Picture - Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain, Gary Oldman, Billboard, James Dean, Maggie Gyllenhaal and MTV at Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences

Heath Ledger as The Joker appears on a massive billboard on Houston Street promoting the new movie 'The Dark Knight' set to open on July 18th in cinemas New York City, USA - 07.07.08


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Photo - Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain, Gary Oldman, Billboard, James Dean, Maggie Gyllenhaal and MTV at Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences

Caption: Heath Ledger as The Joker appears on a massive billboard on Houston Street promoting the new movie 'The Dark Knight' set to open on July 18th in cinemas
New York City, USA - 07.07.08

* LEDGER'S CO-STARS PREDICT OSCAR GLORY
CHRISTIAN BALE, MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL and GARY OLDMAN have tipped late actor HEATH LEDGER to win an Oscar for his role in THE DARK KNIGHT.
Ledger's Batman co-stars predict he will win over critics with his performance as The Joker at next year's (09) Academy Awards - which will be held just over a year after his tragic death (Jan08).
Bale, who stars as Batman in the forthcoming movie, says, A lot of people talk about awards all the time, and it's early days. But if anybody deserves it, of course, it is Heath in this.
I do think that Heath has created an iconic villain that will stand for the ages, and of course, I would love to see him get an award. But you know, to me, you can witness his talent, celebrate his talent within this movie. Anything else is gravy.
He adds, Heath has done a phenomenal enough job that I would not be surprised (if he won).
Fellow co-star Gyllenhaal, whose brother Jake starred with Ledger in 2005's Brokeback Mountain, tells MTV.com, He hit it in the entire performance (in Batman).
It's so difficult to do that in a huge movie like this and much easier to do in the tiny movies. That's why those are always the people who win Academy Awards.
Heath was (amazing); it's so unusual, and it happens really rarely even for the best actors, that you just hit this stride in a role and you're totally free. And when that happens, you can do no wrong. It's incredible to be around, and that's what it was like with him.
And Oldman adds, I think it's an incredible performance. I think it sets a new benchmark. It would surprise me if he didn't get a posthumous Oscar for it.
Only seven actors have received posthumous Oscar nominations, including Spencer Tracy for 1967's Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and James Dean, who was nominated twice after his death for 1955's East Of Eden and 1956's Giant.
Ledger was found dead from an accidental overdose of prescription drugs in his New York apartment in January (08). (CL/WNWCMV&WNWCCP/MJ)
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