Heath Ledger (4th April 1979 - 22nd January 2008) was an Australian, Academy Award-nominated actor. Shortly before his death (cause currently unknown), he had completed filming the most recent batman Movie, The Dark Knight, in which he played the role of The Joker.
Childhood: Ledger was born in Perth, Australia, to Sally Ledger Bell, a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a racing car driver and mining engineer. Heath and his sister, Kate were named after the two main characters in Wuthering Heights.
Acting Career: At sixteen, Ledger left school to pursue an acting career. He featured in the TV series 'Sweat' (1996), in which he played a gay cyclist.
His film debut was in the 1997 Australian movie Blackrock, which was immediately followed by a part on 'Home And Away' one of the country's most successful television shows. In 1999, Ledger starred in the teen comedy movie 10 Things I Hate About Youand also had the lead role in the critically acclaimed Australian movie Two Hands.
From 2000 to 2005, Ledger featured in The Patriot, Monster's Ball, A Knight's Tale, The Four Feathers, Ned Kelly, The Order and The Brother's Grimm.
2003 saw him named as one of Australian GQ's Men of the Year for acting.
2005: His performance in Brokeback Mountain gained him awards from both the New York Film Critics' Circle and the San Francisco Film Critics' Circle. In the film, he plays Ennis Del Mar, a Wyoming ranch hand who has an affair with a rodeo rider, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. His performance also received a Golden Globe award for Best Actor In A Drama and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. At 26, he was one of the youngest actors to have been nominated for this award.
Also in 2005, he starred in Casanova, playing the lead role opposite Sienna Miller. In 2006, Ledger was asked to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and then in 2007, he was one of six actors chosen to portray different versions of Bob Dylan in the highly acclaimed motion picture, I'm Not There.
Ledger then played the iconic comic book villain The Joker in The Dark Knight, the sequel to the 2005 film Batman Begins, opposite Christian Bale. As The Dark Knight was in the post-production stage at the time of Ledger's death, the film itself will be unchanged, although the viral marketing campaign that centred on Ledger's character may now be changed
Directing career: Heath Ledger had aspirations to become a film director. He had already made some music videos. Three of these were for singer Ben Harper, with whom he had set up a record label and two for the Australian hip-hop artist N'fa
As a step towards making a film about deceased English songwriter, Nick drake, he created a short film set to Drake's song 'Black Eyed Dog'
He was also working on an adaptation of The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis, with writer/producer Allan Scott. This would have been his first feature as a director.
Death: Heath Ledger was found dead in his New York apartment on January 22nd 2008. His housekeeper arrived at around 12:30pm to carry out household chores and found him face down on the bed and reported to hear him snoring. His masseuse then arrived and tried to wake the unresponsive Ledger. When she could not rouse him, she used his cellphone to call Ms. Olsen in California to seek her guidance, knowing Ms. Olsen to be a friend of Mr. Ledger's.
Ms. Wolozin again shook Mr. Ledger, called Ms. Olsen again and said she would call the emergency services. Ms. Wolozin called 911 at 3:26 p.m. and reported that Mr. Ledger was not breathing. Ms. Wolozin's efforts to revive Ledger were unsuccessful. Emergency medical workers arrived at 3:33 p.m.. They moved his body to the floor and then used a defibrillator and CPR, but to no avail.
Mr. Ledger was pronounced dead at 3:36 p.m.
The police had found prescription medication in the bathroom and that there were not any obvious signs of suicide. Nor did they suspect foul play. An initial autopsy carried out on January 23 proved inconclusive at determining the cause of death. The medical examiner stated that it would take about 10 days to complete the investigation.
Michelle Williams, Ledger's ex-partner, made a statement on 1st February 2008, expressing her heartbreak and described how she saw his spirit living on through their daughter, Matilda. She concluded her statement with the words "She (Matilda) will be brought up with the best memories of him."
The late actor and the ‘Kath and Kim’ star shared a snog during the 2006 AFI Awards.
A video featuring the late Heath Ledger and ‘Kath and Kim’ actress Magda Szubanski from 2006 went viral this week, after being featured in a Throwback Thursday post. The funny clip shows Szubanski in character as ‘Kath and Kim’s’ Sharon, freaking out upon seeing the actor on the red carpet and then getting a kiss on the lips from the hunk.
An awards show video of Heath Ledger from 2006 has gone viral.
As Ledger was about to be interviewed on the red carpet, Szubanski comes up behind him and screams, making the actor jump. But Ledger handles it like a pro and gives the over-excited Sharon a kiss on the lips and even strokes her face, causing her to drop to the floor.
The two starred in Brokeback Mountain together
When Heath Ledger died from an accidental overdose in 2008 the world mourned the loss of a shining star. But there were few that mourned the loss more than Ledger's Brokeback Mountain co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal who has recently opened up about how the death of his friend really affected him.
Jake Gyllenhaal misses his co-star Heath Ledger
Speaking to NPR’s Terry Gross, Gyllenhaal spoke of how sad he felt that the world would never get to see the “beauty of his [Ledger’s] expression.”
Continue reading: Jake Gyllenhaal Opens Up About His Pain At Losing Heath Ledger
Apparently the leak wasn't that terrible, since there have been no lawsuits.
Lindsay Lohan really did write down her now infamous list of lovers, which has been providing gossip fodder for a couple of weeks now. But she didn’t do it for the reasons you think. It turns out that Lohan jotted down the thirty or so names, while she was in rehab, as part of her therapy. So said Lohan herself, speaking out about the list on Watch What Happens Live. When questioned by Andy Cohen during the show’s Plead the Fifth segment, Lohan played coy at first.
It sounds like the list is a reminder of times now past for Lohan.
"I cannot confirm or deny it," she said.
Continue reading: Lindsay Lohan's Ex List Was Actually A Step In Her Recovery
Could Dane DeHaan's portrayal of super villain the Green Goblin outdo Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight? The promo pictures implies it could...
Who could possibly believe that the new images released of The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s most nefarious villain, The Green Goblin, is in fact baby faced actor Dane DeHaan? We’d initially assumed that the film would see Peter Parker, alias Spider-Man, played by Andrew Garfield, come up against Electro, played by Jamie Foxx, so we were all surprised to see a flash of the Green Goblin in the trailer. It seems as though Spider-Man will have a few bad guys to contend with in the latest movie!
Dane DeHaan may be cute in real life, but he's horrifying as the Green Goblin
The Green Goblin, who ultimately becomes Peter Parker’s number one enemy, is played by 28 year old DeHaan, and woah, does he look creepy in the new promo shots. DeHaan’s Green Goblin stares menacingly into the camera, his rotten teeth visible through his snarling, chapped grin. His skin looks as though he has a serious case of an incurable swamp lurgy, while he appears to have some kind of apparatus attached to his face and twisted around his neck. His frazzled red hair is a far cry from DeHaan’s mousy blond locks, in fact, if we didn’t know it was the actor, we’d really have no idea.
Continue reading: Will Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin Outdo Heath Ledger's Joker?
Death is not hindering the return of Paul Walker to the Fast & Furious franchise. Reports suggest the deceased actor may be able to complete his role as Brian O'Conner in the seventh instalment of the hit franchise through the use of body doubles, CGI and voice overs.
Paul Walker may still be able to complete Fast & Furious 7 with the use of body doubles, CGI and voice overs reports suggest. Walker died in a car accident in November of last year when filming for the seventh film had yet to be completed.
Paul Walker's scenes in Fast & Furious 7 will be completed using special effects.
Brittany Murphy's final film is due to be released four years after her death. What other actors have died before the release of their work?
Brittany Murphy’s final movie ‘Something Wicked’ is due to be released over four years since her tragic and ambiguous death. The plot focuses on a young couple who find themselves faced with a past that they had hoped would remain buried. Murphy died in 2009, after allegedly being stricken with acute pneumonia and severe anemia. The same results were found on her husband, Simon Monjack’s post mortum, when he died just five months after her.
Brittany Murphy looked extraordinarily thin in the months before her death
Over the past 15 years Brittany Murphy is not the only star to die before their latest project is released. Oliver Reed suffered a heart attack whilst filming Ridley Scott’s Gladiator, which came out in 2000. The movie was completed using CGI and a stunt double to finish his scenes. Those of you who have seen the movie can appreciate quite how flawlessly this was done, it's virtually impossible to tell that Reed isn't in certain scenes.
Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Walker both tragically died mid-way through filming projects, which other actors have sadly passed before completing their movies?
The world was taken back by the very sudden death of Paul Walker at the end of 2013, only to hit by the sad news of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s drug overdose in early February. Both actors were well liked in their personal lives and had successful careers, similarly they also were working on incomplete projects at the time of their deaths.
Hoffman had nearly finished filming all of his scenes for The Hunger Games
Walker had begun filming scenes for the latest movie in the franchise that made him famous, Fast & Furious 7, but still had important scenes left to shoot. Sources have claimed that a large section of the script had to be rewritten in order to continue with the film after Walker’s fatal accident.
Continue reading: Paul Walker And Other Actors Who Died Mid-Way Through Movie Shoots
The 'Argo' actor laughs off the criticism... and learns not to scroll to the comments section.
Ben Affleck has finally responded to the backlash and online petition against him being the next Batman in the 2015 Zack Snyder face-off with Henry Cavill's Superman. As the petition's signatures crept past 90,000, the actor could not pretend he was unaware of the furore any longer. It was time for the Oscar-winning director to address the online tirades and bad feeling towards him.
See: It's All In His Stride.
Appearing on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon on Monday night (16th Sept), Affleck was given a platform to air his views on the tidal wave of hatred he was hit with. He revealed how he was given stern advice by Warner Bros., who told him: "don't use the internet for a few days."
Continue reading: Ben Affleck Takes Batman Rejection In His "Big Boy" Stride
After meeting in 2001 and playing his lover in 2005, Jake Gyllenhaal is still devastated by the 2008 death of Heath Ledger, saying it was like "losing a family member".
'Source Code' actor Jake Gyllenhaal has revealed that he is still struggling to get over the loss of Heath Ledger, citing the news of his 2008 death was like "losing a family member". The general public became aware of their friendship after the two actors starred alongside one another as gay lovers in the 2005 Academy Award-winning movie 'Brokeback Mountain'. Gyllenhaal has, however, revealed that their friendship first began in 2001, when they met during auditions for Baz Luhrmann's 'Moulin Rouge!'
US television show, 'Inside the Actors Studio' gave an interview with Gylllenhaal, where he explained his relationship with the late 'The Dark Knight' star. Gylllenhaal explained that: "Heath and I knew each other for years before ['Brokeback Mountain'] because we had both auditioned for 'Moulin Rouge!' together. And I remember thinking, 'I like this guy. He's just like, super lovable.'"
Continue reading: Jake Gyllenhaal Still Misses Heath Ledger "To This Day"
In a move that may horrify many DC fanatics, it has emerged that controversial Batman choice Ben Affleck has been handed the cowl for a number of movies and may even direct a 'Justice League' film
Ben Affleck was announced as Christian Bale's successor to the famed black cowl of Gotham City's caped crusader Batman last week, a move that outraged a huge number of fans of the superhero franchise. Thursday's (22 August) announcement that Affleck has been picked by Warner Bros. as the next Bruce Wayne/Batman has since been followed up with further news that will no doubt shock and reduce many fans to tears, and that is that Affleck will not only play the Bat in the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, but will also take on the role for multiple films.
Affleck has the chin, but does he have the chops to play Batman?
An analysis on his appointment by the Hollywood Reporter has revealed that, should his appearance in the Man of Steel sequel be a success, then Affleck will be given the green light to portray the Dark Knight for "multiples movies" and may even be given the chance to step behind the camera and direct one of the upcoming films. In particular, the studio's answer to The Avengers; The Justice League, will be Affleck's directing job of choice, with the actor also expected to star as Batman should the JL film come to fruition.
US actor Randy Quaid suffered a new set back in his quest to assume Canadian citizenship, some two years after the actor said he had won his legal fight to remain in Canada.
According to CBC News, the Federal Refugee Protection Division have denied Quaid and his wife from assuming Canadian citizenship after the two fled their native America after allegedly being targeted by so-called Hollywood "star-whackers." With their latest rebuttal, Quaid and his wife have now made an appeal to the Canadian Federal Court, claiming that their lives are still in danager.
In their application for judicial review, obtained by CBC, the Oscar-nominated actor and his wife plead that they are victims of an "organised crime" organisation and their attempts to claim refuge in Canada should not be taken lightly. The statement obtained by CBC, also says, "The refugee claims should remain intact as should Evi and Randy Quaid's heads remain attached to their necks and it is their firm belief that their lives are at stake and being racketeered on."
Continue reading: Randy Quaid Suffers New Setback In Quest For Canadian Citizenship
Anne Hathaway is likely to pick up the Best Supporting Actress prize at the Oscars in February, though it's likely she'll be competing for Best Actress upon the release of writer Abi Morgan's adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew. The latest movie - based on Shakespeare's late 16th century comedy - was announced this week, though a director is yet to be attached, reports The Wrap.
The Taming of the Shrew has been adapted dozens of times by Hollywood, though most notably in 1967, with Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton in the lead roles. The teen-movie 10 Things I Hate About You, starring the late Heath Ledger and actress Julia Stiles, was also based on Shakespeare's play. Morgan - the screenwriter behind The Iron Lady and the critically acclaimed Shame - will transfer the action to the modern day, though the movie will be set in Italy. The main plot depicts the courtship of Petruchio, a gentleman of Verona and Katherina, the headstrong shrew. She is an unwilling partipant to the relationship, though is "tamed" until she becomes a compliant and obedient bride.
Continue reading: Can Anne Hathaway Outdo Elizabeth Taylor In 'The Taming Of The Shrew'?
Christopher Nolan's epic conclusion to the celebrated Dark Knight trilogy was released in the summer of 2012, with many critics agreeing that it was already a viable contender for Oscar season, but of the 24 categories on offer, The Dark Knight Rises didn't receive a single nod.
Everyone seems to be up in arms over Ben Affleck's omission from the Best Director category, or over Skyfall's similarly unanimous snub (although, rightly so, it has been given the nod for Best Cinematography as well as nominations for its soundtrack and editing), but it does come as quite a surprise to see so few remarks about the lack of Batman at The Oscars.
Ok, we all agree that the film maybe wasn't overall as good as its predecessor The Dark Knight, but it was still one hell of a show (and how was Tom Hardy supposed to compete with Heath Ledger's Joker). From the colossal set designs (Bane's sewer-based lair), the quite brilliant costumes on show (Catwoman and Bane's mask) and the film's deep underlying messages reflecting our own world, raising questions about class, wealth and power, has a more deserving and appropriate for our time film been made this year? You'd have to say no, not really.
Continue reading: No Love For The Dark Knight Rises At This Year's Oscars
With Jamie Foxx’s heavily rumoured inclusion in The Amazing Spiderman 2, we’ve racked our brains, and think he’ll do well to get into this top 5 of superhero villains with his mooted role as Electro.
Micky Rourke as Whiplash – Iron Man 2
Continue reading: A Jamie Foxx As Electro Inspired Top 5 Superhero Villains!
After seeing Skyfall this week, Roger Moore described Daniel Craig and Sam Mendes' new James Bond film as "without a doubt... the best Bond there's ever been." The film's crew is seemingly made up entirely of Oscar winners and critical reaction has suggested that Skyfall could be the first 007 movie to win big at the Academy Awards.
Though there were murmurings of discontent when British star Daniel Craig replaced Pierce Brosnan in the secret agent franchise, he's since become a revelation, with many considering him to be the finest Bond yet. His turn in Casino Royale had far more depth than anything Brosnan (or Dalton for that matter) had delivered, leaving Bond geeks squabbling between just three actors as to who was the best Bond ever: Moore, Connery or Craig? Though Quantum of Solace failed to reach the heady critical heights of its predecessor, early reaction suggests Skyfall betters Casino Royale and possibly anything before it. But it all could have been very different, couldn't it? Cast your mind back to 2005, when the protracted process of choosing the new James Bond was reaching its final stages. With Ralph Fiennes unable to commit to the filming schedule of Casino Royale, and Jude Law, Orlando Bloom, Eric Bana and Heath Ledger discounted, producers chose to go ahead and run screen tests on the four 'finalists'. (They had lost the chance of landing Clive Owen after refusing to include gross profit points in his contract) The contenders were Layer Cake star Daniel Craig, ER actor Goran Visnjic, Australian actor Sam Worthington and 22-year-old Henry Cavill, reported Variety. All were relatively inexperienced, though producers were keen for someone considerably younger than the 52-year-old Pierce Brosnan. In fact, writer Paul Haggis told the Hollywood Reporter at the time, "We're trying to reinvent Bond. He's 28 - no Q, no gadgets."
Date of birth
4th April, 1979
Date of death
22nd January, 2008