Heath Ledger, the actor who didn’t want fame; remembered 15 years after his death

Ledger was born in Perth, Australia, on April 4, 1979. His mother was a French teacher and his father designed race cars, according to Rolling Stone in 2006. The marriage was not going well and the couple divorced when the actor was eleven years old. “I’m sure there was like a week they didn’t speak to each other,” the actor said. Once separated, however, they continued to share family moments together.

The divorce, the magazine published, served as training for a way of living. “I enjoyed being in a house for three weeks and then saying, okay, I’m leaving. She prepared me for this bohemian life that I’ve been leading. I feel like I’ve been traveling with the same bag since I was eleven years old.”

The actor began acting in school plays and before reaching the age of majority, he moved to Sydney, to embark on the world of professional interpretation. She began working on Australian television series, such as the soap opera ‘Home and Away’ and ‘Roar’.

In 1998, he moved to Los Angeles. There she began working with agent Steve Alexander, with whom she landed her first Hollywood movie, the teen romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You.” The film’s director, Gil Junger, told Entertainment Weekly a year after his death: “Heath he came to the audition and exuded a very unusual sexuality for a man of that age. As soon as he left, I stood up and said, Ladies, I’ve never wanted to sleep with a man, but if I had to, that would be the man. Hire him immediately.”


Ledger avoided being pigeonholed in this genre. “I got the feeling that he was reluctant to become any kind of teen idol. I think he felt that ’10 Things’ had more substance, but he anticipated that if he made more movies like this he would be stuck making teen rom-coms,” Julia Stiles, the film’s co-star, told the outlet. In 2000 he released “The Patriot” and a year later, “Monster’s Ball” and “A Knight’s Tale.”

It was the filming of the film where the actor met the also actress Michelle Williams, with whom he began a relationship that lasted approximately three years, and with whom he had his only daughter, Matilda. At the time of her death in 2008, the couple were in the process of separating.

“Brokeback Mountain” was followed by the films “Candy”, “I’m Not There”, “The Dark Knight” and “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”, these last two premiered posthumously. In 2009, he won a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of the Joker, one of Batman’s antagonists, in “The Dark Night,” directed by Christopher Nolan. “I called a friend and he said: how about Heath? I told him: he leaves you breathless. He’s going to be amazing. I realized just working with him for five minutes,” his co-star told EW. Gary Oldman.

Ledger took his immersion in the character to the extreme: he isolated himself for weeks in a London hotel to study the character and shape it; he asked his partner Christian Bale to actually hit him in the scenes and when he refused, he slammed himself into the walls. During production, moreover, his ability to sleep suffered.

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The actor passed away before being able to see the film in theaters and witness the recognition for the work done. On January 22, 2008, he was found dead near the bed in the New York apartment in which he lived. The death was classified as an accidental overdose of medication for which he had a prescription. (With information from EFE)

Heath Ledger, the actor who didn’t want fame; remembered 15 years after his death