To say Heath Ledger is an acting legend would be putting it mildly. Though the actor was only twenty-eight when he passed away, he had already achieved icon status for appearing as iconic characters in iconic movies. His most celebrated role is without a doubt his role as ‘The Joker’ in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight opposite Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne/Batman. His portrayal as the mad villain was universally and critically acclaimed and it earned the actor a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor; this made him the first comic-book movie actor to win an Oscar. There’s a reason he was called one of the best actors of his generation.
Beyond this, he has appeared in several other films including 10 Things I Hate About Youn (1999), Brokeback Mountain (2005), The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009), I’m Not There (2007), Monster’s Ball (2001), Lords of Dogtown (2005), The Patriot and A Knight’s Tale (2003).
Though an actor, Heath Ledger was aspiring to be a director later on in his career. It is a great sadness that the world lost such an amazing talent so early.
Bio & Age
Heath Andrew Ledger was born in Perth, Western Australia, on the 4th April 1979 to his mother, Sally Ledger – a French teacher, and his father, Kim Ledger – a Car racer. Heath attended the Guildford Grammar School and at the age of 10, he acted in his school’s production of “Peter Pan” marking his first stage appearance. Still at the age of 10 Heath Ledger won a chess junior championship. Sadly, his parents, Sally and Kim Ledger separated then later got a divorce when he was 11.
Sally later married Roger Bell and had a daughter Ashleigh Bell, whilst Kim Ledger married Emma Brown and they had a daughter Olivia Ledger. Heath eventually left his hometown for the United States in 1998 to further his career.
Ledger was 185cm tall, with brown eyes, light brown hair and perfectly carved jawlines that made him undeniably handsome. Heathy, as he was called by family and close friends, had a secret passion for Photography.
Young Heath Ledger was inspired to be an actor by his older sister Kate, an actress and publicist. Heath’s career as an actor began to bloom from when he was ten and his work comprises nineteen award-winning films such as; 10 things I hate about you (1999) where he had a bad boy role, The Patriot (2000), A Knight’s Tale (2001), Lords of Dogtown (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and others. Heath Ledger was also a talented producer of music videos and one day wanted to be a director.
Heath Ledger’s Net Worth
At the time of his death, Heath had a total net worth of $16 Million. The bulk of this money came from his posthumous share of The Dark Knight’s income. The rest was as a result of his many years in the industry and the salaries of all his roles accumulated. At the end of the day, the lion share of his total estate was left to his daughter, Matilda.
Family – Wife And Daughter
Heath Ledger had a history of falling in love with actresses. In 2004, he began dating Michelle Williams after the couple met on the set of Brokeback Mountain. Together, they have a daughter, Matilda Rose, who was born on the 28th of October, 2005 in New York City. Matilda Rose’s godparent is the Brokeback Mountain co-star Jake Gyllenhaal.
Heath and Michelle lived together in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn from 2005 till 2007. In September 2007 it was confirmed that the couple had ended their relationship. A few reports state that his drug abuse prompted Michelle to ask that he move out of the apartment.
How Did He Die?
On 22nd of January, 2008, the 28-year-old Heath Ledger was found sprawled on the floor of his apartment; and at about 3:36 pm on the tragic day, he was pronounced dead.
There was no information to the public and agitating fans on the cause of his death until a couple of weeks later, it was said to be an accidental overdose of prescription drugs.
On the 9th of February, a memorial service was held at Penrhos College. There were several hundreds of invited guests in attendance and considerable press attention. Ledger’s body was cremated at the Fremantle cemetery and his ashes interred in a family plot at Karrakatta Cemetery.
He won several posthumous awards, one of which was given to his daughter Matilda Rose, which will be held by the mother until she turns 18.