On a day like today, January 22, 2008, the unfortunate news of the death of Heath Ledger was reported, one of the most versatile actors of his generation and who remained in the memory of thousands for his performances as Ennis in Brokeback Mountain and as the villain Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight.
The Australian actor, who was just 28 at the time of his death, was recognized with a posthumous Oscar in 2009 for this latest performance. Next, we review his career and what happened to this outstanding artist.
Who was Heath Ledger?
Heath ledger was an actor born on April 4, 1979 in Perth, Australia. At the age of 10 he made his first performances at school and at 16 he dropped out to fully enter the performing arts. His debut was in Clowning around, a 1992 television film, after which he went through several TV series until reaching the big screen with Blackrock in 1997.
Two years later, in 1999, she got her first role in a Hollywood movie with Ten things I hate about you, which cost 30 million dollars and raised just over 53 million. His ability and presence made him be considered for other major productions, such as The Patriot, where he acted as the son of Mel Gibson’s character.
After this, the Australian actor gave life to leading roles, as in Knight heart (2001), and supporting roles, such as Monster’s ball, the same year, where he revealed some of his dramatic abilities.
Ledger went through unsuccessful films — The Four Feathers, The Order, and Ned Kelly — but recovered by showing different facets in four other 2005 films: The Brothers Grimm, Casanova, The Lords of Dogtown, and Brokeback Mountain, the most outstanding of all and that earned him an Oscar nomination.
In the latter film, Ledger played Ennis del Mar, a cowboy who falls in love with another man. “To those (who do not like the tape) I would say that it is not a film to label or label it. It is not a gay story either, but a love story of two human beings who love each other above all else ”, the actor told reporters at the Berlinale.
In 2005, the artist had his first daughter with Michelle Williams, his then partner and also an actress, from whom he separated two years later.
On the other hand, the success of Heath Ledger did not prevent him from participating in a relatively minor film like Candy (2006). But his most prominent role came in the movie Batman: The Dark Knight, 2008, where he played the Joker, the main enemy of the main superhero.
For this role, the actor studied characters that could serve as inspiration, such as Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange. She even exaggerated her reactions during the makeup process to give her performance a particular image that, thanks also to aspects such as voice and non-verbal language, shaped the image of the character in pop culture.
Heath’s performance steals the movie entirely. It is fantastic, something never seen before. It is a tremendous celebration of his talent, “he said then Christian bale, actor who gave life to Batman in the tape.
Ledger was involved in the filming of The imaginary world of doctor Parnassus when he was found dead on January 22, 2008. Other artists completed their role in said film.
What did Heath Ledger die of?
On January 22, 2008, Heath Ledger was found dead in his SoHo Manhattan apartment. A month later, an autopsy revealed that the cause of death was a combination of medications used to treat anxiety, depression, insomnia and pain. His death was considered an accidental overdose.
“He suffered from insomnia because he had anxiety with depressive episodes, which caused him to take medication,” said Michelle Williams.
Some tabloid media speculated that the Joker role contributed to the actor’s depression. This was denied in I’m heath ledger, a 2017 documentary about the artist that featured the participation of his family, friends and colleagues.
“Everything that was published about the situation of Heath and that character confused me, the rumors that his depression was caused by that role were not true, “said his sister Kate.
Heath Ledger Movies
- Blackrock (1997)
- Paws (1997)
- Ten Things I Hate About You (1999)
- Two hands (1999)
- The Patriot (2000)
- Knight’s Heart (2001)
- Monster’s ball (2001)
- The Four Feathers (2002)
- The order (2003)
- Ned Kelly (2003)
- Masters of Dogtown (2005)
- Casanova (2005)
- The Brothers Grimm (2005)
- Secret on the Mountain (2005)
- Candy (2006)
- I’m not there (2007)
- Batman: the Dark Knight (2008)
- The Imaginary World of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
Heath Ledger Awards
- Academy Awards (Oscars) – Best Supporting Actor (2009, posthumous)
- Golden Globes – Best Supporting Actor (2009, posthumous)
- BAFTA Awards – Best Supporting Actor (2009, posthumous)
- SAG Awards – Best Supporting Actor (2009, posthumous)
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