No one can quite believe it but yes, it’s true. Heath Ledger was found dead in his Manhattan apartment on Tuesday evening, with prescription pills lying near his body. A housekeeper sent to fetch Mr. Ledger for a massage appointment found him naked and unresponsive about 3:30 p.m., NYPD spokesman Paul Browne said. Everyone is waiting for the autopsy results but police say there are no “obvious signs” of suicide and the common verdict is an overdose on prescription sleeping pills.
He is known for his roles in 10 Things I hate About You,The Patriot, Monster’s Ball, A Knight’s Tale, The Four Feathers, Ned Kelly, The Order, and The Brothers Grimm. In 2003, he was named one of Australian GQ’s Men of the Year for acting. Ledger received “Best Actor of 2005” awards from both the New York Film Critics Circle and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle for his acclaimed performance in Brokeback Mountain which also got him nominations for the coveted Best Actor in a Drama at the Golden Globes and Academy Awards. He is succeeded by his two year old daughter Matilda with ex Michelle Williams. Mr Ledger was shooting for the movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and has just wrapped up shooting for a Batman movie, The Dark Knight where he plays, The Joker immortalised by Jack Nicholson. Heath admitted it was an ‘extremely difficult’ role and he lived alone in a hotel room for a month to develop his performance. Trying to connect with the insanity of the macabre green-haired super villain, Ledger based his performance on eventually demented Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious. This exercise gave him insomnia. While Vicious died at age 21 and Ledger’s rock idol Kurt Cobain killed himself at 27 the marked difference between these personalities is that Heath Ledger was just starting out. Heath Ledger’s ex-fiancée Michelle Williams is now flying down from Sweden (where she is filming her new movie Mammoth) to New York with their two-year-old daughter Matilda after learning of the actor’s death. There is speculation that after their split in September 2007, Ledger was heartbroken and took it very hard. He missed his daughter and moved to New York to be closer to her. However, he stopped venturing out much and was thrown into a deep, dark depression. His close friend and Brokeback co-star, Jake Gyllenhaal and Matilda’s godfather) has been worried about him for months as he knew Heath was sinking further into a depression. Meanwhile, Heath’s former ex Naomi Watts, just pulled out of doing Park City press for her movie Funny Games, which had been scheduled for this week. His friends, family and co workers were quick to express their grief and offer condolences. John Travolta, Cate Blanchett (co star in the Bob Dylan autobiography I‘m Not There) and fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman are a few among the many who released official statements, paying their respects to the deceased actor. When anyone young, famous and talented dies suddenly they are bound to be romanticised but in this case it is clear that Hollywood has lost one of its burgeoning talents who no doubt had a shining career ahead of him. Once the shock wave subsides, we’ll realise there was nothing romantic about this death but it is in every possible way, a terrible tragedy. We are going to be left with only the remains of an actors’ career was just starting on the high road. Inayat Sabhikhi