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Heath Ledger
Close up of a man's face with brown eyes and hair, tousled hair and scraggly beard growth. He is looking toward his left. He is wearing a grey jumper with an orange stripe near his left shoulder and upper left arm. The background is blue with out of focus writing.
Ledger at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival.
Born Heath Andrew Ledger
4 April 1979(1979-04-04)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Died 22 January 2008 (aged 28)
New York City, New York, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 1992–2008
Domestic partner(s) Michelle Williams
(2005–2007, 1 child)

Heath Andrew Ledger (4 April 1979 – 22 January 2008) 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 (1999), The Patriot (2000), Monster's Ball (2001), A Knight's Tale (2001), Brokeback Mountain (2005), and The Dark Knight (2008).[1] In addition to his acting, he produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director.[2]

For his portrayal of Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain, Ledger won the 2005 New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor and the 2006 "Best Actor" award from the Australian Film Institute and was nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor[3] as well as the 2006 BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.[4] 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, which was inspired by the life and songs of American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. In the film, Ledger portrayed a fictional actor named Robbie Clark, one of six characters embodying aspects of Dylan's life and persona.[5] He was nominated and won awards for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight, including the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, a Best Actor International Award at the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards, for which he became the first actor to win an award posthumously,[6] the 2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor[7] and the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.[4]

He died at the age of 28,[3][8] from an accidental "toxic combination of prescription drugs."[9][10][11] 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.[12] 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's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Contents

Family and personal life

Heath Ledger was born in Perth, 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.[13] The Sir Frank Ledger Charitable Trust is named after his great-grandfather.[13] Ledger attended Mary's Mount Primary School, in Gooseberry Hill,[14] and later Guildford Grammar School, where he had his first acting experiences, starring in a school production as Peter Pan at age 10.[3][13] His parents separated when he was 10 and divorced when he was 11.[15] Ledger's older sister Kate, an actress and later a publicist, to whom he was very close, inspired his acting on stage, and his love of Gene Kelly inspired his successful choreography leading to Guildford Grammar's 60-member team's "first all-boy victory" at the Rock Eisteddfod Challenge.[13][16] 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.[17]

Ledger was an avid chess player, winning Western Australia's junior chess championship at the age of 10.[18] As an adult, he often played with other chess enthusiasts at Washington Square Park.[19] Allan Scott's film adaptation of the chess-related 1983 novel The Queen's Gambit, by Walter Tevis, 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.[2][20]

Among his most notable romantic relationships, Ledger dated actress Heather Graham for several months in 2000 to 2001,[13] and he had a serious on-and-off-again long-term relationship with actress Naomi Watts, whom he met during the filming of Ned Kelly and with whom he lived at times from 2002 to 2004.[21][22] In the summer of 2004, he met and began dating actress Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain, and their daughter, Matilda Rose, was born on 28 October 2005 in New York City.[23] Matilda Rose's godparents are Ledger's Brokeback co-star Jake Gyllenhaal and Williams's Dawson's Creek castmate Busy Philipps.[24] Ledger sold his residence in Bronte, New South Wales,[25] and moved to the United States, where he shared an apartment with Williams, in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, from 2005 to 2007.[26] In September 2007, Williams' father confirmed to Sydney's Daily Telegraph that Ledger and Williams had ended their relationship.[27] 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 and Gemma Ward and with former child star, actress Mary-Kate Olsen.[28][29][30][31]

Career

1990s

After sitting for early graduation exams at 16, Ledger left school to pursue an acting career.[15] With Trevor DiCarlo, his best friend since he was 3, Ledger drove across Australia from Perth to Sydney, returning to Perth to take a small role in Clowning Around (1992), the first part of a two-part television series, and to work on the TV series Sweat (1996), in which he played a gay cyclist.[13] From 1993 to 1997, Ledger also had parts in the Perth television series Ship to Shore (1993); in the short-lived Fox Broadcasting Company fantasy-drama Roar (1997); in Home and Away (1997), one of Australia's most successful television shows; and in the Australian film Blackrock (1997), his feature film debut.[13] In 1999, he starred in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You and in the acclaimed Australian crime film Two Hands, directed by Gregor Jordan.[13]

2000s

From 2000 to 2005, he starred in supporting roles as Gabriel Martin, the eldest son of Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson), in The Patriot (2000), and as Sonny Grotowski, the son of Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton), in Monster's Ball (2000); and in leading or title roles in A Knight's Tale (2001), The Four Feathers (2002), The Order (2003), Ned Kelly (2003), Casanova (2005), The Brothers Grimm (2005), and Lords of Dogtown (2005).[1] In 2001, he won a ShoWest Award as "Male Star of Tomorrow".[32]

Ledger received "Best Actor of 2005" awards from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his performance in Brokeback Mountain,[33][34] in which he plays Wyoming ranch hand Ennis Del Mar, who has a love affair with aspiring rodeo rider Jack Twist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.[35] He also received a nomination for Golden Globe Best Actor in a Drama and a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor for this performance,[36][37] making him, at age 26, the ninth youngest nominee for a Best Actor Oscar. In The New York Times review of the film, critic Stephen Holden 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 and Sean Penn."[38] In a review in Rolling Stone, Peter Travers 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."[39]

After Brokeback Mountain, Ledger costarred with fellow Australian Abbie Cornish in the 2006 Australian film Candy, an adaptation of the 1998 novel Candy: A Novel of Love and Addiction, as young heroin addicts in love attempting to break free of their addiction, whose mentor is played byGeoffrey Rush; 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, 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.[40]

Heath Ledger (far right, in sunglasses) posing with Richard Gere, Todd Haynes, Charlotte Gainsbourg at the 64th Venice Film Festival in 2007.

As one of six actors embodying different aspects of the life of Bob Dylan in the 2007 film I'm Not There, directed by Todd Haynes, 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."[41] 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.[42]

In his next to last film performance, Ledger played the Joker in The Dark Knight, directed by Christopher Nolan, 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, in their interview published in the New York Times on 4 November 2007, that he viewed The Dark Knight's Joker as a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy."[43] To prepare for the role, Ledger told Empire, "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, 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."[44][45][46] For his work in The Dark Knight, Ledger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, his family accepting it on his behalf, as well as numerous other posthumous awards including the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor, which Christopher Nolan accepted for him.[47][48]

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.[49][50]

Directorial work

Ledger had aspirations to become a film director and had made some music videos, which director Todd Haynes praised highly in his tribute to Ledger upon accepting the ISP Robert Altman Award, which Ledger posthumously shared, on 23 February 2008.[42] In 2006 Ledger directed music videos for the title track on Australian hip-hop artist N'fa's CD debut solo album Cause an Effect[51] and for the single "Seduction Is Evil (She's Hot)".[52][53] 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".[43][54]

At a news conference at the 2007 Venice Film Festival, Ledger spoke of his desire to make a documentary film about the British singer-songwriter Nick Drake, who died in 1974, at the age of 26, from an overdose of an antidepressant.[55] 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’s descriptive term for depression" (black dog);[56] it was shown publicly only twice, first at the Bumbershoot Festival, in Seattle, Washington, held from 1 September 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, at the Grauman's Egyptian Theatre, in Hollywood, on 5 October 2007.[57] After Ledger's death, his music video for "Black Eyed Dog" was shown on the Internet and excerpted in news clips distributed via YouTube.[55][58][59][60]

He was working with Scottish screenwriter and producer Allan Scott on an adaptation of the 1983 novel The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis, for which he was planning both to act and to direct, which would have been his first feature film as a director.[2][20][61] Ledger's final directorial work, in which he shot two music videos before his death, premiere in 2009.[62] The music videos, completed for Modest Mouse and Grace Woodroofe,[63] include an animated feature for Modest Mouse's song, "King Rat", and the Woodroofe video for her cover of David Bowie's "Quicksand".[64] The "King Rat" video premiered on 4 August 2009.[65]

Press controversies

Ledger's relationship with the press in Australia was sometimes turbulent, and it led to his relocating to New York City.[66][67] In 2004 he strongly denied press reports alleging that "he spat at journalists on the Sydney set of the film Candy," or that one of his relatives had done so later, outside Ledger's Sydney home.[66][67] On 13 January 2006, "Several members of the paparazzi retaliated ... squirting Ledger and Williams with water pistols on the red carpet at the Sydney premiere of Brokeback Mountain."[68][69]

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 referred to his presentation as an "apparent gay spoof."[70] Ledger called the Times later and explained that his levity resulted from stage fright, 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."[71][72]

Ledger was quoted in January 2006 in Melbourne's Herald Sun as saying that he heard that West Virginia had banned Brokeback Mountain, which it had not; actually, a cinema in Utah had banned the film.[73] He had also referred mistakenly to West Virginia's having had lynchings as recently as the 1980s, but state scholars disputed his statement, observing that, whereas lynchings did occur in Alabama as recently as 1981, according to "the director of state archives and history" quoted in The Charleston Gazette, "The last documented lynching in West Virginia took place in Lewisburg in 1931."[74]

Sleep difficulties and other work-related health issues

In their New York Times interview, published on 4 November 2007, Ledger told Sarah Lyall that his recently-completed roles in I'm Not There (2007) and The Dark Knight (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."[43] 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."[43]

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 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 antibiotics.... [sic] 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"...[sic] and he was taking all these pills [to help him] [sic].' "[75]

In talking with Interview magazine after his death, Ledger's former fiancée Michelle Williams "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."[76]

Death

Heath Ledger's body being carried away from his apartment

At about 2:45 p.m. (EST), on 22 January 2008, Ledger was found unconscious in his bed by his housekeeper, Teresa Solomon, and his masseuse, Diana Wolozin, in his fourth-floor loft apartment at 421 Broome Street in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan.[3][8]

According to the police, Wolozin, who had arrived early for a 3:00 p.m. appointment with Ledger, called Ledger's friend, actress Mary-Kate Olsen, for help. Olsen, who was in California, directed a New York City private security guard to go to the scene. At 3:26 p.m., "[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 "to say that Mr. Ledger was not breathing." At the urging of the 9-1-1 operator, Wolozin administered CPR, which was unsuccessful in reviving him.[77]

Emergency medical technicians (EMT) arrived seven minutes later, at 3:33 p.m. ("at almost exactly the same moment as a private security guard summoned by Ms. Olsen"), but were also unable to revive him.[8][77][78] At 3:36 p.m., Ledger was pronounced dead and his body removed from the apartment.[8][77]

Memorial tributes and services

Dark doorway and doorstep with section of footpath. On the lower part of the dark door is a partly obscured Australian flag with dark blue background; red and white crosses on top left, large white star underneath and three white stars at the right with others obscured. Obsuring the right side of the flag is a white sheet with light blue writing, "Love + Miss You Always Heath" with two red hearts nearby, other writing includes "I'll never quit you" in darker blue, more writing is indistinct. This sheet also has six photos of a man. Above the flag, on the door is a smaller sheet with a photo of a man and indistinct writing below. On the doorstep and section of footpath are some 14 groups of flowers wrapped in plastic or paper, together with nine or so cards, five or six lit candles, and more photos. On the right side is a straw hat.
Memorial for Heath Ledger, outside 421 Broome Street, SoHo, Manhattan, 23 January 2008

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.[79][80]

On 23 January 2008, at 10:50 a.m., Australian time, Ledger's parents and sister appeared outside his mother's house in Applecross, a riverside suburb of Perth, and read a short statement to the media expressing their grief and desire for privacy.[81] Within the next few days, memorial tributes were communicated by family members, Prime Minister of Australia Kevin Rudd, Deputy Premier of Western Australia Eric Ripper, Warner Bros. (distributor of The Dark Knight), and thousands of Ledger's fans around the world.[82][83][84][85]

Several actors made statements expressing their sorrow at Ledger's death, including Daniel Day-Lewis, 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 and Brokeback Mountain, describing the latter as "unique, perfect."[86][87] Verne Troyer, 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]."[88]

On 1 February 2008, in her first public statement after Ledger's death, Michelle Williams expressed her heartbreak and described Ledger's spirit as surviving in their daughter.[89][90]

After attending private memorial ceremonies in Los Angeles, Ledger's family members returned with his body to Perth.[91][92]

On 9 February 2008, a memorial service attended by several hundred invited guests was held at Penrhos College, garnering considerable press attention; afterward Ledger's body was cremated at Fremantle Cemetery, followed by a private service attended by only 10 closest family members,[93][94][95] with his ashes to be interred later in a family plot at Karrakatta Cemetery, next to two of his grandparents.[92][96][97] Later that night, his family and friends gathered for a wake on Cottesloe Beach.[98][99][100]

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 released its conclusions, based on an initial autopsy of 23 January 2008, and a subsequent complete toxicological analysis.[9][10][101] The report concludes, in part, "Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine."[9][11] It states definitively: "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescription medications."[9][11] The medications found in the toxicological analysis are commonly prescribed in the United States for insomnia, anxiety, depression, pain, and/or common cold symptoms.[9][11] Although the Associated Press and other media reported that "police estimate Ledger's time of death between 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m." (on 22 January 2008),[102] the Medical Examiner's Office announced that it would not be publicly disclosing the official estimated time of death.[103][104] 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 (CDI).[10][101][105]

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."[106][107]

On 4 August 2008, citing unnamed sources, Murray Weiss, of the New York Post, first reported that Mary-Kate Olsen 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.[108][109] Later that day, after the police confirmed the gist of Weiss's account to the Associated Press, Miller issued a statement denying that Olsen supplied Ledger with the drugs causing his death and asserting that she did not know their source."[110][111] 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."[112]

After a flurry of further media speculation, on 6 August 2008, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan closed its investigation into Ledger's death without filing any charges and rendering moot its subpoena of Olsen.[113][114] 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 and hydrocodone in the lethal drug combination that killed him.[114][115]

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."[116]

Controversy over will

After Ledger's death, in response to some press reports about his will, filed in New York City on 28 February 2008,[117][118] 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, "an integral part of our family", adding "They will be taken care of and that's how Heath would want it to be".[119] 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 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.[120][121] 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.[122]

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, 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."[123][124][125] 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! and Us Weekly, "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.[126][127]

On 15 July 2008, Fife-Yeomans reported further, via Australian News Limited, that "While Ledger left everything to his parents and three sisters, it is understood they have legal advice that under WA law, Matilda Rose is entitled to the lion's share" of his estate; its executors, Kim Ledger's former business colleague Robert John Collins and Geraldton accountant William Mark Dyson, "have applied for probate in the West Australian Supreme Court in Perth, advertising "for 'creditors 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...."[128] According to this report by Fife-Yeomans, earlier reports citing Ledger's uncles,[119] 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]$20 million."[128][129][130]

On 27 September 2008, Ledger's father Kim stated that "the family has agreed to leave the [US]$16.3 million fortune to Matilda," adding: "There is no claim. Our family has gifted everything to Matilda."[129][130][131] In October 2008, Forbes.com estimated Ledger's annual earnings from October 2007 through October 2008 – including his posthumous share of The Dark Knight 's gross income of "[US]$991 million in box office revenue worldwide" –– as "[US]$20 million."[132]

Posthumous films and awards

Ledger's death affected the marketing campaign for Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight (2008)[12][49] and also both the production and marketing of Terry Gilliam's film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, with both directors intending to celebrate and pay tribute to his work in these films.[49][50][133][134] Although Gilliam temporarily suspended production on the latter film,[50] he expressed determination to "salvage" it, perhaps using computer-generated imagery (CGI), and dedicated it to Ledger.[75][135][136] In February 2008, as a "memorial tribute to the man many have called one of the best actors of his generation," Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell signed on to take over Ledger's role, becoming multiple incarnations of his character, Tony, transformed in this "magical re-telling of the Faust story,"[137][138][139] and the three actors have donated their fees for the film to Ledger's and Williams' daughter.[140]

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."[134] 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.[141] 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.[142]

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.[143] Even film critic David Denby, who does not praise the film overall in his pre-release review in The New Yorker, 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."[144] 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, who played opposite him as Batman, 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."[12][145]

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 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.[146]

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 ceremony telecast on NBC on 11 January 2009 with Dark Knight Director Christopher Nolan accepting on his behalf.[7][47]

Film critics, co-stars Maggie Gyllenhaal and Michael Caine 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 in recognition of Ledger's achievement in The Dark Knight.[147] Ledger's subsequent nomination was announced on 22 January 2009, the anniversary of his death;[148] 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, who won for 1976's Network. The award was accepted by Ledger's family.[48]

Filmography

Television

Year Film Role Notes
1993 Ship to Shore Cyclist
1996 Sweat Snowy Bowles Series regular
1997 Home and Away Scott Irwin Guest
Roar Conor Leading role

Film

Year Film Role Notes
1992 Clowning Around Orphan clown Uncredited
1997 Blackrock Toby
Paws Oberon
1999 Two Hands Jimmy Nominated — Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
10 Things I Hate About You Patrick Verona Nominated – MTV Movie Awards (Best Musical Sequence)
2000 The Patriot Gabriel Martin Blockbuster Entertainment Awards — Favorite Male — Newcomer
2001 Monster's Ball Sonny Grotowski
A Knight's Tale Sir William Thatcher / Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein of Gelderland Nominated – MTV Movie Awards (Best Kiss, Best Musical Sequence; both shared with Shannyn Sossamon)
2002 The Four Feathers Harry Faversham
2003 The Order Alex Bernier
Ned Kelly Ned Kelly Nominated — Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
2005 Casanova Giacomo Casanova
The Brothers Grimm Jacob Grimm
Lords of Dogtown Skip Engblom
Brokeback Mountain Ennis del Mar Australian Film Institute International Award for Best Actor
Australian Film Institute Awards – Reader's Choice Best Actor
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Lead Performance
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Actor of the Year
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Performance of the Year Award
Nominated — Academy Award for Best Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Chlotrudis Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead
Nominated — Inside Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — London Film Critics' Circle Award for Actor of the Year
MTV Movie Awards (Best Kiss, shared with Jake Gyllenhaal)
Nominated — Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Actor - Motion Picture Drama
Nominated — Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor
2006 Candy Dan Nominated — Australian Film Institute Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role
Nominated — Inside Film Award for Best Actor
Nominated — Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actor
2007 I'm Not There Robbie Clark 2007 Independent Spirit Robert Altman Award — Shared with cast and crew
2008 The Dark Knight Joker Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor
Australian Film Institute International Award for Best Actor
Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Central Ohio Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Florida Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
GQ Australia Men of the Year Awards (Best Actor)
Iowa Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actor
Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
MTV Movie Award for Best Villain
Online Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
People's Choice Award for Best Ensemble Cast
People's Choice Award for Best On-Screen Match-Up (shared with Christian Bale)
Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
San Francisco Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Scream Award for Best Fantasy Actor
Scream Award for Best Villain
Scream Award for Best Line "I believe that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stranger."
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Southeastern Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Toronto Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast
Nominated — London Film Critics' Circle Award for Actor of the Year
Nominated — Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture
Nominated — MTV Movie Award for Best Fight (shared with Christian Bale)
2009 The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Tony

Music videos

  • (2006) "Cause an Effect" and "Seduction is Evil (She's Hot)", songs by N'fa, videos directed by Ledger.
  • (2006) "Morning Yearning," song by Ben Harper, video directed by Ledger.
  • (2007) "Black Eyed Dog," song written by Nick Drake (1948–1974), video directed by and featuring Ledger.[55]
  • (2009) "King Rat", song by Modest Mouse and conceived by Ledger.[63][149]

See also

References

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  19. ^ Tapper, Christina; Natasha Stoyoff (2008-01-26). "Heath Ledger's Passion for Chess". People. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20173995,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-03. "No stranger to the New York Washington Square Park chess world, Heath Ledger found joy by screaming the occasional 'checkmate!'" 
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  92. ^ a b Rodriguez, Brenda (2008-02-05). "A Sorrowful Return to Australia for Heath Ledger's Family". People Magazine. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20176124,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-05. 
  93. ^ Kent, Melissa (2008-02-09). "Tears, Tributes Accompany Heath Ledger to His Final Rest". The Age. http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2008/02/09/1202234231953.html?from=top5. Retrieved 2008-04-21. 
  94. ^ "Heath Ledger Farewelled at Perth Funeral". news.com.au. 2008-02-09. http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,23184908-2,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  95. ^ Associated Press (2008-02-06). "Reports: Michelle Williams Arrives in Perth for Heath Ledger's Funeral". International Herald Tribune. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/02/06/arts/AS-A-E-CEL-Australia-Ledger.php. Retrieved 2008-02-07. 
  96. ^ Cazzalino, Michelle; Ellen Connolly (2008-02-10). "Last, Sad Farewell for Heath". The Sunday Telegraph: p. 5. 
  97. ^ "Summary Of Record Information: Heath Andrew Ledger". Metropolitan Cemeteries Board, Western Australia). http://www.mcb.wa.gov.au/NameSearch/details.php?id=FC00052109. Retrieved 2008-08-07. 
  98. ^ Cazzulino, Michelle; Stephen Corby (2008-02-10). "Entertainment: Top Stories: Star Swim at Heath Ledger's Farewell: Ledger Wake Held in Perth". news.com.au. http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,26278,23189271-10388,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  99. ^ Caccetta, Wendy; Nicole Cox (2008-02-10). "Beach Tribute to Heath Ledger". The Courier Mail. http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,23184885-952,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  100. ^ Cazzulino, Michelle; Stephen Corby (2008-02-10). "Michelle Williams Swims at Heath Ledger's Wake". The Daily Telegraph. http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,23188937-5001021,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  101. ^ a b Larry King (2008-02-06). "Video: Larry King Live: Ledger Death" (Video clip). Larry King Live (CNN). http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2008/02/06/lkl.heath.ledger.death.cnn. Retrieved 2008-02-05. "CNN's Larry King talks to guests about the finding that actor Heath Ledger died from an accidental drug overdose." 
  102. ^ Chris Harris (2008-01-24). "Heath Ledger's Last Hours: New Details Emerge". MTV Movie News (mtv.com (MTV Networks)). http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1580240/20080124/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-08-08. 
  103. ^ AAP (2008-02-06). "Heath Ledger's Family Returns to Perth". The Sunday Times (PerthNow) (news.com.au). http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,23163266-948,00.html. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  104. ^ Dowd, Kathy Ehrich (2008-02-05). "Heath Ledger Toxicology Test Results Delayed". People Magazine. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20176337,00.html. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  105. ^ "Home deaths from Drug Errors Soar". CNN (cnn.com (Associated Press)). 2008-07-28. http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/07/28/fatal.drug.errors.ap/. Retrieved 2008-08-04. "Deaths from medication mistakes at home, such as actor Heath Ledger's accidental overdose, rose dramatically during the past two decades, an analysis of U.S. death certificates finds. ... The findings, based on nearly 50 million U.S. death certificates, are published in Monday [4 August 2008]'s Archives of Internal Medicine. Of those, more than 224,000 involved fatal medication errors, including overdoses and mixing prescription drugs with alcohol or street drugs. ... Deaths from medication mistakes at home increased from 1,132 deaths in 1983 to 12,426 in 2004. Adjusted for population growth, that amounts to an increase of more than 700 percent during that time." 
  106. ^ WENN (World Entertainment News Network) (2008-02-29). "Heath Ledger Doctors Cleared". Hollywood.com (Hollywood Media Corp.). http://www.hollywood.com/news/Heath_Ledger_Doctors_Cleared/5091865. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  107. ^ Nicole Weisensee Egan (2008-02-28). "Report: Doctors Cleared in Ledger Investigation". People (people.com). http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20181179,00.html. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  108. ^ Murray Weiss (2008-08-04). "Olsen to Heath Feds: Let's Deal: Demands Immunity from Probers". New York Post (nypost.com (News Corporation)). http://www.nypost.com/seven/08042008/news/regionalnews/olsen_to_heath_feds__lets_deal_122918.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  109. ^ "Official: Mark-Kate Olsen silent on Ledger OD". Associated Press. MSNBC. 2008-08-04. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26013925/. Retrieved 2008-10-27. 
  110. ^ Staff and Agencies (2008-08-05). "Mary-Kate Olsen Denies Supplying Heath Ledger with Drugs". The Guardian (guardian.co.uk (Guardian Media Group)). http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2008/aug/05/heath.ledger. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
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  112. ^ "Lawyer: Mary-Kate Olsen Had 'Nothing to Do' with Heath Ledger's Drugs". People (people.com (Time Inc.)). 2008-08-04. http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20216830,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-05. 
  113. ^ Nicole Weisensee Egan (2008-08-06). "Source: Feds Officially Close Heath Ledger Investigation". People (people.com (Time Inc.)). http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20217421,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  114. ^ a b Shawn Adler (2008-08-06). "Heath Ledger Investigation Reportedly Closed; Mary-Kate Olsen Won't Have to Testify: U.S. Attorney's Office Filed No Charges Before Closing Probe into Actor's Overdose Death". MTV.com (MTV). http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1592309/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  115. ^ Fox News and the Associated Press (2008-08-06). "Investigation into Heath Ledger's Death Closed". Fox News (foxnews.com (News Corporation)). http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,399081,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  116. ^ Coyle, Jake (2008-12-23). "Ledger's Death Voted Top 2008 Entertainment Story". msnbc.com. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28369361/. Retrieved 2008-12-24. "The Top 10: 1. Heath Ledger Dies." 
  117. ^ Heath Ledger (2008-03-27). "Last Will & Testament". TMZ.com (Documents). aolcdn.com (reposted on 12 April 2008). http://www.aolcdn.com/tmz_documents/0327_heath_will_wm.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  118. ^ TMZ staff (2008-03-27). "Celebrity Justice: Heath's Will - No Joke". TMZ.com (blog) (tmz.com). http://www.tmz.com/2008/03/27/heaths-will-no-joke/. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  119. ^ a b "Ledger's Uncles: Michelle Williams May Have to Fight for Matilda’s Inheritance". Fox News (foxnews.com). 2008-03-10. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,336280,00.html. Retrieved 2008-04-23. "Kim Ledger moved quickly to deny his granddaughter and Michelle Williams would be left without an inheritance and said Matilda was his family's absolute priority. 'Matilda is our absolute priority and Michelle is an integral part of our family ... They will be taken care of and that's how Heath would want it to be,' Kim Ledger says in the statement. ... The uncles estimated their nephew's estate would be worth Australian $20 million after his earnings from the latest 'Batman' movie were calculated." 
  120. ^ Sean Cowan (2008-03-15). "Ledger Feud Grows Over 'second' Will". The Age (theage.com.au). http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2008/03/15/1205472100775.html. Retrieved 2008-03-15. "Some of Heath Ledger's relatives may be planning a legal challenge against his will after it emerged the actor may have written a second will after his daughter was born, leaving most of his multimillion-dollar fortune to her. ... Ledger's second will, which is understood to be unsigned, was reportedly drawn up after Matilda's birth. ... The looming battle over which of Ledger's wills should be used to divide his estate ... has caused waves on this side of the Pacific, with his uncles Mike and Haydn Ledger accusing their brother — and Heath's father — Kim of mismanaging their late grandfather's [A]$2 million estate. ... Kim Ledger hit back this week, issuing a statement claiming his estranged brothers did not know what they were talking about. ... Under the terms of the first will, the division of the estate will be managed by Kim Ledger's former business colleague Robert John Collins and Geraldton accountant William Mark Dyson." 
  121. ^ Mitchell, Peter (2008-09-03). "Ledger's Estate Sells His Hollywood Hills Home". news.com.au (News Limited). http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,26278,24287252-5015787,00.html. Retrieved 2008-09-02. "[According to Los Angeles County public records], Heath Ledger's estate has sold ... [his] Hollywood Hills home ... for [US]$US2.5 million ($A2.99 million) [in May 2008]." 
  122. ^ Melissa Castellanos (2008-03-24). "Williams' Dad Questions Ledger's Will: Larry Williams Wants Kim Ledger To Explain Why Estate Is Valued At Only $145,000". Showbuzz (cbsnews.com). http://www.showbuzz.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/03/24/people_hot_water/main3964602.shtml. Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  123. ^ Gemma Jones and Janet Fife-Yeomans (2008-03-31). "Did Heath Ledger Father a Secret Love Child?". The Daily Telegraph (news.com.au). http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,23455968-5001021,00.html. Retrieved 2008-07-25. "The April will lists only [US]$145,000 in assets and names the late actor's father, Kim, mother Sally Bell, sister Kate Ledger and half sisters Olivia Ledger and Ashleigh Bell as the only beneficiaries. The New York documents also acknowledge Matilda Rose, as Ledger's only known child, as an interested party." 
  124. ^ Garry Maddox (2009-03-29). "Good Will Hunting". The Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2008/03/28/1206207397015.html. Retrieved 2008-03-30. "Beyond the tangled web of Heath Ledger's estate, two final films and his celebrated Brokeback performance ensure the money will keep flowing." 
  125. ^ Nick Squires (2008-04-01). "Heath Ledger 'fathered a secret love child' ". The Daily Telegraph (UK) (Telegraph.co.uk). http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1583417/Heath-Ledger-'fathered-a-secret-love-child'.html. Retrieved 2008-08-06. "If the claims are proved to be true, Ledger's multi-million pound estate would have to be divided between the child he fathered in his teens and his two-year-old daughter, Matilda Rose, whose mother is Hollywood actress Michelle Williams. ... The actor's parents, Kim and Sally Ledger, have declined to comment on the reports [based on comments by other family members, including his uncle Haydn Ledger]." 
  126. ^ "Denied: No Love Child for Heath Ledger". OK! (okmagazine.com (OK! Magazine, Northern & Shell North America Ltd.)). 2008-04-03. http://www.okmagazine.com/news/view/5697. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  127. ^ "Heath Ledger's Uncle: Love Child Reports Are 'absolutely beserk' ". Us Weekly (usmagazine.com (Wenner Media LLC)). 2008-04-03. http://www.usmagazine.com/heath_ledgers_uncle_love_child_reports_are_absolutely_berserk. Retrieved 2008-08-06. 
  128. ^ a b Janet Fife-Yeomans (2008-07-15). "Entertainment: Heath Ledger's Daughter Matilda's Estate Claim Decision". news.com.au (News Limited). http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/story/0,26278,24022070-5015788,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-10. "[Matilda Rose's] mother, actor Michelle Williams, will have to officially lodge a claim with the court supported by an affidavit which could end up in the public domain, legal experts said." 
  129. ^ a b Joyce Eng (2008-09-29). "Heath Ledger's Daughter to Inherit Estate". tvguide.com (Community Blog entry) (OpenGate Capital). http://community.tvguide.com/blog-entry/TVGuide-News-Blog/Todays-News/Heath-Ledgers-Estate/800047540. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  130. ^ a b Associated Press (2008-09-29). "Ledger's Daughter to Inherit Late Actor's Estate". AOL Australia Celebrity Channel (AOL Australia). http://www.aol.com.au/celebrity/story/Ledger's-daughter-to-inherit-late-actor's-estate/1054531/index.html. Retrieved 2008-12-11. 
  131. ^ Daily Mail Reporter (2008-10-24). "First Photos of Tragic Heath Ledger in His Last Film". Mail Online. Daily Mail and General Trust. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1080060/First-photos-tragic-Heath-Ledger-film.html. Retrieved 2008-12-12. 
  132. ^ Michelle Nichols (2008-10-29). "Elvis Ranked Top-earning Dead Celebrity". Reuters.com. Thomson Reuters. http://www.reuters.com/article/DarkKnight/idUSTRE49S54I20081029. Retrieved 2008-12-10. "Forbes.com said it spoke to experts and sources inside the dead celebrities' estates and researched gross earnings, before taxes, management fees and other costs, from the period of October 2007 to October 2008 to come up with the rankings."  Based on its estimates, Nichols reports, Forbes.com ranks Ledger as third among the world's highest-earning deceased celebrities for that year, following Elvis Presley (1) and Charles M. Schulz (2).
  133. ^ CNN (2008-01-24). "Ledger's Death Puts Last Films in a Bind". CNN: SHOWBIZ/Movies (cnn.com (Time Warner)). http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/Movies/01/24/ledger.films/index.html. Retrieved 2008-01-30. 
  134. ^ a b Larry Carroll (2008-03-18). "'Dark Knight' Stars, Director Want Film To 'Celebrate' Heath Ledger's Work". MTV (Movies) (mtv.com). http://www.mtv.com/movies/news/articles/1583563/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  135. ^ WENN (World Entertainment News Network) (2008-01-28). "Gilliam Trying to Save Last Ledger Film". Hollywood.com (Hollywood Media Corp.). http://www.hollywood.com/news/Gilliam_Trying_to_Save_Last_Ledger_Film/5055155. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  136. ^ Matt Brady (2008-01-23). "Heath Ledger Dies". Newsarama (Forum) (forum.newsarama.com). http://forum.newsarama.com/showthread.php?t=144093. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  137. ^ "Moriarty" (2008-02-15). "AICN exclusive! We Know Who’s Paying Tribute To Heath Ledger In Dr. Parnassus Now!". aintitcool.com (Ain't It Cool News (Harry Knowles)). http://www.aintitcool.com/node/35623. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  138. ^ Shawn Adler (2008-02-15). "Heath Ledger's Final Film To Go Forward - With Johnny Depp, Jude Law, Colin Farrell in His Role". MTV. http://www.mtv.ca/news/article.jhtml?id=7086. Retrieved 2008-02-15. 
  139. ^ "Arts Briefly: Three Actors Replace Heath Ledger". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). 2008-02-19. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/19/arts/19arts-THREEACTORSR_BRF.html. Retrieved 2008-02-19. 
  140. ^ "Trio Give Fees to Ledger's Child". BBC News (bbc.co.uk (BBC)). 2008-08-19. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7570056.stm. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  141. ^ Scott Brown. "Dark Knight Director Shuns Digital Effects for the Real Thing". Wired (wired.com (Condé Nast Publications)) (24 June 2008). http://www.wired.com/entertainment/hollywood/magazine/16-07/ff_darknight?currentPage=all. Retrieved 2008-06-24. 
  142. ^ "Dark Knight Dedicated to Ledger". BBC News Online (bbc.co.uk). 2008-06-27. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7477095.stm. Retrieved 2008-06-27. "The special tribute reads: 'In memory of our friends Heath Ledger and Conway Wickliffe'." 
  143. ^ Brandon Gray (2008-07-23). "News: 'Dark Knight' Begins Smashingly". Box Office Mojo. boxofficemojo.com. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=2504&p=s.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  144. ^ Denby, David. "The Current Cinema: Past Shock: 'The Dark Knight' and 'WALL-E'  ". The New Yorker (newyorker.com (Condé Nast Publications)) (21 July 2008): 92–93. http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/cinema/2008/07/21/080721crci_cinema_denby. Retrieved 2008-07-17. "When Ledger wields a knife, he is thoroughly terrifying (do not, despite the PG-13 rating, bring the children), and, as you're watching him, you can't help wondering—in a response that admittedly lies outside film criticism—how badly he messed himself up in order to play the role this way.".  (Postdated)
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  148. ^ Kreps, Daniel (2009-01-22). "Heath Ledger Remembered On First Anniversary Of His Death". Rolling Stone (rollingstone.com). http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/01/22/heath-ledger-remembered-on-first-anniversary-of-his-death/. Retrieved 2009-04-13. 
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Additional resources

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

When I die, my money's not gonna come with me. My movies will live on for people to judge what I was as a person. I just want to stay curious.Heath Ledger (2007)

Heath Andrew Ledger (4 April 197922 January 2008) was an Australian television and film actor best known for his movie roles as Ennis Del Mar in Brokeback Mountain (2005) and the Joker in The Dark Knight (2008) and considered one of the most promising actors of his generation before his accidental death at 28.[1]

Contents

Sourced

  • I'm not good at future planning. I don't plan at all. I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow. I don't have a day planner and I don't have a diary. I completely live in the now, not in the past, not in the future.
  • 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 (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.
  • [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.
  • 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.
  • 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 (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 (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).
  • I don't have a technique. I've never been a believer in having one set technique on how to act. There are no rules and there is no rulebook. At the end of the day, it all comes down to my instincts. That's the one thing that guides me through every decision professionally. Socially, also. That's my technique. Yeah, you read through the script 100 times. I guess I have little characteristics about myself. Sometimes, most often than not, once we start shooting I won't look at the script at all until we finished shooting. It's kind of like it's been imprinted in my head during rehearsals. You just let it go.
    • As quoted by Reel.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 (May 2001).
  • I just like interesting people. When we worked together on Ned Kelly, Naomi and I definitely had a connection, but it probably happened off screen rather than on, because when you're working there's nothing sexy about 50 people standing around staring at you.
  • Matilda is adorable, and beautifully observant and wise. Michelle and I love her so much. Becoming a father exceeds all my expectations. It's the most remarkable experience I've ever had — it's marvelous.
  • I apologize for my terrible interview skills. I wasn't prepared to expose stories about something so special and wonderfully private that is happening in my life. I guess a part of me wishes that I'd never have to and that maybe I could protect this special time. I was dreaming.
    • Apology from Ledger after he ignored reporters' questions and focused on peeling an orange for Sunrise, (September 2005).
  • It's like anything in life, visualizing the old man you're going to become: As long as you have a clear picture of that — the life you want to lead — eventually you'll probably get there.
    • Quoted in Variety (December 2005).
  • You know when you see the preachers down South? And they grab a believer and they go, "Bwoom! I touch you with the hand of God!" And they believe so strongly, they're on the ground shaking and spitting. And fuck's sake, that's the power of belief. Now, I don't believe in Jesus, but I believe in my performance. And if you can understand that the power of belief is one of the great tools of our time and that a lot of acting comes from it, you can do anything.
  • I actually hate comic book movies, like fucking hate them, they just bore me shitless and they're just dumb. But I thought what Chris Nolan did with Batman was actually really good, really well directed, and Christian Bale was really great in it.
  • 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 ... just an absolute sociopath, a cold-blooded, mass-murdering clown .... [being given] free rein [by director Christopher Nolan was] fun, because there are no real boundaries to what The Joker would say or do. Nothing intimidates him, and everything is a big joke."
    • Interview remarks published in Empire, from interviews conducted in November 2007.[3][4][5]
  • Having a child changes every aspect of your life — for the better, of course. The sacrifices are large, but what you get in return is even bigger than the sacrifices you make. I feel, in a sense, ready to die because you are living on in your child. Not literally, not ready to die — but you know, that sort of feeling in a profound way.
  • I have never had great expectations of my performance or of a film. I try not to think about the outcome. If you look that far ahead, it sort of taints your choices as an actor. I try as hard as I can to believe that no one is ever going to see it and that it's not even a movie. Then you can allow yourself to bare more. Then, once a project is done, I tend to forget about it until it comes out.
  • No amount of money changes what I do between 'action' and 'cut'... Before I got into the industry, I never imagined I'd have anywhere near the money I have now... I don’t need any more. It's not that I don’t want the money, it's just that I would have been really happy sitting on a beach or surfing every morning... I never had money, and I was very happy without it. When I die, my money's not gonna come with me. My movies will live on – for people to judge what I was as a person. I just want to stay curious.

About Heath Ledger

  • I deeply respect Heath's work and always admired his continuing development as an artist. My thoughts are with his family and close friends.
  • We tested a lot of people and when Heath came along, he had the same manly qualities Mel Gibson had as a young man. They're never really boys; they already have it
  • 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. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
  • Once every 50 years a guy like that comes along. For his age, Heath has an incredible manliness about him. I think he has a strong sense of himself, but it's especially amazing in someone so young, because usually male stars don't develop that kind of thing until their thirties.
  • That's terrible. Drugs today... when we [members of his own generation] stopped taking drugs, they [members of Ledger's generation] started. It is just an epidemic. I am sorry to hear that. He was a great talent.
  • The studio is stunned and devastated by this tragic news. The entertainment community has lost an enormous talent. Heath was a brilliant actor and an exceptional person. Our hearts go out to his family.
    • Alan Horn, president of Warner Bros., and Jeff Robinov, Warner Bros. studio president.[6]
  • What a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Heath's family.
  • Working with Heath was one of the purest joys of my life. He brought to the role of Ennis more than any of us could have imagined - a thirst for life, for love, and for truth, and a vulnerability that made everyone who knew him love him. His death is heartbreaking.
  • Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life but few had the pleasure of truly knowing him. He was a down to earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving, unselfish individual who was extremely inspirational to many.
    • Kim Ledger, father of Heath Ledger, in an on-camera public statement after learning of his son's death, in Perth, on January 23, 2008.[6][7]
  • Today's results put an end to speculation, but our son's beautiful spirit and enduring memory will forever remain in our hearts. While no medications were taken in excess, we learned today the combination of doctor-prescribed drugs proved lethal for our boy. Heath's accidental death serves as a caution to the hidden dangers of combining prescription medication, even at low dosage.
    • Kim Ledger, in a written public statement, released through Mara Buxbaum, Heath Ledger’s publicist, on February 6, 2008, commenting on Dr. Hirsch's official statement released to the media that day, as quoted above.[1]
  • It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life. Heath Ledger's diverse and challenging roles will be remembered as some of the great performances by an Australian actor.
  • He was just so respected in the industry. It's just horribly tragic. He was just a fine actor and a good person, so this is horribly sad and very unexpected.
  • It's really, really sad. I hope his family is okay. I wish them the best.
  • I adored him. I don't know how to compare his talent to others but he's touched me deeply as a talent and it's a great loss - losing him at any age would be a loss but it was pretty rough news. I was really shocked by it.
  • Please respect our need to grieve privately. My heart is broken. I am the mother of the most tender-hearted, high-spirited, beautiful little girl who is the spitting image of her father. All that I can cling to is his presence inside her that reveals itself every day. His family and I watch Matilda as she whispers to trees, hugs animals, and takes steps two at a time, and we know that he is with us still. She will be brought up with the best memories of him.

Notes

  1. a b c Sewell Chan and James Barron (contributing). "City Room: Heath Ledger's Death Is Ruled an Accident", The New York Times, cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com (The New York Times Company), February 6, 2008. URL accessed on 2008-08-22.
  2. Sarah Lyall. "Movies: In Stetson or Wig, He's Hard to Pin Down", The New York Times, Movies, nytimes.com, November 4, 2007. URL accessed on 2008-08-18.
  3. Dan Jolin (January 2008). "Fear Has a Face". Empire 223: 87–88. Retrieved on 2008-07-08.
  4. Dan Jolin (July 2008). "The Dark Knight". Empire 229: 92–100. Retrieved on 2008-08-18.
  5. Olly Richards. "World Exclusive: The Joker Speaks: He's a Cold-blooded Mass-murdering Clown", Empire, Bauer Verlagsgruppe, November 28, 2007. URL accessed on 2008-08-18.
  6. a b c d e f g h i j In Quotes: Heath Ledger Tributes". BBC News, Entertainment. bbc.co.uk (BBC) (January 23, 2008). Retrieved on 2008-08-23.
  7. a b Kareen Wynter. "Actor Heath Ledger Dead at 28", CNN, cnn.com (Time Warner), January 22, 2008, Entertainment. URL accessed on 2008-08-22.
  8. "Michelle Williams: Heath Ledger Has Broken My Heart", The Daily Telegraph, news.com.au, February 1, 2008. URL accessed on 2008-02-01.
  9. "Michelle Williams Breaks Silence on Heath's Death", People, people.com (Time Inc.), February 1, 2008. URL accessed on 2008-02-02.

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Simple English

Heath Ledger
Born Heathcliff Andrew Ledger
April 4, 1979(1979-04-04)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Died January 22, 2008 (aged 28)
New York City, New York, United States
Partner Michelle Williams (2005-07)
Awards NYFCC Award For Best Actor
2005 Brokeback Mountain

Heathcliff Andrew Ledger (April 4, 1979January 22, 2008) was an Academy Award-winning Australian actor. After appearing on television during the 1990s, Ledger began working in Hollywood movies. He starred in many movies, including The Patriot, Monster's Ball, and Brokeback Mountain. He played The Joker in the The Dark Knight. Ledger died in New York City on January 22, 2008.[1] However, the final film he was in, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, came out in 2009. [2]

Contents

Early life and family

Heath Ledger was born in Perth, Western Australia. Ledger's mother is descended from the Clan Campbell of Scotland. Heath (Heathcliff) and his sister Katherine were named after the two main characters in Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights. Ledger attended Guildford Grammar School, where he had his first acting experiences. He starred in a school production as Peter Pan at age 10.[3]

Career

Early career

At sixteen, Ledger graduated school early to become an actor[4] with girlfriend Jenna Sorrell. With his best friend, Trevor DiCarlo, Ledger drove across Australia to Sydney. He returned to Perth for the television series Sweat (1996). In this series, he played a gay cyclist.[3]

In 1996, Heath Ledger was involved in the short lived Fox Broadcasting Company fantasy-drama Roar. In 1999, Ledger starred in the teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You. He also had the lead role in the Australian movie Two Hands, directed by Gregor Jordan.[3]

2000–2008

From 2000 to 2005 he starred in The Patriot, Monster's Ball, A Knight's Tale, The Four Feathers, Ned Kelly, The Order, and The Brothers Grimm. In 2001, he won a ShoWest Award for the "Male Star of Tomorrow" for on his work in The Patriot and A Knight's Tale. In 2003, he was named one of Australian GQ's "Men of the Year" for acting.

Ledger received "Best Actor of 2005" awards from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his acting in Brokeback Mountain. In this movie he plays Wyoming ranchhand Ennis Del Mar, who is in love with rodeorider Jack Twist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. He also received a nomination for Golden Globe "Best Actor in a Drama" and a nomination for Academy Award for Best Actor for this acting.

Also in 2005, Ledger played a version of Giacomo Casanova in Casanova. The movie was a romantic comedy. It co-starred Sienna Miller.

In 2006, Ledger was asked to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[5] In 2007, he was one of six actors to play different sides of singer Bob Dylan in the movie I'm Not There.

Ledger played comic book villain The Joker in The Dark Knight. This is the sequel to the 2005 movie Batman Begins. The movie was released on July 18, 2008.[6]

Music

Ledger started a record company with singer Ben Harper. In 2006, Ledger directed three music videos: "Cause an Effect" and "Seduction Is Evil (She's Hot)" for Australian hip-hop artist N'fa, as well as "Morning Yearning" for Ben Harper.

Public image

Press reception

Ledger had problems with paparazzi photographers. It is said that he spat at and assaulted a photographer in Sydney in 2004. A relative of his also is said to have spat on a photographer in 2005. Ledger said this was not true.[7]

Ledger caused problems after he was quoted in January 2006 in Australia's Herald Sun as saying that West Virginia had banned Brokeback Mountain (which it had not). He also said the state had lynchings as recently as the 1980s. These statements have been said to not be true by historians, who said that the last non-legal public hanging in West Virginia happened in 1931.[8]

Personal life

From August 2002 to April 2004, Ledger had a relationship with actress Naomi Watts. They met during the filming of Ned Kelly.[9] Before that, he had dated actresses Lisa Zane and Heather Graham.

Ledger was engaged to actress Michelle Williams, whom he met while filming Brokeback Mountain.[10][11] Their daughter, Matilda Rose, was born on October 28, 2005 in New York City.

In August 2007, Us Weekly said that Ledger and Williams ended their relationship. Neither Ledger nor Williams said the rumor was true at that time. In September, 2007, Williams' father, Larry, told the Sydney Daily Telegraph that Ledger and Williams had separated.[12]

Death

Ledger was found dead in his apartment [13][14] in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City on January 22, 2008. Ledger's body was found by a housekeeper and a massage therapist, who entered the bedroom to find him face down on the floor with sleeping pills on a nearby table. [15] Police said that there were "no obvious signs" of suicide. They also did not think his death was caused by someone else.[16]

On January 23, 2008 Ledger's parents and sister appeared outside Ledger's mother's house in Applecross, a Perth suburb, and read a short statement to the media:

"We, Heath's family, confirm the very tragic, untimely and accidental passing of our dearly loved son, brother and doting father of Matilda, who was found in a peaceful sleep in his New York apartment by his housekeeper at 3:30pm [New York Time]. We would like to thank our friends and everyone around the world for their kind wishes at this time. Heath has touched so many people on so many different levels during his short life, but few had the pleasure to truly know him. He was a down-to-earth, generous, kind-hearted, life-loving and unselfish individual who was an extreme inspiration to many. Please now respect our family's need to grieve and come to terms with our loss privately."[17]

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd released a statement saying, "It was with great sadness that I have learned of the passing of Heath Ledger... It is tragic that we have lost one of our nation's finest actors in the prime of his life."[18]

Filmography

Movies
Year Title Role Other notes
1997 Paws Oberon
Blackrock Toby
1999 10 Things I Hate About You Patrick Verona
Two Hands Jimmy AFI Award nominee (Best Actor in a Leading Role)
2000 The Patriot Gabriel Martin
2001 Monster's Ball Sonny Grotowski
A Knight's Tale Sir William Thatcher/
Sir Ulrich von Lichtenstein of Gelderland
2002 The Four Feathers Harry Faversham
2003 The Order Alex Bernier
Ned Kelly Ned Kelly AFI Award nominee (Best Actor in a Leading Role)
2005 Casanova Giacomo Casanova
Brokeback Mountain Ennis del Mar Academy Award nominee (Best Lead Actor)
Golden Globe nominee (Best Lead Actor - Drama)
BAFTA Award nominee (Best Lead Actor)
SAG nominee (Best Lead Actor, Best Ensemble Cast)
AFI Award (Best Lead Actor)
The Brothers Grimm Jacob Grimm
Lords of Dogtown Skip Engblom
2006 Candy Dan AFI Award nominee (Best Actor in a Leading Role)
IF Award nominee (Best Actor)
FCCA Award nominee (Best Actor)
2007 I'm Not There. Robbie Clark
2008 The Dark Knight The Joker Golden Globe Winner, (Best Supporting Actor)
Tree of Life incomplete
2009 The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus Tony (sharing character with Johnny Depp, Collin Farrel and Jude Law) Incomple performance
Television
1992 Clowning Around
1997 Home and Away Scott Irwin
Roar Conor
1996 Sweat Snowy Bowles

Awards and nominations

  • Academy Awards
  • Australian Film Institute Awards
    • 1999 - Best Actor in a Leading Role, Two Hands (Nominated)
    • 2003 - Best Actor in a Leading Role, Ned Kelly (Nominated)
    • 2006 - Best Actor in a Leading Role, Candy (Nominated)
  • BAFTA
  • Golden Globe Awards
    • 2009 - Best Performance by an Actor In A Supporting Role in a Motion Picture, The Dark Knight (Won)
    • 2006 - Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama, Brokeback Mountain (Nominated)
  • Independent Spirit Awards
    • 2008 - Robert Altman Award, I'm Not There. (Won) *shared w/ cast and crew.
    • 2006 - Best Actor, Brokeback Mountain (Nominated)
  • MTV Movie Awards
    • 2006 - Best Kiss, Brokeback Mountain (Won) *shared w/ Jake Gyllenhaal
    • 2002 - Best Kiss, A Knight's Tale (Nominated) *shared w/ Shannyn Sossamon
    • 2002 - Best Musical Sequence A Knight's Tale (Nominated) *shared w/ Shannyn Sossamon
    • 2000 - Best Musical Sequence 10 Things I Hate About You (Nominated)
  • Screen Actors Guild Awards
    • 2006 - Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture, Brokeback Mountain (Nominated)
    • 2006 - Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role, Brokeback Mountain (Nominated)

References

  1. "Actor Heath Ledger is found dead". Agence France-Presse. 2008-01-22. http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hSnffZ3qPhw5MxwRsbroU0BclsXA. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  2. "Actor Heath Ledger continuing to act.". IMDb.com. 2008-10-20. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005132/. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "HEATH LEDGER BIOGRAPHY". Tiscali film & tv. http://www.tiscali.co.uk/entertainment/film/biographies/heath_ledger_biog.html. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  4. "Transcript. Rolling Stone interview". Rolling Stone. March 2006. http://heathheathens.net/lonesomecowboy-mar06.htm. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  5. "Academy Invites 120 to Membership". Press Release. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. July 5, 2006. http://www.oscars.org/press/pressreleases/2006/06.07.01a.html. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  6. "Heath Ledger? It's TRUE". NEWS ARCHIVES 47. BATMAN ON FILM. July 21, 2006. http://www.batman-on-film.com/batmovienewsarchives47.html. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  7. Snead, Elizabeth (2006-02-03). "Heath explains his SAG giggles". Styles & Scenes. Los Angeles Times. http://stylescenes.latimes.com/fashion/2006/02/heath_explains_.html. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  8. "When'd we stop stringing 'em up in West Virginia?". 2006-01-16. http://www.thegazz.com/blogs/gazznotes/2006/01/whend-we-stop-stringing-em-up-in-west.html. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  9. Gary Susman (2003-10-01). "Naomi Watts and Heath Ledger split". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,491620,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  10. Kiki King, Eva Simpson & Caroline Hedley (2006-03-03). "THE HEATH IS ON". The Daily Mirror. http://www.mirror.co.uk/archive/2006/03/08/the-heath-is-on-89520-16786391/. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  11. Eva Simpson & Caroline Hedley (2007-01-24). "MICHELLE MARRIES HEATH LEDGER". The Daily Mirror. http://www.mirror.co.uk/archive/2007/01/24/michelle-marries-heath-ledger-89520-18521524/. Retrieved 2007-08-17. 
  12. "Williams father confirms Ledger split". Hollywood.com. 2007-09-04. http://www.hollywood.com/news/Williams_Father_Confirms_Ledger_Split/4753467. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  13. Sewell Chan (2008-01-22). "The death of Heath Ledger". New York Times. http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/01/22/actor-heath-ledger-is-found-dead/. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  14. Tom Hays (2008-01-22). "Heath Ledger Found Dead in NYC at Age 28". Associated Press. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/22/AR2008012202944.html. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  15. "Heath Ledger Found Dead in NYC Apartment". MSNBC. 2008-01-22. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22788914/?GT1=10755. Retrieved 2008-01-22. 
  16. James Barron (2008-01-23). "Heath Ledger, Actor, Is Found Dead at 28". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/23/movies/23ledger.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  17. "Heath Ledger loved life, family tell". Daily Telegraph (Australia). 2008-01-23. http://www.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/story/0,22049,23096240-5001021,00.html. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 
  18. "Ledger's death a tragic accident: family". ninemsn. 2008-01-23. http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=73558. Retrieved 2008-01-23. 

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