Australia Mourns Ledger Loss

NICOLE KIDMAN and MEL GIBSON have become the first stars to speak publicly about fellow Aussie HEATH LEDGER's shock death. The Brokeback Mountain star, 28, was found dead at his apartment in New York on Tuesday (22Jan08) and Kidman admits the tragedy has left her heartbroken. In a brief statement, the actress says, "What a tragedy. My heart goes out to his family." Gibson, who played the actor's father in The Patriot, states, "I had such great hope for him. He was just taking off, and to lose his life at such a young age is a tragic loss." And leading movie news source, Clint Morris, reveals Ledger's fellow Australians have been left stunned by the news of the actor's sudden death. Movie producer Morris, the man behind revered website, says, "The whole of Australia is in deep shock. I liked Heath. He was a good guy. Loved his daughter. Knew his sister too." Morris reveals Ledger's death will present problems for Batman producers - because the actor had already signed on to reprise his role as The Joker in the follow-up to this summer's (08) The Dark Knight. He adds, "I guess they can easily re-write it or re-cast. But yes, it's true, Heath was supposed to return in the next Batman movie." Hollywood is also mourning the actor's death; John Travolta has revealed Ledger was "one of my favourite actors," adding, "His abilities are rare." And Alan Horn, the President of Warner Brothers - the studio behind The Dark Knight, reveals the shocking news has left movie executives "devastated." Horn says, "The entertainment community has lost an enormous talent. Heath was a brilliant actor and an exceptional person."


Tags: Nicole Kidman - Mel Gibson - Heath Ledger


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