Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger Dead At 28

Heath Ledger was found in his SoHo, New York, apartment on January 22, 2008. The 28-year-old actor was found naked, sprawled out on the floor, with prescription sleeping pills on the nightstand by his housekeeper at roughly 3:30 p.m.

Heath Ledger, though he had appeared in a number of other quality films, was nominated to receive the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for his groundbreaking role as a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. Other notable roles occupied by Heath Ledger include his first role in Clowning Around (1992), 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Patriot (2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Monster's Ball (2001), Four Feathers (2002), Lords of Dogtown (2005), and The Brothers Grimm (2005).

Though Heath Ledger had established himself long ago, and despite the fact that many consider his role in Brokeback Mountain his breakout gig, he was perhaps about to embark on his most exciting ride as an actor to date. The Dark Knight, sequel to 2005's Batman Begins, is set for release in July 2008, and Heath Ledger portrays the infamous Joker. While many critics question Heath Ledger's ability to top Jack Nicholson's Joker, the previews that are available throughout the internet prove Heath's chops.

Heath Ledger's Australian peers have emerged to give condolences to his family, such as Nicole Kidman, who has stated, "What a terrible tragedy. My heart goes out to Heath's family." Early reports that claimed that Heath Ledger was found in Mary-Kate Olsen's New York apartment have been retracted. Though there are no outward signs of suicide, police have not ruled it out as a possibility. Heath's ex-girlfriend and mother to his 2-year-old daughter, Michelle Williams, was reported to have boarded a plane in Utah to fly to New York once she heard the tragic news. Also, Naomi Watts, another Heath Ledger ex, pulled out of a press junket. Family, friends, and acquaintances have said that Heath Ledger appeared healthy and well in the weeks leading up to his death.

Still, not to detract from Heath Ledger's talent, but as with every celebrity death, the press comes out in droves to praise and hail the actor or singer, postmortem. If Heath had disappeared within the next couple of years, would anyone have missed him? Certainly, he didn't have the ability to draw a crowd or cause the media to swoon like other A-listers.

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