)
The Queen's Gambit is an American novel by Walter Tevis. The bildungsroman coming-of-age novel was originally published in 1983 and covers themes in feminism, chess, drug addiction, and alcoholism.-Epigraph:...

, by Walter Tevis
Walter Tevis
Walter Stone Tevis was an American novelist and short story writer. Three of his six novels were adapted into major films: The Hustler, The Color of Money and The Man Who Fell to Earth...

, which at the time of his death he was planning to both perform in and direct, would have been Ledger's first feature film as a director.

Among his most notable romantic relationships, Ledger dated actress Heather Graham for several months in 2000 to 2001, and he had a serious on-and-off-again long-term relationship
On-again, off-again relationship
An on-again, off-again relationship is a form of casual relationship, usually sexual, between two people. It is where the couple concerned do not see their discontinuous affair as an ongoing or formal relationship...

 with actress Naomi Watts
Naomi Watts
Naomi Ellen Watts is a British actress. Watts began her career in Australian television, where she appeared in series such as Hey Dad..! , Brides of Christ , and Home and Away . Her film debut was the 1986 drama For Love Alone...

, whom he met during the filming of Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly (2003 film)
Ned Kelly is an Australian drama film directed by Gregor Jordan. The film portrays the life of Ned Kelly — a legendary bushranger in northeast Victoria. Ned Kelly, his brother Dan, and two other men — Steve Hart and Joe Byrne — formed a gang of Irish Australians in response to Irish and...

and with whom he lived at times from 2002 to 2004. According to the 10th Anniversary commentary by his co-stars for "10 Things I Hate About You", he and Julia Stiles
Julia Stiles
Julia O'Hara Stiles is an American actress.After beginning her career in small parts in a New York City theatre troupe, she has moved on to leading roles in plays by writers as diverse as William Shakespeare and David Mamet...

 began dating during the film and dated for several years. In the summer of 2004, he met and began dating actress Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams (actress)
Michelle Ingrid Williams is an American actress. After starting her career with television guest appearances in the early 1990s, Williams achieved recognition for her role as Jen Lindley on the WB television teen drama Dawson's Creek, which she played from 1998 to 2003...

 on the set of
Brokeback Mountain, and their daughter, Matilda Rose, was born on 28 October 2005 in New York City. Matilda Rose's godparents are Ledger's Brokeback co-star Jake Gyllenhaal
Jake Gyllenhaal
Jacob Benjamin "Jake" Gyllenhaal is an American actor. The son of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner, Gyllenhaal began acting at age ten...

 and Williams's
Dawson's Creek
Dawson's Creek
Dawson's Creek is an American teen drama television series which debuted on January 20, 1998, on The WB Television Network and was produced by Sony Pictures Television. The show is set in the fictional seaside town of Capeside, Massachusetts, and in Boston, Massachusetts, during the later seasons...

castmate Busy Philipps
Busy Philipps
Elizabeth Jean Philipps , known professionally as Busy Philipps, is an American film actress, perhaps best known for her supporting roles on the television series Freaks and Geeks and Dawson's Creek...

. Ledger sold his residence in Bronte, New South Wales
Bronte, New South Wales
Bronte is a beachside suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Bronte is located 8 kilometres east of the Sydney central business district, in the Waverley Council local government area of the Eastern Suburbs....

, and moved to the United States, where he shared an apartment with Williams, in Boerum Hill
Boerum Hill
Boerum Hill is a small neighborhood in the northwestern portion of the New York City borough of Brooklyn that occupies 36 blocks bounded by State Street to the north, 4th Avenue to the east, Smith Street to the west, and Warren Street to the south. Commercial strips line Smith Street and Atlantic...

, Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, from 2005 to 2007. In September 2007, Williams' father confirmed to Sydney's
Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
The Daily Telegraph is an Australian tabloid newspaper published in Sydney, New South Wales, by Nationwide News, part of News Corporation.The Tele, as it is also known, was founded in 1879. From 1936 to 1972, it was owned by Frank Packer's Australian Consolidated Press. That year it was sold to...

 that Ledger and Williams had ended their relationship. After his break-up with Williams, in late 2007 and early 2008, the tabloid press and other public media linked Ledger romantically with supermodels Helena Christensen
Helena Christensen
Helena Christensen is a Danish fashion model, Victoria's Secret Angel, beauty queen, and photographer. She has also served as creative director for Nylon magazine, designed clothing, and supported funding for breast cancer organizations and other charities.-Early life:Christensen was born in...

 and Gemma Ward
Gemma Ward
Gemma Louise Ward is an Australian fashion model turned actress.-Early life:Gemma Ward was born on 3 November 1987 in Perth, Western Australia, the second of four children of Gary Ward, a doctor, and Claire, a nurse. She has an older sister, Sophie , and younger twin brothers, Oscar and Henry...

 and with former child star, actress Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen is an American actress, producer, author and fashion designer. She made her career debut in 1987 alongside her twin sister Ashley Olsen in the television series Full House...

.

Press controversies


Ledger's relationship with the press in Australia was sometimes turbulent, and it led to his relocating to New York City. In 2004 he strongly denied press reports alleging that "he spat at journalists on the Sydney set of the film Candy
Candy (2006 film)
Candy is a 2006 Australian romantic drama film, adapted from Luke Davies's novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction. Candy was directed by debut film-maker Neil Armfield and stars Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish and Geoffrey Rush....

," or that one of his relatives had done so later, outside Ledger's Sydney home. On 13 January 2006, "Several members of the paparazzi
Paparazzi
Paparazzi is an Italian term used to refer to photojournalists who specialize in candid photography of celebrities, politicians, and other prominent people...

 retaliated ... squirting Ledger and Williams with water pistols on the red carpet
Red carpet
A red carpet is traditionally used to mark the route taken by heads of state on ceremonial and formal occasions, and has in recent decades been extended to use by VIPs and celebrities at formal events.- History :...

 at the Sydney premiere of
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx with the screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry...

."

After his performance on stage at the 2005 Screen Actors Guild Awards, when he had giggled in presenting
Brokeback Mountain as a nominee for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, the Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

referred to his presentation as an "apparent gay spoof." Ledger called the Times later and explained that his levity resulted from stage fright
Stage fright
Stage fright or performance anxiety is the anxiety, fear, or persistent phobia which may be aroused in an individual by the requirement to perform in front of an audience, whether actually or potentially . In the context of public speaking, this fear is termed glossophobia, one of the most common...

, saying that he had been told that he would be presenting the award only minutes earlier; he stated: "I am so sorry and I apologise for my nervousness. I would be absolutely horrified if my stage fright was misinterpreted as a lack of respect for the film, the topic and for the amazing filmmakers."

Ledger was quoted in January 2006 in Melbourne's Herald Sun
Herald Sun
The Herald Sun is a morning tabloid newspaper based in Melbourne, Australia. It is published by The Herald and Weekly Times, a subsidiary of News Limited, itself a subsidiary of News Corporation. It is available for purchase throughout Melbourne, Regional Victoria, Tasmania, the Australian Capital...

as saying that he heard that West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

 had banned
Brokeback Mountain, which it had not; actually, a cinema in Utah
Utah
Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

 had banned the film. He had also referred mistakenly to West Virginia's having had lynching
Lynching
Lynching is an extrajudicial execution carried out by a mob, often by hanging, but also by burning at the stake or shooting, in order to punish an alleged transgressor, or to intimidate, control, or otherwise manipulate a population of people. It is related to other means of social control that...

s as recently as the 1980s, but state scholars disputed his statement, observing that, whereas lynchings did occur in Alabama
Alabama
Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

 as recently as 1981, according to "the director of state archives and history" quoted in
The Charleston Gazette
The Charleston Gazette
The Charleston Gazette is a five-day morning newspaper in Charleston, West Virginia. It is published Monday through Friday mornings. On Saturday and Sunday mornings the combined Charleston Gazette-Mail is published, which is, more or less, similar to the Gazette.The Gazette was established in...

, "The last documented lynching in West Virginia took place in Lewisburg in 1931."

Sleep difficulties and other work-related health issues


In their
New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

interview, published on 4 November 2007, Ledger told Sarah Lyall
Sarah Lyall
Sarah Lambert Lyall is an American-born English journalist, who currently works as London correspondent for The New York Times.-Biography:...

 that his recently completed roles in
I'm Not There
I'm Not There
I'm Not There is a 2007 biographical musical film directed by Todd Haynes, inspired by iconic American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Six actors depict different facets of Dylan's life and public persona: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw...

(2007) and The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

 (2008) had taken a toll on his ability to sleep: "Last week I probably slept an average of two hours a night. ... I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." At that time, he told Lyall that he had taken two Ambien pills, after taking just one had not sufficed, and those left him in "a stupor, only to wake up an hour later, his mind still racing."

Prior to his return to New York from his last film assignment, in London, in January 2008, while he was apparently suffering from some kind of respiratory illness, he reportedly complained to his co-star Christopher Plummer
Christopher Plummer
Arthur Christopher Orne Plummer, CC is a Canadian theatre, film and television actor. He made his film debut in 1957's Stage Struck, and notable early film performances include Night of the Generals, The Return of the Pink Panther and The Man Who Would Be King.In a career that spans over five...

 that he was continuing to have difficulty sleeping and taking pills to help with that problem: "Confirming earlier reports that Ledger hadn't been feeling well on set, Plummer says, 'we all caught colds because we were shooting outside on horrible, damp nights. But Heath's went on and I don't think he dealt with it immediately with the antibiotic
Antibiotic
An antibacterial is a compound or substance that kills or slows down the growth of bacteria.The term is often used synonymously with the term antibiotic; today, however, with increased knowledge of the causative agents of various infectious diseases, antibiotic has come to denote a broader range of...

s.... I think what he did have was the walking pneumonia.' [...] On top of that, 'He was saying all the time, "dammit, I can't sleep"... and he was taking all these pills to help him.' "

In talking with Interview
Interview (magazine)
Interview is an American magazine which has the nickname The Crystal Ball Of Pop. It was founded in late 1969 by artist Andy Warhol. The magazine features intimate conversations between some of the world's biggest celebrities, artists, musicians, and creative thinkers...

 magazine after his death, Ledger's former fiancée Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams (actress)
Michelle Ingrid Williams is an American actress. After starting her career with television guest appearances in the early 1990s, Williams achieved recognition for her role as Jen Lindley on the WB television teen drama Dawson's Creek, which she played from 1998 to 2003...

 "also confirmed reports the actor had experienced trouble sleeping. "For as long as I'd known him, he had bouts with insomnia. He had too much energy. His mind was turning, turning turning – always turning."

Death


At about 2:45 p.m. (EST
Eastern Time Zone
The Eastern Time Zone of the United States and Canada is a time zone that falls mostly along the east coast of North America. Its UTC time offset is −5 hrs during standard time and −4 hrs during daylight saving time...

), on 22 January 2008, Ledger was found unconscious in his bed by his housekeeper
Housekeeper (servant)
A housekeeper is an individual responsible for the cleaning and maintenance of the interior of a residence, including direction of subordinate maids...

, Teresa Solomon, his chef
Cook
Cook is a family name of English origin.There are several figures named Cook:- A :*Aaron Cook several people*A. J. Cook , actress*A. J...

, Alex Breslau, and his masseuse
Massage
Massage is the manipulation of superficial and deeper layers of muscle and connective tissue to enhance function, aid in the healing process, and promote relaxation and well-being. The word comes from the French massage "friction of kneading", or from Arabic massa meaning "to touch, feel or handle"...

, Diana Wolozin, in his fourth-floor loft apartment at 421 Broome Street in the SoHo
SoHo
SoHo is a neighborhood in Lower Manhattan, New York City, notable for being the location of many artists' lofts and art galleries, and also, more recently, for the wide variety of stores and shops ranging from trendy boutiques to outlets of upscale national and international chain stores...

 neighborhood of Manhattan.

According to the police, Wolozin, who had arrived early for a 3:00 pm appointment with Ledger, called Ledger's friend, actress Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen is an American actress, producer, author and fashion designer. She made her career debut in 1987 alongside her twin sister Ashley Olsen in the television series Full House...

, for help. Olsen, who was in California, directed a New York City private security guard to go to the scene. At 3:26 pm, "[fewer] than 15 minutes after Wolozin first saw him in bed and only a few moments" after first calling Olsen and then calling her a second time to express her fears that Ledger was dead, Wolozin telephoned 9-1-1
9-1-1
9-1-1 is the emergency telephone number for the North American Numbering Plan .It is one of eight N11 codes.The use of this number is for emergency circumstances only, and to use it for any other purpose can be a crime.-History:In the earliest days of telephone technology, prior to the...

 "to say that Mr. Ledger was not breathing." At the urging of the 9-1-1 operator, Wolozin administered CPR
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is an emergency procedure which is performed in an effort to manually preserve intact brain function until further measures are taken to restore spontaneous blood circulation and breathing in a person in cardiac arrest. It is indicated in those who are unresponsive...

, which was unsuccessful in reviving him.

Emergency medical technician
Emergency medical technician
Emergency Medical Technician or Ambulance Technician are terms used in some countries to denote a healthcare provider of emergency medical services...

s (EMT) arrived seven minutes later, at 3:33 pm ("at almost exactly the same moment as a private security guard summoned by Ms. Olsen"), but were also unable to revive him. At 3:36 pm, Ledger was pronounced dead and his body removed from the apartment.

Memorial tributes and services



As the news of Ledger's death became public, throughout the night of 22 January 2008, and the next day, media crews, mourners, fans, and other onlookers began gathering outside his apartment building, with some leaving flowers or other memorial tributes.

The next day, at 10:50 a.m., Australian time
Time in Australia
Australia uses Standard time, i.e: the same well defined time for a region. The proper names of Australia's time zones are Australian Western Standard Time , Australian Central Standard Time , and Australian Eastern Standard Time...

, Ledger's parents and sister appeared outside his mother's house in Applecross
Applecross, Western Australia
Applecross is an affluent riverside suburb of Perth, Western Australia, bounded by Canning Highway and the Swan River. It is located within the City of Melville.Like the name Perth, the suburb of Applecross borrows its name from the region in Scotland...

, a riverside suburb of Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

, and read a short statement to the media expressing their grief and desire for privacy. Within the next few days, memorial tributes were communicated by family members, Prime Minister of Australia
Prime Minister of Australia
The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Australia is the highest minister of the Crown, leader of the Cabinet and Head of Her Majesty's Australian Government, holding office on commission from the Governor-General of Australia. The office of Prime Minister is, in practice, the most powerful...

 Kevin Rudd
Kevin Rudd
Kevin Michael Rudd is an Australian politician who was the 26th Prime Minister of Australia from 2007 to 2010. He has been Minister for Foreign Affairs since 2010...

, Deputy Premier of Western Australia
Premier of Western Australia
The Premier of Western Australia is the head of the executive government in the Australian State of Western Australia. The Premier has similar functions in Western Australia to those performed by the Prime Minister of Australia at the national level, subject to the different Constitutions...

 Eric Ripper
Eric Ripper
Eric Stephen Ripper is the Leader of the Opposition and leader of the Labor Party in Western Australia.He grew up on a wheat/sheep farm near Nyabing. Ripper later attended Churchlands Senior High School and the University of Western Australia, from which he received a Bachelor of Arts and a...

, Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc., also known as Warner Bros. Pictures or simply Warner Bros. , is an American producer of film and television entertainment.One of the major film studios, it is a subsidiary of Time Warner, with its headquarters in Burbank,...

 (distributor of The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

), and thousands of Ledger's fans around the world.

Several actors made statements expressing their sorrow at Ledger's death, including Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Michael Blake Day-Lewis is an English actor with both British and Irish citizenship. His portrayals of Christy Brown in My Left Foot and Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood won Academy and BAFTA Awards for Best Actor, and Screen Actors Guild as well as Golden Globe Awards for the latter...

, who dedicated his Screen Actors Guild Award to Ledger, saying that he was inspired by Ledger's acting; Day-Lewis praised Ledger's performances in
Monster's Ball
Monster's Ball
Monster's Ball is a 2001 romantic drama film directed by Marc Forster, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, and Heath Ledger, and written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos. It was produced by Lionsgate and Lee Daniels Entertainment....

and Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx with the screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry...

, describing the latter as "unique, perfect." Verne Troyer
Verne Troyer
Verne J. Troyer is an American stand-up comedian, actor, stuntman and performer, best known for playing Mini-Me in the Austin Powers series...

, who was working with Ledger on
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus at the time of his death, had a heart shape, an exact duplicate of a symbol that Ledger scrawled on a piece of paper with his email address, tattooed on his hand in remembrance of Ledger because Ledger "had made such an impression on [him]."

On 1 February, in her first public statement after Ledger's death, Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams (actress)
Michelle Ingrid Williams is an American actress. After starting her career with television guest appearances in the early 1990s, Williams achieved recognition for her role as Jen Lindley on the WB television teen drama Dawson's Creek, which she played from 1998 to 2003...

 expressed her heartbreak and described Ledger's spirit as surviving in their daughter.

After attending private memorial ceremonies in Los Angeles, Ledger's family members returned with his body to Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

.

On 9 February, a memorial service attended by several hundred invited guests was held at Penrhos College
Penrhos College, Perth
Penrhos College is an independent, Uniting Church, day and boarding school for girls, located in Como, a southern suburb of Perth, Western Australia....

, garnering considerable press
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

 attention; afterward Ledger's body was cremated at Fremantle Cemetery
Fremantle Cemetery
Fremantle Cemetery is a 46 hectare cemetery located in the eastern part of Fremantle, Western Australia. Established in 1898, it is known as the final resting place of Bon Scott and several other notable Australians....

, followed by a private service attended by only 10 closest family members, with his ashes to be interred later in a family plot at Karrakatta Cemetery
Karrakatta Cemetery
Karrakatta Cemetery is a metropolitan cemetery in the suburb of Karrakatta in Perth, Western Australia. Karrakatta Cemetery first opened for burials in 1899, with Robert Creighton. Currently managed by the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board, the cemetery attracts more than one million visitors each...

, next to two of his grandparents. Later that night, his family and friends gathered for a wake
Wake (ceremony)
A wake is a ceremony associated with death. Traditionally, a wake takes place in the house of the deceased, with the body present; however, modern wakes are often performed at a funeral home. In the United States and Canada it is synonymous with a viewing...

 on Cottesloe Beach
Cottesloe, Western Australia
-Transport:Cottesloe is served by Swanbourne, Grant Street, Cottesloe, Mosman Park and Victoria Street railway stations on the Fremantle line. Various bus routes along Stirling Highway and through the suburb's western and eastern sections link Cottesloe to Perth and Fremantle. All services are...

.

Autopsy and toxicological analysis


After two weeks of intense media speculation about possible causes of Ledger's death, on 6 February 2008, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York
Coroner
A coroner is a government official who* Investigates human deaths* Determines cause of death* Issues death certificates* Maintains death records* Responds to deaths in mass disasters* Identifies unknown dead* Other functions depending on local laws...

 released its conclusions, based on an initial autopsy
Autopsy
An autopsy—also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy , autopsia cadaverum, or obduction—is a highly specialized surgical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present...

 of 23 January 2008, and a subsequent complete toxicological analysis
Toxicology
Toxicology is a branch of biology, chemistry, and medicine concerned with the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms...

. The report concludes, in part, "Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication
Combined drug intoxication
Combined drug intoxication , also known as multiple drug intake or lethal polydrug/polypharmacy intoxication, is an unnatural cause of human death...

 by the combined effects of oxycodone
Oxycodone
Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic medication synthesized from opium-derived thebaine. It was developed in 1916 in Germany, as one of several new semi-synthetic opioids in an attempt to improve on the existing opioids: morphine, diacetylmorphine , and codeine.Oxycodone oral medications are generally...

, hydrocodone
Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone or dihydrocodeinone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from either of two naturally occurring opiates: codeine and thebaine. It is an orally active narcotic analgesic and antitussive...

, diazepam
Diazepam
Diazepam , first marketed as Valium by Hoffmann-La Roche is a benzodiazepine drug. Diazepam is also marketed in Australia as Antenex. It is commonly used for treating anxiety, insomnia, seizures including status epilepticus, muscle spasms , restless legs syndrome, alcohol withdrawal,...

, temazepam
Temazepam
Temazepam is an intermediate-acting 3-hydroxy benzodiazepine. It is mostly prescribed for the short-term treatment of sleeplessness in patients who have difficulty maintaining sleep...

, alprazolam
Alprazolam
Alprazolam is a short-acting anxiolytic of the benzodiazepine class of psychoactive drugs. Alprazolam, like other benzodiazepines, binds to specific sites on the GABAA gamma-amino-butyric acid receptor...

 and doxylamine
Doxylamine
Doxylamine is one of the many sedating antihistamines used by itself as a short-term sedative, and in combination with other drugs as a night-time cold and allergy relief drug...

." It states definitively: "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications
Drug abuse
Substance abuse, also known as drug abuse, refers to a maladaptive pattern of use of a substance that is not considered dependent. The term "drug abuse" does not exclude dependency, but is otherwise used in a similar manner in nonmedical contexts...

." The medications found in the toxicological analysis are commonly prescribed in the United States for insomnia
Insomnia
Insomnia is most often defined by an individual's report of sleeping difficulties. While the term is sometimes used in sleep literature to describe a disorder demonstrated by polysomnographic evidence of disturbed sleep, insomnia is often defined as a positive response to either of two questions:...

, anxiety
Anxiety
Anxiety is a psychological and physiological state characterized by somatic, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral components. The root meaning of the word anxiety is 'to vex or trouble'; in either presence or absence of psychological stress, anxiety can create feelings of fear, worry, uneasiness,...

, depression, pain
Pain
Pain is an unpleasant sensation often caused by intense or damaging stimuli such as stubbing a toe, burning a finger, putting iodine on a cut, and bumping the "funny bone."...

, or common cold
Common cold
The common cold is a viral infectious disease of the upper respiratory system, caused primarily by rhinoviruses and coronaviruses. Common symptoms include a cough, sore throat, runny nose, and fever...

 symptoms, or any combination thereof. Although the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 and other media reported that "police estimate Ledger's time of death between 1 pm and 2:45 pm" (on 22 January 2008), the Medical Examiner's Office announced that it would not be publicly disclosing the official estimated time of death. The official announcement of the cause and manner of Ledger's death heightened concerns about the growing problems of prescription drug abuse or misuse and combined drug intoxication
Combined drug intoxication
Combined drug intoxication , also known as multiple drug intake or lethal polydrug/polypharmacy intoxication, is an unnatural cause of human death...

 (CDI).

Federal investigation


Late in February 2008, a DEA investigation of medical professionals relating to Ledger's death exonerated two American physicians, who practice in Los Angeles and Houston, of any wrongdoing, determining that "the doctors in question had prescribed Ledger other medications – not the pills that killed him."

On 4 August 2008, citing unnamed sources, Murray Weiss, of the New York Post
New York Post
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and is generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continuously as a daily, although – as is the case with most other papers – its publication has been periodically interrupted by labor actions...

, first reported that Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen
Mary-Kate Olsen is an American actress, producer, author and fashion designer. She made her career debut in 1987 alongside her twin sister Ashley Olsen in the television series Full House...

 had "refused [through her attorney, Michael C. Miller] to be interviewed by federal investigators probing the accidental drug death of her close friend Heath Ledger ... [without] ... immunity from prosecution," and that, when asked about the matter, Miller at first declined further comment. Later that day, after the police confirmed the gist of Weiss's account to the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

, Miller issued a statement denying that Olsen supplied Ledger with the drugs causing his death and asserting that she did not know their source." In his statement, Miller said specifically: "Despite tabloid speculation, Mary-Kate Olsen had nothing whatsoever to do with the drugs found in Heath Ledger's home or his body, and she does not know where he obtained them," emphasizing that media "descriptions [attributed to an unidentified source] are incomplete and inaccurate."

After a flurry of further media speculation, on 6 August 2008, the U.S. Attorney's Office
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York is a federal district court. Appeals from the Southern District of New York are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (in case...

 in Manhattan closed its investigation into Ledger's death without filing any charges and rendering moot
Mootness
In American law, a matter is moot if further legal proceedings with regard to it can have no effect, or events have placed it beyond the reach of the law...

 its subpoena
Subpoena
A subpoena is a writ by a government agency, most often a court, that has authority to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence under a penalty for failure. There are two common types of subpoena:...

 of Olsen. With the clearing of the two doctors and Olsen, and the closing of the investigation because the prosecutors in the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office "don't believe there's a viable target," it is still not known how Ledger obtained the oxycodone
Oxycodone
Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic medication synthesized from opium-derived thebaine. It was developed in 1916 in Germany, as one of several new semi-synthetic opioids in an attempt to improve on the existing opioids: morphine, diacetylmorphine , and codeine.Oxycodone oral medications are generally...

 and hydrocodone
Hydrocodone
Hydrocodone or dihydrocodeinone is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from either of two naturally occurring opiates: codeine and thebaine. It is an orally active narcotic analgesic and antitussive...

 in the lethal drug combination
Combined drug intoxication
Combined drug intoxication , also known as multiple drug intake or lethal polydrug/polypharmacy intoxication, is an unnatural cause of human death...

 that killed him.

Eleven months after Ledger's death, on 23 December 2008, Jake Coyle, writing for the Associated Press, announced that "Heath Ledger's death was voted 2008's top entertainment story by U.S. newspaper and broadcast editors surveyed by The Associated Press," as it resulted in: "shock and confusion" about "the circumstances", the ruling of the death as an accident caused by "a toxic combination of prescription drugs", and the continuation of "his legacy... [i]n a roundly acclaimed performance as the Joker in the year's biggest box office hit The Dark Knight."

Controversy over will


After Ledger's death, in response to some press reports about his will
Will (law)
A will or testament is a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his/her estate and provides for the transfer of his/her property at death...

, filed in New York City on 28 February 2008, and his daughter's access to his financial legacy, his father, Kim Ledger, said that he considered the financial well-being of his granddaughter Matilda Rose the Ledger family's "absolute priority" and her mother, Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams (actress)
Michelle Ingrid Williams is an American actress. After starting her career with television guest appearances in the early 1990s, Williams achieved recognition for her role as Jen Lindley on the WB television teen drama Dawson's Creek, which she played from 1998 to 2003...

, "an integral part of our family", adding "They will be taken care of and that's how Heath would want it to be". Some of Ledger's relatives may be challenging the legal status of his will signed in 2003, prior to his involvement with Williams and the birth of their daughter and not updated to include them, which divides half of his estate
Estate (law)
An estate is the net worth of a person at any point in time. It is the sum of a person's assets - legal rights, interests and entitlements to property of any kind - less all liabilities at that time. The issue is of special legal significance on a question of bankruptcy and death of the person...

 between his parents and half among his siblings; they claim that there is a second, unsigned will, which leaves most of that estate to Matilda Rose. Williams' father, Larry Williams, has also joined the controversy about Ledger's will as it was filed in New York City soon after his death.

On 31 March 2008, stimulating another controversy pertaining to Ledger's estate, Gemma Jones and Janet Fife-Yeomans published an "Exclusive" report, in The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph (Australia)
The Daily Telegraph is an Australian tabloid newspaper published in Sydney, New South Wales, by Nationwide News, part of News Corporation.The Tele, as it is also known, was founded in 1879. From 1936 to 1972, it was owned by Frank Packer's Australian Consolidated Press. That year it was sold to...

, citing Ledger's uncle Haydn Ledger and other family members, who "believe the late actor may have fathered a secret love child" when he was 17, and stating that "If it is confirmed that Ledger is the girl's biological father, it could split his multi-million dollar estate between ... Matilda Rose ... and his secret love child." A few days later, reports citing telephone interviews with Ledger's uncles Haydn and Mike Ledger and the family of the other little girl, published in OK!
OK!
OK! is a British weekly magazine specializing in celebrity news. Originally launched as a monthly, its first issue was published in April 1993. In September 2004, OK! publishers Northern and Shell launched in Australia as a monthly title – the magazine went weekly in October 2006...

and Us Weekly
Us Weekly
Us Weekly is a celebrity gossip magazine, founded in 1977 by The New York Times Company, who sold it in 1980. It was acquired by Wenner Media in 1986. The publication covers topics ranging from celebrity relationships to the latest trends in fashion, beauty, and entertainment...

, "denied" those "claims", with Ledger's uncles and the little girl's mother and stepfather describing them as unfounded "rumors" distorted and exaggerated by the media.

On 15 July 2008, Fife-Yeomans reported further, via Australian
News Limited
News Limited
News Limited is one of Australia's largest diversified media companies. The publicly listed company's interests span newspaper and magazine publishing, Internet, Pay TV, National Rugby League, market research, DVD and film distribution, and film and television production trading assets.News Limited...

, that "While Ledger left everything to his parents and three sisters, it is understood they have legal advice that under WA
Western Australia
Western Australia is a state of Australia, occupying the entire western third of the Australian continent. It is bounded by the Indian Ocean to the north and west, the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean to the south, the Northern Territory to the north-east and South Australia to the south-east...

 law, Matilda Rose is entitled to the lion's share" of his estate; its executor
Executor
An executor, in the broadest sense, is one who carries something out .-Overview:...

s, Kim Ledger's former business colleague Robert John Collins and Geraldton
Geraldton, Western Australia
Geraldton is a city and port in Western Australia located north of Perth in the Mid West region. Geraldton has an estimated population at June 2010 of 36,958...

 accountant William Mark Dyson, "have applied for probate
Probate
Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under the valid will. A probate court decides the validity of a testator's will...

 in the West Australian Supreme Court
Supreme Court of Western Australia
The Supreme Court of Western Australia is the highest state court in the Australian State of Western Australia. It has unlimited jurisdiction within the state in civil matters , and hears the most serious criminal matters.The Supreme Court consists of a General Division The Supreme Court of Western...

 in Perth
Perth, Western Australia
Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia and the fourth most populous city in Australia. The Perth metropolitan area has an estimated population of almost 1,700,000....

, advertising "for 'creditor
Creditor
A creditor is a party that has a claim to the services of a second party. It is a person or institution to whom money is owed. The first party, in general, has provided some property or service to the second party under the assumption that the second party will return an equivalent property or...

s and other persons' having claims on the estate to lodge them by 11 August 2008 ... to ensure all debts are paid before the estate is distributed...." According to this report by Fife-Yeomans, earlier reports citing Ledger's uncles, and subsequent reports citing Ledger's father, which do not include his actual posthumous earnings, "his entire fortune, mostly held in Australian trusts, is likely to be worth up to [A]$
Australian dollar
The Australian dollar is the currency of the Commonwealth of Australia, including Christmas Island, Cocos Islands, and Norfolk Island, as well as the independent Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu...

20 million."

On 27 September 2008, Ledger's father Kim stated that "the family has agreed to leave the [US]US$16.3 million fortune to Matilda," adding: "There is no claim. Our family has gifted everything to Matilda." In October 2008, Forbes.com
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

estimated Ledger's annual earnings from October 2007 through October 2008 – including his posthumous share of The Dark Knights gross income of "[US]US$991 million in box office revenue worldwide" –– as "[US]US$20 million."

Posthumous films and awards


Ledger's death affected the marketing campaign for Christopher Nolan
Christopher Nolan
Christopher Jonathan James Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer.He received serious notice after his second feature Memento , which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him,...

's The Dark Knight (2008) and also both the production and marketing of Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam
Terrence Vance "Terry" Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam is also known for directing several films, including Brazil , The Adventures of Baron Munchausen , The Fisher King , and 12 Monkeys...

's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, with both directors intending to celebrate and pay tribute to his work in these films. Although Gilliam temporarily suspended production on the latter film, he expressed determination to "salvage" it, perhaps using computer-generated imagery
Computer-generated imagery
Computer-generated imagery is the application of the field of computer graphics or, more specifically, 3D computer graphics to special effects in art, video games, films, television programs, commercials, simulators and simulation generally, and printed media...

 (CGI), and dedicated it to Ledger. In February 2008, as a "memorial tribute to the man many have called one of the best actors of his generation," Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp
John Christopher "Johnny" Depp II is an American actor, producer and musician. He has won the Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild award for Best Actor. Depp rose to prominence on the 1980s television series 21 Jump Street, becoming a teen idol...

, Jude Law
Jude Law
David Jude Heyworth Law , known professionally as Jude Law, is an English actor, film producer and director.He began acting with the National Youth Music Theatre in 1987, and had his first television role in 1989...

, and Colin Farrell
Colin Farrell
Colin James Farrell is an Irish actor, who has appeared in such film as Tigerland, Miami Vice, Minority Report, Phone Booth, The Recruit, Alexander and S.W.A.T....

 signed on to take over Ledger's role, becoming multiple incarnations of his character, Tony, transformed in this "magical re-telling of the Faust
Faust
Faust is the protagonist of a classic German legend; a highly successful scholar, but also dissatisfied with his life, and so makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Faust's tale is the basis for many literary, artistic, cinematic, and musical...

 story," and the three actors have donated their fees for the film to Ledger's and Williams' daughter.

Speaking of editing The Dark Knight, on which Ledger had completed his work in October 2007, Nolan recalled, "It was tremendously emotional, right when he passed, having to go back in and look at him every day. ... But the truth is, I feel very lucky to have something productive to do, to have a performance that he was very, very proud of, and that he had entrusted to me to finish." All of Ledger's scenes appear as he completed them in the filming; in editing the film, Nolan added no "digital effects" to alter Ledger's actual performance posthumously. Nolan dedicated the film in part to Ledger's memory, as well as to the memory of technician Conway Wickliffe, who was killed during a car accident while preparing one of the film's stunts.

Released in July 2008, The Dark Knight broke several box office records and received both popular and critical accolades, especially with regard to Ledger's performance as the Joker. Even film critic David Denby
David Denby (film critic)
David Denby is an American journalist, best known as a film critic for The New Yorker magazine.-Background and education:Denby grew up in New York City. He received a B.A...

, who does not praise the film overall in his pre-release review in The New Yorker
The New Yorker
The New Yorker is an American magazine of reportage, commentary, criticism, essays, fiction, satire, cartoons and poetry published by Condé Nast...

, evaluates Ledger's work highly, describing his performance as both "sinister and frightening" and Ledger as "mesmerising in every scene", concluding: "His performance is a heroic, unsettling final act: this young actor looked into the abyss." Attempting to dispel widespread speculations that Ledger's performance as the Joker had in any way led to his death (as Denby and others suggest), Ledger's co-star and friend Christian Bale
Christian Bale
Christian Charles Philip Bale is an English actor. Best known for his roles in American films, Bale has starred in both big budget Hollywood films and the smaller projects from independent producers and art houses....

, who played opposite him as Batman
Batman
Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. A comic book superhero, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics...

, has stressed that, as an actor, Ledger greatly enjoyed meeting the challenges of creating that role, an experience that Ledger himself described as "the most fun I’ve ever had, or probably ever will have, playing a character."

Ledger received numerous awards for his Joker role in The Dark Knight. On 10 November 2008, he was nominated for two People's Choice Awards
People's Choice Awards
The People's Choice Awards is an American awards show recognizing the people and the work of popular culture. The show has been held annually since 1975 and is voted on by the general public. The People's Choice Awards air on CBS and are produced by Procter & Gamble and Survivor magnate Mark Burnett...

 related to his work on the film, "Best Ensemble Cast" and "Best Onscreen Match-Up" (shared with Christian Bale), and Ledger won an award for "Match-Up" in the ceremony aired live on CBS in January 2009.

On 11 December 2008, it was announced that Ledger had been nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight; he subsequently won the award at the 66th Golden Globe Awards
66th Golden Globe Awards
The 66th Golden Globe Awards Ceremony was broadcast on January 11, 2009, from the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States on the NBC TV network...

 ceremony telecast on NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 on 11 January 2009 with Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan accepting on his behalf.

Film critics, co-stars Maggie Gyllenhaal
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Margaret Ruth "Maggie" Gyllenhaal born November 16, 1977) is an American actress. She is the daughter of director Stephen Gyllenhaal and screenwriter Naomi Foner Gyllenhaal and the older sister of actor Jake Gyllenhaal. She made her screen debut when she began to appear in her father's films...

 and Michael Caine
Michael Caine
Sir Michael Caine, CBE is an English actor. He won Academy Awards for best supporting actor in both Hannah and Her Sisters and The Cider House Rules ....

 and many of Ledger's colleagues in the film community joined Bale in calling for and predicting a nomination for the 2008 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role is one of the Academy Awards of Merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry. Since its inception, however, the...

 in recognition of Ledger's achievement in The Dark Knight. Ledger's subsequent nomination was announced on 22 January 2009, the anniversary of his death; Ledger went on to win the award, becoming the second person to win a posthumous Academy Award for acting, after fellow Australian actor Peter Finch
Peter Finch
Peter Finch was a British-born Australian actor. He is best remembered for his role as "crazed" television anchorman Howard Beale in the film Network, which earned him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Actor, his fifth Best Actor award from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, and a...

, who won for 1976's Network
Network (film)
Network is a 1976 American satirical film released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer about a fictional television network, Union Broadcasting System , and its struggle with poor ratings. The film was written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet...

. The award was accepted by Ledger's family.

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1993 Ship to Shore
Ship to Shore
Ship to Shore is a 78 episode Australian children's television series devised by David Rapsey and written by Glenda Hambly, John Rapsey, Mary Morris, Everett de Roche, Jon Stephens and others. Series one was produced by David Rapsey and Barbi Taylor,series two and three by Barbi Taylor and Paul...

Cyclist
1996 Sweat
Sweat (TV series)
Sweat was an Australian drama series created by John Rapsey and produced by Barron Entertainment in Perth. The show aired on Network Ten in 1996 and centred around students at an Australian school for the athletically gifted.Sweat was Heath Ledger's first regular role on a television show...

Snowy Bowles Series regular
1997 Home and Away
Home and Away
Home and Away is an Australian soap opera that has been produced in Sydney since July 1987 and is airing on the Seven Network since 17 January 1988. It is the second-longest-running drama and most popular soap opera on Australian television...

Scott Irwin Guest
Roar
Roar (TV series)
Roar is an American television show that originally aired on the Fox network in the summer of 1997. In the year AD 400, a young Irish man, Conor , sets out to rid his land of the invading Romans, but in order to accomplish this, he must unite the Celtic clans.-Premise:Roar chronicles the...

Conor Leading role

Film



Year Title Role Notes
1992 Clowning Around
Clowning Around
Clowning Around is an Australian family film that was shot on location in Perth, Western Australia and Paris, France.The film was produced by independent film company Barron Entertainment Films in Western Australia and educational film company WonderWorks in the United States, was directed by...

Orphan clown Uncredited
1997 Blackrock
Blackrock (film)
Blackrock is a 1997 Australian film directed by Steven Vidler and written by Nick Enright. Internationally, it is best remembered as the first prominent role of actor Heath Ledger.-Origin:...

Toby
1997 Paws
Paws (film)
Paws is an independent 1997 Australian family film that was released on 25 September 1997 in Australia and filmed in Sydney, New South Wales....

Oberon
Oberon
Oberon is a legendary king of the fairies.Oberon may also refer to:-People:* Merle Oberon , British actress* Oberon Zell-Ravenheart , Neopagan activist-Media and entertainment:* Oberon...

1999 Two Hands Jimmy
1999 10 Things I Hate About You
10 Things I Hate about You
10 Things I Hate About You is a 1999 American teen romantic comedy film. It is directed by Gil Junger and stars Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Larisa Oleynik, David Krumholtz, and Larry Miller...

Patrick Verona Nominated – MTV Movie Award
MTV Movie Awards
The MTV Movie Awards is a film awards show presented annually on MTV . It also contains movie parodies that used official movie footage with hosts and other celebrities and music performances. The nominees are decided by producers and executives at MTV. Winners are decided online by the general...

 for Best Musical Sequence
2000 The Patriot
The Patriot (2000 film)
The Patriot is a 2000 historical war film directed by Roland Emmerich, written by Robert Rodat, and starring Mel Gibson, Chris Cooper, and Heath Ledger. It was produced by the Mutual Film Company and Centropolis Entertainment and was distributed by Columbia Pictures...

Gabriel Martin Blockbuster Entertainment Awards – Favorite Male – Newcomer
2001 Monster's Ball
Monster's Ball
Monster's Ball is a 2001 romantic drama film directed by Marc Forster, starring Billy Bob Thornton, Halle Berry, and Heath Ledger, and written by Milo Addica and Will Rokos. It was produced by Lionsgate and Lee Daniels Entertainment....

Sonny Grotowski
2001 Sir William Thatcher / Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein of Gelderland
2002 Harry Faversham
2003 Alex Bernier
2003 Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly (2003 film)
Ned Kelly is an Australian drama film directed by Gregor Jordan. The film portrays the life of Ned Kelly — a legendary bushranger in northeast Victoria. Ned Kelly, his brother Dan, and two other men — Steve Hart and Joe Byrne — formed a gang of Irish Australians in response to Irish and...

Ned Kelly
Ned Kelly
Edward "Ned" Kelly was an Irish Australian bushranger. He is considered by some to be merely a cold-blooded cop killer — others, however, consider him to be a folk hero and symbol of Irish Australian resistance against the Anglo-Australian ruling class.Kelly was born in Victoria to an Irish...

2005 Casanova Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Casanova
Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt was an Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice. His autobiography, Histoire de ma vie , is regarded as one of the most authentic sources of the customs and norms of European social life during the 18th century...

2005 Jacob Grimm
Jacob Grimm
Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm was a German philologist, jurist and mythologist. He is best known as the discoverer of Grimm's Law, the author of the monumental Deutsches Wörterbuch, the author of Deutsche Mythologie and, more popularly, as one of the Brothers Grimm, as the editor of Grimm's Fairy...

2005 Lords of Dogtown
Lords of Dogtown
Lords of Dogtown is a 2005 biographical film directed by Catherine Hardwicke, written by Stacy Peralta. The film is based on the story of "The Z-Boys", an influential group of skateboarders who revolutionized the sport...

Skip Engblom
Skip Engblom
Skip Engblom was one of the co-founders of the Jeff Ho Surfboards and Zephyr Productions Surf Shop in Santa Monica, California. He also was the owner of the Zephyr skate team, he currently owns and runs Santa Monica Airlines, a skateboard company.Engblom helped to create the Zephyr Surf Team and...

2005 Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain
Brokeback Mountain is a 2005 romantic drama film directed by Ang Lee. It is a film adaptation of the 1997 short story of the same name by Annie Proulx with the screenplay written by Diana Ossana and Larry McMurtry...

Ennis Del Mar
Ennis Del Mar
Ennis del Mar is the fictional main character of the short story "Brokeback Mountain" by Annie Proulx and the 2005 Academy Award-winning film adaptation of the same name directed by Ang Lee. Ennis's story is depicted by his complex, sexual, and romantic relationship with Jack Twist in the American...

2006 Candy
Candy (2006 film)
Candy is a 2006 Australian romantic drama film, adapted from Luke Davies's novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction. Candy was directed by debut film-maker Neil Armfield and stars Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish and Geoffrey Rush....

Dan
2007 I'm Not There
I'm Not There
I'm Not There is a 2007 biographical musical film directed by Todd Haynes, inspired by iconic American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. Six actors depict different facets of Dylan's life and public persona: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, and Ben Whishaw...

Robbie Clark
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award 
2008 The Dark Knight
The Dark Knight (film)
The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

The Joker
Joker (comics)
The Joker is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain published by DC Comics. He is the archenemy of Batman, having been directly responsible for numerous tragedies in Batman's life, including the paralysis of Barbara Gordon and the death of Jason Todd, the second Robin...

2009 Tony

Music videos

  • (2006) "Cause an Effect" and "Sex is Evil (She's Hot)", songs by N'fa
    1200 Techniques
    1200 Techniques were an Australian hip hop group. They formed in 1997 and released two LPs before going on hiatus in 2005.-Biography:The group was formed in 1997, starting out as DJ Peril and brothers Nfamas and Kabba, soon after Peril's brother Kemstar joined and together they wrote many of the...

    , video
    Music video
    A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes. Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings...

    s directed by Ledger.
  • (2006) "Morning Yearning," song by Ben Harper
    Ben Harper
    Benjamin Chase "Ben" Harper is an American singer-songwriter and musician. Harper plays an eclectic mix of blues, folk, soul, reggae and rock music and is known for his guitar-playing skills, vocals, live performances and activism. Harper's fan base spans several continents...

    , video directed by Ledger.
  • (2007) "Black Eyed Dog," song written by Nick Drake
    Nick Drake
    Nicholas Rodney "Nick" Drake was an English singer-songwriter and musician. Though he is best known for his sombre guitar based songs, Drake was also proficient at piano, clarinet and saxophone...

     (1948–1974), video directed by and featuring Ledger.
  • (2009) "King Rat
    King Rat (song)
    "King Rat" is a song by indie rock band Modest Mouse and appears as the title track to their fifth promotional single, following "The World At Large". The single was later released on the band's 2009 EP No One's First and You're Next...

    ", song by Modest Mouse
    Modest Mouse
    Modest Mouse is an American indie rock band formed in 1993 in Issaquah, Washington, by singer/lyricist/guitarist Isaac Brock, drummer Jeremiah Green, and bassist Eric Judy. They are based in Portland, Oregon. Since their 1996 debut album, This Is a Long Drive for Someone with Nothing to Think...

     and conceived by Ledger.

See also


Additional resources

  • Adler, Shawn."Heath Ledger Said He Hoped to Evolve as an Actor and Person in 2005 Interview: Late Actor Was Intelligent, Self-Aware during 'Brokeback Mountain' Chat." MTV.com
    MTV
    MTV, formerly an initialism of Music Television, is an American network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs....

    , 22 January 2008. Accessed 18 March 2008. (Excerpts from transcript of interview with Heath Ledger conducted by John Norris
    John Norris (MTV News reporter)
    John Norris is a reporter who previously worked for MTV as a reporter and special correspondent for MTV News and the MTV Radio Network. He joined MTV as a writer in 1986 and became an on-air alternate for news anchor Kurt Loder in 1988...

     in 2005.)
  • Arango, Tim. "Esquire Publishes a Diary That Isn't". The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

    , nytimes.com, 6 March 2008, Books. Accessed 25 July 2008. (Rev. of Taddeo.)
  • "Death of a Star: Unsolved Mysteries". Newsweek
    Newsweek
    Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

    , 4 February 2008: 62, Newsmakers. Both Web
    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

     and print
    Publishing
    Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

     versions. Accessed 5 August 2008.
  • The Joker vs. The Real Heath: Entertainment Tonight
    Entertainment Tonight
    Entertainment Tonight is a daily tabloid television entertainment television news show that is syndicated by CBS Television Distribution throughout the United States, Canada and in many countries around the world. Linda Bell Blue is currently the program's executive producer...

     Looks Back at the Career of Heath Ledger
    , etonline.com (CBS Studios Inc.
    CBS Corporation
    CBS Corporation is an American media conglomerate focused on commercial broadcasting, publishing, billboards and television production, with most of its operations in the United States. The President and CEO of the company is Leslie Moonves. Sumner Redstone, owner of National Amusements, is CBS's...

    ), July 2008. Accessed 8 August 2008. ("ET takes a look back at Heath Ledger's career amid the hugely successful launch of 'The Dark Knight
    The Dark Knight (film)
    The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed, produced and co-written by Christopher Nolan. Based on the DC Comics character Batman, the film is part of Nolan's Batman film series and a sequel to 2005's Batman Begins...

    ,' which features the late actor portraying the Joker"; includes photo album.)
  • McShane John. Heath Ledger: His Beautiful Life and Mysterious Death
    Heath Ledger: His Beautiful Life and Mysterious Death
    Heath Ledger: His Beautiful Life and Mysterious Death is the first book-length biography of Australian actor Heath Ledger since his death on 22 January 2008, written by British journalist John McShane. It was published on 7 April 2008 by John Blake, in London, and on 15 June 2008, in the United...

    . London: John Blake, 2008. ISBN 1844546330 (10). ISBN 978-1844546336 (13). (Excerpt listed below.)
  • "Loves of Heath Ledger's Life". The Courier-Mail
    The Courier-Mail
    The Courier-Mail is a daily newspaper published in Brisbane, Australia. Owned by News Limited, it is published daily from Monday to Saturday in tabloid format. Its editorial offices are located at Bowen Hills, in Brisbane's inner northern suburbs, and it is printed at Murarrie, in Brisbane's...

    , news.com.au, 20 April 2008. Accessed 21 April 2008. (Book excerpt.)
  • Nolan, Christopher
    Christopher Nolan
    Christopher Jonathan James Nolan is a British-American film director, screenwriter and producer.He received serious notice after his second feature Memento , which he wrote and directed based on a story idea by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. Jonathan went to co-write later scripts with him,...

    . "Transition: Charisma as Natural as Gravity: Heath Ledger, 28, Actor". Newsweek
    Newsweek
    Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

    , 4 February 2008: 9, Periscope. Both Web
    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

     (updated 26 January 2008) and print
    Printing
    Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

     versions. Accessed 5 August 2008. (Eulogy.)
  • Norris, Chris. "(Untitled Heath Ledger Project): In Which the Protagonist Dies Mysteriously, and the Audience Analyzes His Final Days for Clues to His Real Character". New York
    New York (magazine)
    New York is a weekly magazine principally concerned with the life, culture, politics, and style of New York City. Founded by Milton Glaser and Clay Felker in 1968 as a competitor to The New Yorker, it was brasher and less polite than that magazine, and established itself as a cradle of New...

    , nymag.com, 18 February 2008. Accessed 21 April 2008.
  • Park, Michael Y. "Christian Bale on 'Kindred Spirit' Heath Ledger". Web
    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

    . People
    People (magazine)
    In 1998, the magazine introduced a version targeted at teens called Teen People. However, on July 27, 2006, the company announced it would shut down publication of Teen People immediately. The last issue to be released was scheduled for September 2006. Subscribers to this magazine received...

    , 25 June 2008. Accessed 5 August 2008. (See Wolf below.)
  • Robb, Brian J. Heath Ledger: Hollywood's Dark Star. London: Plexus Publishing Ltd, 2008. ISBN 0859654273 (10). ISBN 978-0859654272 (13).
  • Scott, A. O.
    A. O. Scott
    Anthony Oliver Scott, known as A. O. Scott , is an American journalist and critic. He is a chief film critic for The New York Times, along with Manohla Dargis.-Background and education:...

     "An Appraisal: Prince of Intensity with a Lightness of Touch". The New York Times
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

    , nytimes.com, 24 January 2008, Movies. Accessed 27 April 2008.
  • Sessums, Kevin
    Kevin Sessums
    Kevin Sessums is an American author, editor and actor from Forest, Mississippi. Sessums served as executive editor of Interview and as a contributing editor of Vanity Fair, Allure, and Parade. His work has also appeared in Travel+Leisure, Elle, Out, Marie Claire, and Playboy...

    , with photographs by Bruce Weber
    Bruce Weber (photographer)
    Bruce Weber is an American fashion photographer and occasional filmmaker. He is most widely known for his ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Pirelli, Abercrombie & Fitch, Revlon, and Gianni Versace, as well as his work for Vogue, GQ, Vanity Fair, Elle, Life, Interview, and Rolling Stone...

    . "We're Having a Heath Wave". Vanity Fair
    Vanity Fair (magazine)
    Vanity Fair is a magazine of pop culture, fashion, and current affairs published by Condé Nast. The present Vanity Fair has been published since 1983 and there have been editions for four European countries as well as the U.S. edition. This revived the title which had ceased publication in 1935...

    , August 2000, vanityfair.com, August 2008. Web
    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

    . (4 pages.) Accessed 21 April 2008. (Interview with Heath Ledger; illustrations in "Perth Album", by Bruce Weber.)
  • Taddeo, Lisa. "The Last Days of Heath Ledger". Esquire
    Esquire (magazine)
    Esquire is a men's magazine, published in the U.S. by the Hearst Corporation. Founded in 1932, it flourished during the Great Depression under the guidance of founder and editor Arnold Gingrich.-History:...

    (April 2008), esquire.com, 5 March 2008. (Updated 21 July 2008.) Accessed 25 July 2008. (Fictional account; cf. rev. by Arango.)
  • Travers, Peter
    Peter Travers
    Peter Travers is an American film critic, who has written for, in turn, People and Rolling Stone. Travers also hosts a celebrity interview show called Popcorn on ABC News Now and ABCNews.com.-Career:...

    ."Sundance: Shock". The Travers Take: News and Reviews from Rolling Stone's Movie Critic, Rolling Stone
    Rolling Stone
    Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

    (Blog), rollingstone.com, 22 January 2008. Includes hyperlinked feature: Video Review: A Look at Heath Ledger's Best Performances (video by Jennifer Hsu, with audio commentary provided by Travers), 1 February 2008. Accessed 21 April 2008.
  • Wolf, Jeanne. "Christian Bale: 'Life Should Never Be Boring' ". Parade
    Parade (magazine)
    Parade is an American nationwide Sunday newspaper magazine, distributed in more than 500 newspapers in the United States. It was founded in 1941 and is owned by Advance Publications. The most widely read magazine in the U.S., Parade has a circulation of 32.2 million and a readership of nearly 70...

    , 29 June 2008: 8–9. Both Web
    World Wide Web
    The World Wide Web is a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet...

     and print
    Printing
    Printing is a process for reproducing text and image, typically with ink on paper using a printing press. It is often carried out as a large-scale industrial process, and is an essential part of publishing and transaction printing....

     formats. Accessed 3 August 2008. (See Park above.)

External links


  • Heath Ledger at BBC In Pictures
    BBC
    The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

  • Heath Ledger at CNN Topics
    CNN
    Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

  • Heath Ledger at The Huffington Post
    The Huffington Post
    The Huffington Post is an American news website and content-aggregating blog founded by Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer, and Jonah Peretti, featuring liberal minded columnists and various news sources. The site offers coverage of politics, theology, media, business, entertainment, living, style,...

  • Heath Ledger at MSN Movies
    MSN
    MSN is a collection of Internet sites and services provided by Microsoft. The Microsoft Network debuted as an online service and Internet service provider on August 24, 1995, to coincide with the release of the Windows 95 operating system.The range of services offered by MSN has changed since its...

  • Heath Ledger at MTV Movies
    MTV
    MTV, formerly an initialism of Music Television, is an American network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs....

  • Heath Ledger at New York Times Topics
    The New York Times
    The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

  • Heath Ledger at The Daily Telegraph
    The Daily Telegraph
    The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

    obituary
  • Ledger, Heath (1979–2008) National Library of Australia, Trove, People and Organisation record for Heath Ledger