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In Memoriam


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IN MEMORIAM

Obituary Profiles of Entertainment Industry Figures And The Legacies They Leave Behind


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Heath Ledger Dead Of Apparent Drug Overdose

Heath Ledger and Jake Gylenhaal in BROKEBACK MOUNTAINHeath Ledger and Jake Gylenhaal in BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN 

Tuesday, January 22--------In an ironic twist of fate, on the same day that the Academy Award nominations were announced, 2005 Oscar nominee Heath Ledger was found dead in his New York loft in the Soho district of New York City. An official autopsy will be done tomorrow, but news has leaked out that the naked body of the actor was found next to a cache of sleeping pills and other drugs. The Australian actor, only 28 years old, was nominated for Best Actor for his performance in the Ang Lee film BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, playing a tormented cowboy who misses out on love because of his fear of homosexuality and his emotional hangups.

BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN was a significant film for Ledger. Not only did it bring him Oscar , Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations, he won the New York Film Critics Circle prize as Best Actor for the role. Aside from the critical praise and Hollywood clout, it is also where met his future girlfriend, actress Michelle Williams (who played his wife in the film and also received an Oscar nomination for her performance). The two had lived in New York City together and had a daughter, Matilda, until they split up last year.

The actor grew up in Perth, Australia and began his acting career doing local theater. At the age of 16, he moved to Sydney, quickly landing TV movie roles and guest spots on Australian television. After several independent films and a starring role in the short-lived Fox TV series ROARLedger moved to Los Angeles and costarred in 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU. He began to gain critical attention for his supporting roles as Billy Bob Thornton's suicidal son in MONSTER'S BALL (the film that won Halle Berry her Oscar) and opposite Mel Gibson in the historical epic THE PATRIOT.

He won leading roles in A KNIGHT'S TALE and CASANOVA, and recently completed filming his most commercial role yet, that of The Joker, the arch-nemesis of Batman in THE DARK NIGHT, a sequent to 2005's BATMAN BEGINS (the film opens in Summer 2008). The prolific actor can currently be seen playing one of seven incarnations of folk rock legend Bob Dylan in the Todd Haynes' film I'M NOT THERE (for which Cate Blanchett received an Oscar nomination as Best Supporting Actress earlier today). For Heath Ledger, his best work may have been ahead of him, but both he and we will never know where his talents could have led him.

Sandy Mandelberger, In Memoriam Editor

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IN MEMORIAM

Obituary Profiles of Entertainment Industry Figures And The Legacies They Leave Behind


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