Andrew Ledger was born 4th
April 1979 in Perth , Western Australia and died aged 28 in New York.
2:45 PM on January 22, 2008, Ledger was found unconscious at his
fourth-floor loft apartment, at 421 Broome Street, in SoHo, neighbourhood
Manhattan. Emergency crews arrived soon after but were unable to revive him. His
housekeeper and a massage therapist found him face down and unconscious at the
foot of his bed with sleeping pills on a nearby table. It was said she called
Mary-Kate Olsen many times before calling police.
Heath was the son of
Sally Ledger Bella French teacher, and Kim Ledger, a race car driver and mining
engineer. Ledger had one older sister sister, Kate. Heaths’ parents were
divorced when he was eleven. He also had two half-sisters, Ashleigh Bell, his
mother's daughter with her second husband and his stepfather Roger Bell, and
Olivia Ledger, and his father's daughter with second wife and his stepmother
He was pupil at Mary's Mount Primary
School, in Gooseberry Hill, and later Guildford Grammar School. His first debut
into acting was playing the part of Peter Pan at the age of 10.
When a young, good looking heart-throb Heath first came to the attention
of the public in 1999. He spent the next few years trying to shake of that tag ,
His early school years he tossed up either cooking or drama, cooking
definitely was never going to be first
choice, so it was drama that won.
At 17 Heath
and a friend, decided to school,
and for the big smoke take a car and
rough it to Sydney. Heath it was thought to be where dreams are made, maybe get
his first break into acting.
Heath had dated Lisa
Zane, Heather Graham from October 2000 - June 2001 and Naomi Watts August 2002
to May 2004. After his relationship with Michelle broke down in September 2007
he dated Helena Christensen and Gemma Ward and former child-star Mary-Kate
He met Michelle
Williams on the set of Brokeback Mountain. Their relationship began and she was
soon pregnant, with Matilda Rose was born on October 28, 2005, weighing. 6 lb, 5
oz. Called off his engagement to Michelle Williams in September 2007
relationship with paparazzi beans with
reports, but strongly denied allegations
that he spat at and assaulted a photographer in Sydney in 2004. On January 13,
2006, several photographers retaliated for the alleged incident, squirting
Ledger and Michelle Williams with water pistols, whilst here in Sydney to Sydney
premiere of Brokeback Mountain.
He was living in Bronte Sydney, the
harassment with paparazzi in Australia this issue prompted them to move back to
the USA to an apartment Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, in the beginning of 2005.
In 2003, he was
announced as one of Australian GQ's Men of the Year for acting.
In 2005 he received"
the Best Actor of 2005" awards from San Francisco Film Critics Circle and
NY Critic Circle. Recognising his
outstanding performance as a gay in the movie Brokeback Mountain. It was said
the Mr. Gyllenhaal and Heath made this movie so very real, liking him to Marlon
Brando and Sean Penn. Remarking his pathos
he views (Jack’s) shirt hanging in closet seeing his love gone.
"Both Mr. Ledger and
make this anguished love story physically palpable. Mr. Ledger magically and
mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a
great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn."
In a review in Rolling Stone, Peter Travers states: "Ledger's magnificent
performance is an acting miracle. He seems to tear it from his insides. Ledger
doesn't just know how Ennis moves, speaks and listens; he knows how he breathes.
To see him inhale the scent of a shirt hanging in Jack's closet is to take
measure of the pain of love lost."
Ledger was invited
to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2006.
In 2007, he was one
of six actors to portray different sides of singer Bob Dylan in the film’ I'm
Not There ‘ His last movies comic book villain the Joker in The Dark Knight,
releases date on hold at present.
Heath yeaned to
direct movies, music videos and short films. Heath & Ben Harper formed record
company in 2006 to direct Harper's song "Morning Yearning"
2007 in Venice Film
Festival, Ledger spoke of his desire to make a film about the British Nick
Drake, who died in 1974, at the age of 26, from an overdose of an multi
antidepressants. Heath directed and stared
short film set to Drake's recording of the singer's 1974 song about depression,
"Black Eyed Dog", which was "inspired by Winston Churchill’s descriptive term
for depression." The black-and-white clip reportedly consists mainly of footage
of the dark side of Heaths thought for some time ending with the actor drowning
himself in a bathtub. Ledger's film is included in an anthology of short films
about Drake, seen at Grauman's Egyptian
Theatre, in Los Angeles, on October 5, 2007.
On February 6, 2008:
"Mr. Heath Ledger died as the result of acute intoxication by the combined
effects of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and
doxylamine. ... Accidental death from abuse of prescription drugs.
It was said at
interview with Sarah Lyall in
2007 after competing his last movie
Dark Knight and I'm Not There had given his insomnia .
Daniel Day-Lewis who
dedicated his Screen Actors Guild Award saying Ledger's performance in Brokeback
Mountain was "perfect.
brought back his body on February 9, 2008, a memorial service attended by
several hundred invited guests was held at Penhros College. His body was
cremated at Fremantle Cemetery and his ashes to be later scattered in
a family plot
at Karrakatta Cemetery, next to two of
his grandparents. When the sun went down his friends
and family gathered Cottesloe Beach for a wake and celebration of his short
He appeared in some 19 films and 3 TV series.
- Some Interesting
Facts on Heath
Empire Magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Movie Stars in the world in 2007.
food was risotto.
He and his
older sister, Kate Ledger, are named after the two main romantic characters of
the Emily Brontė novel, "Wuthering Heights".
He was 6'
1" (1.85 m).
took a year off from acting to raise his daughter Matilda while his girlfriend
at the time, Michelle Williams, worked.
Gyllenhaal his co star in Brokeback Mountain is the godfather of his daughter
an avid chess player, winning a state junior chess championship at age ten, and
as an adult often played with other chess enthusiasts at
Washington Square Park.
Williams' "Dawson's Creek" (1998) co-star Busy Philipps and his Brokeback
Mountain (2005) co-star Jake Gyllenhaal are his daughter's godparents.
his wardrobe was designed by his friend Shem.
Sally Ramshaw (daughter of John and Jackie Ramshaw) and father was Kim Ledger
(son of Colin and Es Ledger). Stepfather was Roger Bell and stepmother was Emma
Brown. His great-grandfather was Sir Frank Ledger, son of Edson Leger.
of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People in 2001.
pet kangaroo that was found by his mother as a child.
3 films which screened at the 2005 Venice Film Festival. They included Brokeback
Mountain (2005), The Brothers Grimm (2005) and the out-of-competition Casanova
men's-fashion judge at the Melbourne Cup Carnival in November 2001.
Irish and Scottish ancestry.
Was one of
seven godparents of Elizabeth Hurley's son Damien.
first non-American actor to portray the Joker.
good friends with Russell Crowe.
Some of Heath’s Quotes
Acting: "I don't have a technique. I've never been a believer in having
one set technique on how to act. There are no rules and there is no rulebook. At
the end of the day, it all comes down to my instincts. That's the one thing that
guides me through every decision professionally.
Auditons "I'm the worst auditioner, really, really bad. I mean, you're
being judged and I'm just so aware of it that it consumes me. I can't relax, I'm
tied in knots, so the voice is very taut and tense. You're so aware that you're
acting 'cause you're sitting across from this lady with a piece of paper who's
going, ''I'm. Going. To. Shoot. You. If. You. Don't. Blah, blah, blah,'' in this
emotionless voice. It's foul. I hate it." - EW.com, May 2001
Brooklyn: Seems to me the closest thing in America to Europe. The
neighbours and locals are beautiful people. It's like a village.
Film choices I feel like I'm wasting time if I repeat myself. I can't
say I'm proud of my work. It's the same with everything I do: the day I say
'It's good' is the day I should start doing something else.
Future I'm not good at future planning. I don't plan at all. I don't
know what I'm doing tomorrow. I don't have a day planner and I don't have a
diary. I completely live in the now, not in the past, not in the future.
All Heath's awards listed
"The Joker" in The Dark Knight (2008):
The Joker, so far, is definitely the most
fun I've had with any character. He's just out of control -- no empathy, he's a
sociopath, uh, a psychotic, mass-murdering clown. And, uh, I'm just thoroughly,
thoroughly enjoying it. It's just exceeded any expectations I had of what the
experience would be like.
His award will be
kept by Michelle Williams, (the mother of Matilda, Heath's daughter) is 18
years of age.
I like to do something I fear. I like to set up obstacles and defeat
them. I like to be afraid of the project. I always am. When I get cast in
something, I always believe I shouldn't have been cast. I fooled them again. I
can't do it. I don't know how to do it. There's a huge amount of anxiety that
drowns out any excitement I have toward the project.
I only do this because I'm having fun. The day I stop having fun, I'll
just walk away. I wasn't going to have fun doing a teen movie again.... I don't
want to do this for the rest of my life....I don't want to spend the rest of my
youth doing this in this industry. There's so much I want to discover." - Vanity
Fair (August 2000)
I prefer to date older women because they don't try to act older like
younger girls but because they try to act younger.
LA: People just love to bash LA. People say it's so pretentious, so
arrogant, so this and that. But it's truly a wonderful place. You don't have to
go to the places where that stuff goes on. You don't have to go to Beverly
Hills; you don't have to go to the parties. You can live up in the Lower Canyon
and live such a perfectly healthy, beautiful, fun life with all your friends.
You can drive two hours one way and be at the Joshua Tree desert, two hours one
way you're skiing at Big Bear. Sure, it can get full-on and that's why it's good
to get out. But it's too easy just to say, "Nup, I hate it. I'm not living there
anymore. - NW Magazine, March 2000.
Matilda is adorable, and beautifully observant and wise. Michelle an I
love her so much. Becoming a father exceeds all my expectations. It's the most
remarkable experience I've ever had - it's marvellous."
Michelle Williams she’s my soul mate and we couldn't love each other any
more than we do already. We're like two peas in a pod. So sad it didn’t last he
may still be here with us today.
My life right now is:
say reduced to food, but my duties in life are that I wake up, cook breakfast,
clean the dishes, prepare lunch, clean those dishes, go to the market, get fresh
produce, cook dinner, clean those dishes and then sleep if I can. And I love it.
I actually adore it.
"Most of the time you don't even know
they're there. Now, that's the scary thing. It's really strange and invading,
but I'm still working it all out. I try to not let it bother me. I really try
and find the humour in all of it. And if I want to swim naked in my pool, I'm
still going to do it. I certainly don't want to feel that I have to change
everything in my life that I do to cater to them. I just won't let it happen." -
National Post, May 2001.
The red carpet: Like diving into an Olympic pool, swimming the length
underwater, then emerging gasping for breath. It's so noisy that it's quiet, you
can't hear; the flashlights are so blinding that it's dark, you can't see.
Women: I learned respect for women, and patience. You grow up with all
those women around you...you learn to wait your turn. - Cosmopolitan, June 1998.