A Look at Ledger

Heath Ledger during the civil war epic 'The Patriot'.

Editor's note: below the original article you will find a new Jan 2018 addition with a link to an article written by Natalie Finn for E! Online.

With the Jan 22nd, 2008 death of Heath Ledger, a promising acting career has been cut short. However, even at the young age of 28, Ledger had quite the list of accomplishments that are worth noting.

Lets take a look:

Growing up in Perth Australia, Ledger discovered his love of acting early on, working in a community theatre before he was a teenager. He got his first real acting gig in the Australian TV show Sweat (1996) in which he portrayed a gay cyclist. His film debut occurred in the Australian movie Blackrock (1997), however his first successful Hollywood movie was in the teen-comedy 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). Afraid of being type-casted, Ledger refused roles in similar movies.

In 2000 Heath Ledger landed a role in Mel Gibson's epic civil war movie The Patriot, propelling the young Aussi to stardom and increased opportunities. Perhaps the young star's greatest success was being nominated for both Best Actor in 2005 for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for his performance in the controversial Brokeback Mountain.

The shocking news of his death reached the media on January 22nd, 2008. Ledger was found by his cleaning woman and masseuse lying on the floor at the foot of his bed. Although at the time of writing this article the exact cause of death is unknown, it is believed to be, at least partially, drug related, although no obvious signs of suicide or foul-play were detected. Ledger's untimely death put several projects involving him into jeopardy, including what would have been his debut as a director on The Queen's Gambit.

Editor's addendum: Since late 2008 it has been generally (and officially) noted that Ledger died from an accidental overdose due to mixing perscription medications.

Heath Ledger: 1979-2008

For a complete list of works visit: Wikipedia.

2018 update:

Editor's addendum: An excellent article has just been published (Jan 22nd, 2018) on E! Online's website discussing Heath, the tragedy of his death, and attempting to put to rest the conspiracy theories about that tragedy.

Here are the first few paragraphs, followed by a link to the full article.

by Natalie Finn

Ten years later and Heath Ledger's death still brings up the same futile thoughts about what might've been.

About what sort of father he would have been, about whether he and Michelle Williams might have one day patched things up and, always and predominantly, about what sort of work he would've done.

Had he lived.

Ledger was only 28 when he died 10 years ago today, his body found in his bed by his housekeeper and a masseuse who came to his SoHo loft for an afternoon appointment, prompting both to check the bedroom after he failed to emerge.

The ensuing details were the stuff conspiracy theories are made of.

Before calling 911, the masseuse called Mary-Kate Olsen, seeing her name on the actor's speed dial, and told her they couldn't wake Ledger up. Olsen was in L.A. but she alerted her security in New York. The masseuse then called Olsen again to let her know she was calling 911. It was erroneously reported that Olsen owned the loft where Ledger was staying, but she did not, nor did her sister Ashley Olsen. The cause of death ended up being a toxic cocktail of prescription medications, including oxycodone and alprazolam.

Ultimately the delay in calling 911 didn't matter, because authorities concluded Ledger was already dead when he was found.

But more bizarre of all was the prevalent rumor that he had practically driven himself crazy playing the Joker in The Dark Knight, losing his way in a dark place that he never emerged from.

Though his performance truly was one for the ages, earning him a posthumous sweep of awards season the following year, Ledger obviously had other issues that ultimately led to him taking too many substances and slipping away.

Click HERE to go to the E! Online article to read the rest of the story.

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