Heath Ledger
Australian actor
Heath Ledger
Heath Andrew Ledger was an Australian actor and director. After performing roles in Australian television and film during the 1990s, Ledger left for the United States in 1998 to develop his film career. His work comprised nineteen films, including 10 Things I Hate About You, The Patriot (2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Brokeback Mountain (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), and his final film before his death, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009).
Biography
Heath Ledger's personal information overview.
{{personal_detail.supertitle}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
{{personal_detail.title}}
News
News abour Heath Ledger from around the web
Mark Hamill Finally Explains Those Joker-Trump Impersonations
Huffington Post - 21 days
Mark Hamill has voiced animated versions of the Joker for the DC Universe since 1992. By now, his take on the villain is fairly inseparable from the popular imagination of the Joker, rivaled only by Heath Ledger’s too-brief take on the role for the 2008 movie “The Dark Knight.” So when Hamill decided to start reading tweets made by Donald Trump as the famous Batman nemesis, the audio recordings obviously garnered many “Ha! Ha! Ha’s!” and overly-wide smiles perhaps too similar to the devilish source material. The idea originated from Matt Oswalt (Patton Oswalt’s brother), who suggested on Twitter that a particular tweet by Donald Trump sounded like “something the Joker would say right before releasing a swarm of killer bees into Gotham.” That specific Trump tweet read, “Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don’t know what to do. Love!” Hamill responded to Oswalt that he was up for doing the Joker voice. A ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
The Movies Obama Used To Explain The World (And Himself)
Huffington Post - about 1 month
When asked to name his favorite movies in a 2008 interview, then-presidential candidate Barack Obama was unabashed in expressing his love for the big screen.  “I’m a movie guy,” Obama said. “I can rattle off a bunch of movies.” As a candidate, Obama stuck to the classics: “The Godfather” Parts I and II (”III, not so much,” he correctly noted), “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Casablanca” because, “you know.” As president, Obama’s breadth of pop culture consumption and his role as pop culture tastemaker and influencer did not go unnoticed. He embraced the big and the small, highbrow and lowbrow, old and new.  For pop culture junkies, it was fun to see the president of the United States dive into all forms of popular culture, voraciously consuming it, talking about it and engaging with it ― but, above all, showing an acute awareness of how it both influences and reflects American society and provides a common language. Throughout his presidency, Obama often used ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Miami Basel/Wynwood 2016 Wrap: Parade Of Eye-Popping Beauty At A Portentous Time
Huffington Post - 3 months
An embarrassment of riches in so many ways, the Wynwood Street Art and mural scene is outrageously sexy, flashy, ugly, posey, pretty, proliferate and quizzically content-free. The annual outdoor urban art visual carnival that accompanies Art Basel in Miami is full of hi/low expectation and spectacle, and it confidently delivers on both. 1010. Goldman Global Arts. Hard Rock Stadium. Art Basel Miami 2016. (photo © Jaime Rojo) Long-limbed and shimmery sleek women are often working the sidewalks like runways, the men are carefully posing/not posing/posing with open shirts and genial braggadocio, and there are thousands, more likely millions of selfies taken in front of painted walls. International art fans are mixing with skater kids and hip hop heads and egg-headed social scientists and teenage marching bands and they are all gawking and interacting with loquacious mamacitas and bearded lumbersexuals; this is not your average clambake. Sometimes it is just weird; flourescence ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Naomi Watts And Liev Schreiber Separate After 11 Years Together
Huffington Post - 5 months
function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Actors Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber are splitting up after 11 years together, the couple said in a statement on Monday. Watts, 47, and Schreiber, 48, said that “the best way forward for us as a family is to separate as a couple.” “It is with great love, respect and friendship in our hearts that we look forward to raising our children together and exploring this new phase of our relationship,” they said, asking for privacy for their two young sons. Their ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Some People In Elevators Are Just A**Holes, That's All There Is To It
Huffington Post - 6 months
“Some men just want to watch the world burn.” The now famous line from “The Dark Knight” was used to describe Heath Ledger’s devious Joker, but let’s be honest, this could describe half of the people we encounter just on our commute to work. This video from sketch group The Shorts Show highlights just how evil ― yes, evil ― some people can be when you’re trying make the elevator.  -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Jared Leto In 'Suicide Squad' Is The Worst Kind Of Movie Villain
Huffington Post - 7 months
Somewhere along the way, Hollywood decided that villainy is synonymous with camp. Evil, in its most uninspired cinematic forms, is coated in showy extravagance. While a little outsize depravity can be fun, this weekend’s “Suicide Squad” proves we have hit a plateau where bigger is almost certainly not better.  Of course, I am referring primarily to Jared Leto, he of the insufferable rat-gifting, always-in-character method acting that led to an obnoxiously calculated take on the psychopathic Joker. Leto is proud of his performance ― the self-inflation radiates off of him every time he’s onscreen, which is far less frequent than one would assume, given how extensively he has teased this role for the better part of the past year. (Good move, Warner Bros.) Leto said he prepped for the project by watching footage of violent crimes on YouTube, but his works seems more like a the result of a checklist than a study in delinquency. His mantra must have been, “Wide eyes, empty hearts, can’t ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
12 Longreads To Get You Through A Snow Day
Huffington Post - about 1 year
If you live in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic, a gigantic winter storm is about to screw up your weekend plans. On the bright side, a snow day is one of the best excuses for finally getting around to tackling your Pocket or Instapaper queue. Need some inspiration? Here are 12 fascinating stories we've published over the past year to get you started. "Dying To Be Free," by Jason Cherkis Recently nominated for a National Magazine Award, Cherkis' in-depth investigation is a wrenching look at Kentucky's heroin epidemic and why existing treatment standards are falling short. It's also a true example of how journalism can make a difference. Since the story was published, state legislatures, Congress and the Obama administration have all taken steps toward getting opiate addicts the medication they need to save their lives. "How Cosby's Accusers Are Fighting To Fix The Legal System That Shut Them Out," by Jessica Samakow For years, the women publicly accusing Bill Cosby of ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
12 Longreads To Get You Through A Snow Day
Huffington Post - about 1 year
If you live in the Northeast or Mid-Atlantic, a gigantic winter storm is about to screw up your weekend plans. On the bright side, a snow day is one of the best excuses for finally getting around to tackling your Pocket or Instapaper queue. Need some inspiration? Here are 12 fascinating stories we've published over the past year to get you started. "Dying To Be Free," by Jason Cherkis Recently nominated for a National Magazine Award, Cherkis' in-depth investigation is a wrenching look at Kentucky's heroin epidemic and why existing treatment standards are falling short. It's also a true example of how journalism can make a difference. Since the story was published, state legislatures, Congress and the Obama administration have all taken steps toward getting opiate addicts the medication they need to save their lives. "How Cosby's Accusers Are Fighting To Fix The Legal System That Shut Them Out," by Jessica Samakow For years, the women publicly accusing Bill Cosby of ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
'Brokeback Mountain,' 10 Years On
Huffington Post - about 1 year
In the middle of a fall night in 1997, Diana Ossana stumbled upon a short fictional story by Annie Proulx in The New Yorker. The story, "Brokeback Mountain," charted the love affair of two male cowboys, Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist, who met in Wyoming in 1963 while taking care of sheep on the fictional mountain after which the story was named. The job would end, and the two would go on to marry and have children, but they continued their passionate love affair on the mountain over the two decades until Jack’s death -- all the time fearful of the homophobia around them and, at times, inside themselves.  I knew before I was even halfway through that it was a masterpiece. Screenwriter and Executive Produer Larry McMurtry on reading the short story The story deeply affected Ossana. She read it again the next morning and then asked her writing partner, Larry McMurtry, to read it as well. McMurtry was unenthused. He had never been able to write short fiction, and so hadn’t ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Jared Leto Vows To Make Jack Nicholson And Heath Ledger 'Proud' As The Joker
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Playing The Joker is the acting challenge of a lifetime.  Not only do you have to pull off hideous shades of purple, but you also have to infuse a sense of believability into character so deliciously unhinged from reality. Two actors, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, have skillfully brought the supervillain to life in 1989's "Batman" and 2008's "The Dark Knight," respectively, and now it's Jared Leto's turn.  Leto posted a meme to his Instagram account featuring Nicholson and Ledger dressed in Joker drag with the words "Don't worry Leto will make us proud" emblazoned across the photo. He captioned the picture with a simple green heart.  A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on Nov 30, 2015 at 3:37pm PST Leto will, of course, star as the next incarnation of the iconic comic book villain in "Suicide Squad" and recently revealed what it was like to embody a character with some deep psychological issues.  "There was definitely a period of ... detachmen ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Jared Leto Vows To Make Jack Nicholson And Heath Ledger 'Proud' As The Joker
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Playing The Joker is the acting challenge of a lifetime.  Not only do you have to pull off hideous shades of purple, but you also have to infuse a sense of believability into character so deliciously unhinged from reality. Two actors, Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger, have skillfully brought the supervillain to life in 1989's "Batman" and 2008's "The Dark Knight," respectively, and now it's Jared Leto's turn.  Leto posted a meme to his Instagram account featuring Nicholson and Ledger dressed in Joker drag with the words "Don't worry Leto will make us proud" emblazoned across the photo. He captioned the picture with a simple green heart.  A photo posted by JARED LETO (@jaredleto) on Nov 30, 2015 at 3:37pm PST Leto will, of course, star as the next incarnation of the iconic comic book villain in "Suicide Squad" and recently revealed what it was like to embody a character with some deep psychological issues.  "There was definitely a period of ... detachmen ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Heath Ledger
    TWENTIES
  • 2008
    Age 28
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Ledger's subsequent nomination was announced on 22 January 2009, the anniversary of his death; 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, and the first comic-book movie to win an Oscar for acting. The award was accepted by Ledger's family.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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." 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." Terry Gilliam also refuted the claims that playing the Joker made him crazy, calling it "absolute nonsense" and going on to say, "Heath was so solid. His feet were on the ground and he was the least neurotic person I've ever met."
    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".
    More Details Hide Details The three actors donated their fees for the film to Ledger's and Williams's daughter. 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." 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. 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.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details The next day, at 10:50 am 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. Within the next few days, memorial tributes were communicated by family members; the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd; the Deputy Premier of Western Australia, Eric Ripper; Warner Bros. (distributor of The Dark Knight) and thousands of Ledger's fans around the world. Several actors made statements expressing their sorrow at Ledger's death, including Daniel Day-Lewis, who dedicated his Screen Actors Guild Award to him, 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". 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." British indie band Kasabian paid tribute to Ledger in their song 'Vlad the Impaler', with the line "Joker, meet you on the other side". Singer Tom Meighan often changes the word "Joker" to either "Ledger", or the names of recently deceased celebrities.
    In October 2008, Forbes estimated Ledger's annual earnings from October 2007 through October 2008 – including his posthumous share of The Dark Knights gross income of "US$1 billion in box office revenue worldwide" –– as "US$20 million."
    More Details Hide Details
    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.
    More Details Hide Details Our family has gifted everything to Matilda."
    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 Western Australia 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."
    More Details Hide Details According to this report by Fife-Yeomans, earlier reports citing Ledger's uncles, 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 $20 million."
    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...
    More Details Hide Details Matilda Rose... and his secret love child." 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.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
    After Ledger's death, in response to some press reports about his will, filed in New York City on 28 February 2008, 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".
    More Details Hide Details
    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" because 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... in a roundly acclaimed performance as the Joker in the year's biggest box office hit The Dark Knight."
    More Details Hide Details
    After a flurry of further media speculation, on 6 August 2008, the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan closed its investigation into Ledger's death without filing any charges and rendering moot its subpoena of Olsen.
    More Details Hide Details With the clearing of the two doctors and Olsen, and the closing of the investigation because the prosecutors in the Manhattan US 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.
    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."
    More Details Hide Details On 4 August 2008, citing unnamed sources, Murray Weiss, of the New York Post, first reported that Mary-Kate Olsen had "refused 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. 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. 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," emphasising that media "descriptions to an unidentified source are incomplete and inaccurate."
    Two weeks later 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.
    More Details Hide Details 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." It states definitively: "We have concluded that the manner of death is accident, resulting from the abuse of prescribed medications." While the medications found in the toxicological analysis may be prescribed in the United States for insomnia, anxiety, pain, or common cold (doxylamine) symptoms, the vast majority of physicians in the US are extremely reluctant to prescribe multiple benzodiazepines (e.g., diazepam, alprazolam, and temazepam) to a single patient, let alone prescribe the same to a patient already taking a mix of oxycodone and hydrocodone. Although the Associated Press and other media reported that "police estimate Ledger's time of death between 1 pm and 2:45 pm" (on 22 January 2008), the Medical Examiner's Office announced that it would not be publicly disclosing the official estimated time of death. 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).
    At about 2:45 pm (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 neighbourhood of Manhattan.
    More Details Hide Details According to the police, Wolozin, who had arrived early for a 3:00 pm appointment with Ledger, called Ledger's friend 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 pm, "less than 15 minutes after she first saw him in bed and only a few moments after the first call to Ms. Olsen", 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. Paramedics and emergency medical technicians arrived seven minutes later, at 3:33 pm ("at almost exactly the same moment as a private security guard summoned by Ms. Olsen") but were also unable to revive him. At 3:36 pm, Ledger was pronounced dead, and his body was removed from the apartment.
    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 from The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, 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.
    More Details Hide Details But Heath's went on and I don't think he dealt with it immediately with the antibiotics. 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'... and he was taking all these pills to help him.' " 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."
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
    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 Terry Gilliam's The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
    More Details Hide Details Gilliam chose to adapt the film after his death by having fellow actors Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell play "fantasy transformations" of his character so that Ledger's final performance could be seen in theatres.
    In his penultimate film performance, Ledger played the Joker in Christopher Nolan's 2008 film The Dark Knight, released nearly six months after his death.
    More Details Hide Details While working on the film in London, Ledger told Sarah Lyall in their New York Times interview that he viewed The Dark Knights Joker as a "psychopathic, mass murdering, schizophrenic clown with zero empathy". For his work on The Dark Knight, Ledger won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor with 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.
    Ledger received numerous posthumous accolades for his critically acclaimed performance in the film, 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), the 2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor, the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture, and the 2009 BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actor.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2007
    Age 27
    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....
    More Details Hide Details I couldn't stop thinking. My body was exhausted, and my mind was still going." 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."
    In September 2007, Williams' father confirmed to Sydney's Daily Telegraph that Ledger and Williams had ended their relationship.
    More Details Hide Details
    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); it was shown publicly only twice, first at the Bumbershoot Festival, in Seattle, held from 1 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.
    More Details Hide Details After Ledger's death, his music video for "Black Eyed Dog" was shown on the Internet and excerpted in news clips distributed via YouTube. He was working with Scottish screenwriter and producer Allan Scott on an adaptation of the 1983 novel The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis, which would have been his first feature film as a director. He also intended to act in the film, with Canadian actress Ellen Page proposed in the lead role. Ledger's final directorial work, in which he shot two music videos before his death, premiered in 2009. The music videos, completed for Modest Mouse and Grace Woodroofe, include an animated feature for Modest Mouse's song, "King Rat", and the Woodroofe video for her cover of David Bowie's "Quicksand". The "King Rat" video premiered on 4 August 2009. Ledger was an avid chess player, winning Western Australia's junior chess championship at the age of 10. As an adult, he often played with other chess enthusiasts at Washington Square Park. 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.
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
    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. On 30 January 2011, Ward stated that the pair began dating in November 2007 and their families spent Christmas together in their home town of Perth.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2006
    Age 26
    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 and for the single "Seduction Is Evil (She's Hot)".
    More Details Hide Details 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".
    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 by Geoffrey 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.
    More Details Hide Details Shortly after the release of Candy, Ledger was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 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."
  • 2005
    Age 25
    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, 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.
    More Details Hide Details 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, 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." 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."
  • 2004
    Age 24
    Ledger's relationship with the press in Australia was sometimes turbulent, and it led to his abandonment of plans for his family to reside part-time in Sydney. 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.
    More Details Hide Details 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." 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." 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." 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. 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."
    Ledger had relationships with actresses Lisa Zane, Heather Graham and Naomi Watts. In 2004, he met and began dating actress Michelle Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain.
    More Details Hide Details Their daughter, Matilda Rose, was born on 28 October 2005 in New York City. Matilda's godparents are Brokeback co-star Jake Gyllenhaal and Williams' Dawson's Creek castmate Busy Philipps. In January 2006, Ledger put his residence in Bronte, New South Wales up for sale, and returned to the United States, where he shared a house with Williams, in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, from 2005 to 2007.
  • 2003
    Age 23
    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.
    More Details Hide Details 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.
  • 2001
    Age 21
    In 2001, he won a ShoWest Award as "Male Star of Tomorrow".
    More Details Hide Details
  • 2000
    Age 20
    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).
    More Details Hide Details
  • TEENAGE
  • 1999
    Age 19
    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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • 1993
    Age 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.
    More Details Hide Details
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1979
    Born
    Ledger was born on 4 April 1979 in Perth, Western Australia, the son of Sally Ledger (née Ramshaw), a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a racecar driver and mining engineer whose family established and owned the Ledger Engineering Foundry.
    More Details Hide Details The Sir Frank Ledger Charitable Trust is named after his great-grandfather. He had English, Irish, and Scottish ancestry. Ledger attended Mary's Mount Primary School in Gooseberry Hill, and later Guildford Grammar School, where he had his first acting experiences, starring in a school production as Peter Pan at age 10. His parents separated when he was 10 and divorced when he was 11. 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. Ledger's two half-sisters are Ashleigh Bell (b. 1990), his mother's daughter with her second husband and his stepfather Roger Bell, and Olivia Ledger (b. 1996), his father's daughter with second wife and his stepmother Emma Brown.
Original Authors of this text are noted here.
All data offered is derived from public sources. Spokeo does not verify or evaluate each piece of data, and makes no warranties or guarantees about any of the information offered. Spokeo does not possess or have access to secure or private financial information. Spokeo is not a consumer reporting agency and does not offer consumer reports. None of the information offered by Spokeo is to be considered for purposes of determining any entity or person's eligibility for credit, insurance, employment, housing, or for any other purposes covered under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)