Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Heath Andrew Ledger (4 April 1979 – 22 January 2008) was an Academy Award-nominated 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 movie career. His work includes nineteen films, most notably 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), The Patriot (2000), Monster's Ball (2000), A Knight's Tale (2001), Brokeback Mountain (2005), and The Dark Knight (2008).[1][2] In addition to his acting, he produced and directed music videos and aspired to be a film director.[3][4]

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[5][6][1] as well as the 2006 Best Actor award from the BAFTA. 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 the iconic Dylan.[3][7] He has also been nominated for and won awards for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight, including a Best Actor International award at the 2008 Australian Film Institute Awards, for which he became the first actor to win an award posthumously,[8][9] and, also posthumously, the 2008 Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Supporting Actor.[10][11][12]

He died at the age of 28, "from an accidental overdose of prescription medications."[5][6][13][14][15] A few months before his death, Ledger had finished filming his penultimate performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight.[16][17][18] 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 forthcoming film The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.[16][19][20][21][22][23]

Contents [hide]
1 Family and personal life
2 Career
2.1 1990s
2.2 2000s
2.3 Directorial work
3 Press controversies
4 Sleep difficulties and other work-related health issues
5 Death
5.1 Memorial tributes and services
5.2 Autopsy and toxicological analysis
5.3 Federal investigation
5.4 Controversy over will
6 Posthumous films
7 Filmography
7.1 Television
7.2 Film
7.3 Music videos
8 See also
9 Notes
10 Additional resources
11 External links

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