A Tribute to Heath Ledger


Actor Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday of a possible drug overdose in a Lower Manhattan apartment, the New York Police Department said. Ledger was found naked and unresponsive, facedown on the floor at the foot of his bed by a housekeeper trying to wake him for an appointment with a masseuse. Heath Ledger was unresponsive when a housekeeper found him in a Manhattan apartment Tuesday.


The Academy Award-nominated actor was 28. Ledger was nominated for a best actor Oscar for his role as a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. He did not win. The award went to Philip Seymour Hoffman for his role as Truman Capote.

The film's director, Ang Lee, had hailed Ledger's performance as a "miracle" of acting, reminiscent of a young Marlon Brando.

Australian actress Nicole Kidman has expressed shock at Ledger's death.

"What a tragedy. My heart goes out to his family," Kidman said in a statement to celebrity news show Extra.

Margaret Pomeranz from ABC TV's At The Movies says she is devastated by the news.

Neil Armfield directed Ledger in Candy.

He says he was an actor of incredible power and potential.

Ledger's other film credits included
  • A Knight's Tale
  • The Patriot
  • Monster's Ball

He was one of several actors playing a role representing Bob Dylan in I'm Not There.

He will appear as "The Joker" in the next Batman film The Dark Knight. The film is currently in post-production.

Fellow Australian actor Samuel Johnson says his latest performance was said to have been one of his best.

We've lost one of the best young actors Australia's produced - if not the best.

'Unusual talent'

Ledger first came to prominence by acting as a homosexual athlete in the little-known Australian series Sweat in 1996. He played a gay cyclist in the soap, set at the Western Australian Institute of Sport.

The creator and writer of the series, John Rapsey, says it was clear that Ledger - then a 16-year-old sports champion and high school dropout - possessed an unusual talent.

Ledger, who never attended acting school and who left his home state of Western Australia for Sydney as a teenager, credited his instincts with his success.

"The one thing that's got me to where I'm sitting is my instincts, you know, and I'm impatient. I didn't want to wait for years to work. I wanted to just get out there and do it," he said in 2001.

At 19, Ledger left Sydney for Hollywood. His standout talent was spotted by Mel Gibson when auditioning 500 actors for the role of his son in The Patriot. The casting was Ledger's first big-time break and led to his leading role in A Knight's Tale.

Fellow Australian actor Gibson has described Ledger as possessing "the unknown factor" that "sort of lights up the screen".

Ledger continued his steady impact on Hollywood, with a small role in Monster's Ball (2001), followed by the lead in The Four Feathers (2002), Australian drama Ned Kelly (2003) and The Brothers Grimm (2005).

At 26, the Australian was the youngest nominee for the best male actor category and the outside chance to take the statue away from fellow contenders Hoffman, David Strathairn, Joaquin Phoenix and Terrence Howard.


I am still shocked at his sudden death.

Farewell, Heath Ledger.

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