Heath Ledger Found Dead in New York!
by Alex Billington
January 22, 2008
Forget the Oscars, some tragic news has hit today - The Dark Knight star Heath Ledger was found dead in a New York City apartment this afternoon. The Australian-born Oscar-nominated actor was 28 years old. He was nominated for an Oscar for Brokeback Mountain in 2006 and also starred in movies like I'm Not There, A Knight's Tale, and 10 Things I Hate About You. This is incredibly tragic news considering Ledger was one of the better up-and-coming actors of his generation. The NYPD has said that drugs may have been involved in his death, but details are currently developing. The big question of the moment is how will this affect The Dark Knight?
If you're interested in getting more news and finding out more details, I'll refer you to Yahoo and CNN. A housekeeper who went to let him know the massage therapist had arrived found him dead at 3:26 PM. Rumors had been circulating that Ledger had broken up with his longtime girlfriend Michelle Williams a few weeks back. Ledger and Williams had a daughter together that was born in October of 2005.
The biggest question of the moment is how this will affect Heath Ledger in his upcoming movie The Dark Knight? How will Warner Brothers react? Is this related to his portrayal of the Joker in the film or not? There are still many questions and we'll be updating you as more is discovered.
I'll tell you, the atmosphere is pretty somber here at Sundance. I'm currently in the press lounge with Sam Rockwell and Anjelica Huston, and everyone is saying how sad it is. This is an immense tragedy that has been felt around the world.
Reader Feedback - 46 Comments
A trully sad thing to hear. I stumbled across an article saying he was filming a new Terry Gilliam movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Hope this means he was done with all filming with DK. I would think so since its coming out this summer. I feel bad for his daughter who will grow up without knowing her father.
Heckle on Jan 22, 2008
Don't anybody get their panties in a bunch just because Alex said "The big question of the moment is how will this affect The Dark Knight?" I'm sure he didn't mean to sound THAT soul-less. But seriously, let's not dive right in to discussion about how this affects The Dark Knight. I call for at least a day of "comment silence" out of respect to Mr. Ledger.
Icarus on Jan 22, 2008
"Is this related to his portrayal of the Joker in the film or not?" Seriously? I mean...seriously?
Wow on Jan 22, 2008
very sad. I think this will actually give The Dark Knight more box office than it would have otherwise, even though that is sad in itself. People will want to see ledger in his second to last role, that is unless production on Doctor Parnassus ceased, in which case it would be his last. WB will issue apologetic statements but I don't see them pushing the release date or anything like that. I highly doubt this is in relation to his portrayal of Joker; he played a heroin addict in Candy and he didn't OD then.
Keith on Jan 22, 2008
I was so shocked when I first heard about this. My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Ledger's family and friends. How awful for the world of cinema that such an incredible talent has been taken from us so soon. And regarding 'The Dark Knight' (though it seems crass to talk about that now), I know that they finished the filming, but who knows how much of the post-production that Mr. Ledger was needed for was still left. All I can say is that they better put some kind of dedication to him in the film.
Tim Monforton on Jan 22, 2008
I doubt it really will affect The Dark Knight anyways. It is done filming. This is terribly sad news. I hope it's not suicide. He was only 28. Had so much ahead of him. I really thought The Dark Knight was going to be a springboard for him.
Chris on Jan 22, 2008
If I was them, I would put a simple R.I.P note at the beginning, or more so at the end. Not to take anything away from Mr. Ledger, because I am saddened by this and really felt he was a terrific actor, but everybody will already know going into the film that Ledger is dead. I don't think giving people heavy hearts with a reminder will do good. People will be detracted from the film by paying attention to Mr. Ledger because they will obviously be thinking about his death. I feel a simple R.I.P would be appropriate at the end. But, Like i said earlier. My heart goes out to Heath's little girl. God bless.
Chris on Jan 22, 2008
Such sad news. He was a great actor. As much as I look forward to his performance in Dark Knight, its going to be odd watching him play such a deranged character, knowing it was his last. Rest in peace, Heath. We'll miss you.
Steven Ormsbee on Jan 22, 2008
I thinks how his death will effect The Dark Knight is the biggest question over HERE, on firstshowing. I'm over from livejournal and the whole site has slowed down because, a lot of bloggers have grown up with Ledger - he may not have always starred in stellar films but damn, he could act. I am kind of surprised by how much this is effecting me - I view most of the young actors of his generation as eye candy but Heath was different. Hell.
Glacia on Jan 22, 2008
I'm so tired of reading about these young actors, actresses and singers with drug & alcohol issues. River Phoenix was the big shock of my generation (Gen X), and I was hoping this wouldn't happen again. Where is the outrage in Hollywood about the ease of finding/getting/using drugs and how celebrity seems to fuel that kind of behavior? If you're famous, it's almost a given that you are involved in that kind of stuff...like there's nothing illegal or dangerous about it. First, there was Brad Renfro. Now, Heath Ledger? And he was someone I don't think anyone knew had problems of that kind. What about Britney Spears? Are people just going to continue to allow her to self-destruct until she, too, is dead? This is a sad day. For a young girl who has lost her father, most especially.
Movie Lover on Jan 22, 2008
he was found in Mary Kate Olson's Apartment in SoHo
ANgel on Jan 22, 2008
This is truly terrible. It might be weird seeing the movie now, his last picture was taken on the set of his latest movie.
Stephen on Jan 22, 2008
He was not found in Mary Kate Olsons Apartment the NYPD have confirmed that IS WAS NOT her apartment.
jc on Jan 22, 2008
may he rest in peace, a great actor and im sure a great person
tw on Jan 22, 2008
Alan Horn, President and COO of Warner Bros. and Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group have issued the following statement. "The studio is stunned and devastated by this tragic news. The entertainment community has lost an enormous talent. Heath was a brilliant actor and an exceptional person. Our hearts go out to his family and friends."
jc on Jan 22, 2008
Alex- I am very interested to see how the stars react and will be looking to your future columns. Thanks. Remember all, drug od has not been confirmed yet. It could be some freakish event like heart attack etc. God be with his family.
GotMoxie on Jan 22, 2008
Very good actor & very heartbteaking to hear this. Lord, please comfort his family. I was in the minority b/c I was not going to catch the new "Dark Knight" film even though it looks pretty cool. Now, there is no way I'm missing it. Much respect to Heath. Thank you for "The Patriot" & so many other great films.
Sinner on Jan 22, 2008
This really came to as a shock to me, i wasn't a big fan of his but he was still a brilliant actor and was really looking forward to seeing him in his role as the joker, now i think it will be weird going to see it and knowing this outstanding actor is not around anymore. It really is a sad day and My thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Ledger's family and friends.
Justu on Jan 22, 2008
I still can't believe he's gone. His career was definitely in the up-swing especially of the little I have seen from his Joker. I was really excited to see him blow up and get bigger roles because of DK but now sadly that won't be happening. Its going to be sad watching The Dark Knight now, but i'm glad he finished filming it so that it can a memorial of sorts for him. I'm deeply saddened, my thoughts and prayers go to his family especially his daughter.
Mark on Jan 22, 2008
I am very surprised, considering he never was one to be in all the gossip mags. and stuff. My reaction was the same as yours Alex (I know, I know, I am a horrible person), but man. Definitley would have expected to hear a name like, 'Spears' come up instead of 'Ledger'....
Ryan on Jan 22, 2008
I hope hes at peace now if he couldn't find it in this life. The first movie I saw him in was The Patriot, wow what a great movie and awesome performance from Heath. Shortly after I saw A Knights Tale, sure it was kinda foolish but at the same time the characters were so lovable that it became one of my personal cult favs. Anyway, I'm pretty sad about this, hope his family and daughter will be ok. Man I even have him on my desktop at home as the Joker, now its kinda of tainted, I'm not gonna be able to fully watch his deranged character without thinking he must have been pretty tormented himself. Anyway I hope its an awesome movie, as its probably his last.
Richard on Jan 22, 2008
I'm so impressed. No thoughts about his 2-year-old kid or his family or friends. but hey "The big question of the moment is how will this affect The Dark Knight?" Word up. Yeah. Let's hope it doesn't screw up viral marketing or something
Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 22, 2008
god-damn it... stop frigging talking about dark knight.. no one gives a shit about this film now under these circumstances.. yea seriously- i agree with andrew wickliffe- lets talk about his family and friends- not how this will affect some frigging nerds enjoyment of viral marketing/film. Come on- seriously- lets all show some respect and not even talk about the dark knight for a while...
andrew on Jan 22, 2008
Do not make another fake mysterious stuff from the death of an actor respect him and his works and specially his family ...Don't make another story like Bruce lee or his son Brandon were killed by the chines mafia or ...Elvis still alive.... or ...or ...or ..... The man is dead and let's we respect him because at least he has great movies left behind and let's we don't use his death to make more people read our sites and our blogs Let him rest in peace and let us live with truth ....
shero on Jan 22, 2008
Anyone who was a fan should check out his movie Candy. It's about heroin addiction and I believe it's his best work. Much better than Brokeback.
Alexander on Jan 22, 2008
This reminds me of Brandon Lee during filming of The Crow... it's so sad when an actor dies, but it's even worse when they die and they don't even get to attend the premiere of the movie...
Kail on Jan 22, 2008
Alex - The biggest question to you is how this will affect the marketing of THE DARK KNIGHT??? Seriously??? That is as shallow as it gets. Show some respect for the loss of a human life, especially one as gifted as Heath. Box office tallys don't mean shit in comparison. http://www.therecshow.com
Ray on Jan 22, 2008
i was so shocked too. he was sooo young and going to be in lots of great movies im sure had he not died. its a terrible loss. my favorite movies of his, two hands (weird austrailian movie) and 10 things i hate about you. im sure dark knight will be one also. he was a great actor. our prayers go out to his young child and his family.
sarah on Jan 23, 2008
Rest in peace Heath...
m4st4 on Jan 23, 2008
"Alex - The biggest question to you is how this will affect the marketing of THE DARK KNIGHT??? Seriously??? That is as shallow as it gets. Show some respect for the loss of a human life, especially one as gifted as Heath. Box office tallys don't mean shit in comparison. http://www.therecshow.com" -- Ray lol, you have the hypocrisy to take a bash at Alex, but promote your website in the same comment, nice. As for showing some repect? This is a movie site, that will always respect HL. Maybe it's in a different way to you, so what? How about you stop conforming to the stereo type that just because someone has died, we all need to bow down and talk about how great he was. You're clearly only doing so because you THINK you should feel that way, not because you should. There's a big difference.
Benjamin on Jan 23, 2008
This is an absolute tragedy, my thoughts are with his family.
David on Jan 23, 2008
My wife went digging around the web. (She's really into the celebrity sites.) Some had claimed that Heath had severe insomnia, especially during the shooting of DK where he would only get about 2 hours of sleep a day, even when taking Ambien. So one of the reports said the pills around him were both perscription & over the counter sleep aids. He was just trying to get some decent sleep and overdid it. And I hope that's true. I'd rather believe that, than a guy who was about to have the biggest film this year, had an oscar nomination in his pocket, and most of all a child that he adored, would throw it all away on flirting with drugs, or not getting help with possible depression. The saddest part is a little girl who'll only ever see her Dad on screen. How does this affect TDK? Simple. If WB doesn't dedicate the film to Heath's memory & family, then I know the industry is completely without a soul. Gone too soon. Heath, rest in peace.
jason_md2020 on Jan 23, 2008
Actually Heath's best work was in Lords of Dogtown...a wonderfully visceral performance. He was pretty good in Two Hands as well... Another tragic loss. Talent losses out once more to chemical romance.
MrBobbyboy on Jan 23, 2008
Kail (#27) It also reminded me of the death of Brandon Lee. He too, was such a promising actor, whose life was cut short. His performance in The Crow was wonderful, and while I enjoyed the movie, it was hard to not feel overwelmed with saddness knowing it would be his last appearance on film. Seeing Ledger in the first full trailer for The Dark Knight actually reminded me of Lee in The Crow, which makes his death even more despairing. I'll see The Dark Knight, but my excitement is now gone, and I hope Warners tones down the viral marketing featuring The Joker, out of respect. R.I.P. Heathcliff Andrew Ledger (1979-2008)
TCox on Jan 23, 2008
I was really saddened and shocked by the news yesterday i couldn't stop watching the news channel because i couldn't believe what i was seeing, he wasn't like a lindsay lohan or britney spears but we can't know for sure. I was really wondering yesterday if the role of the joker really affected him to go through somekind of breakdown i'm sure that had a part to play just seeing his performance in the trailer makes you wonder, i also must say though that the responses from people are very genuine and gracious just go to rottentomatoes.com and ew.com and see. This made me question the decision to go see this movie now, because i just won't enjoy his performance just knowing he is dead now, but my mind isn't totally made up. Rest In peace Heath, you will be missed. Why is it like talent like his has to go and we have to keep on hearing about paris, lindsay, britney, jessica, etc. etc. etc............
pradeep on Jan 23, 2008
Tirrell on Jan 23, 2008
A tragic loss at a young age, will be missed. Rest In Peace.
ethan9482 on Jan 23, 2008
how can this happen??? i was told when at work but i didnt believe the person who told me...i thought thy were winding me up because of my love and anticipation for the dark knight film....but coming home to my P.c i found the news to be true...it never really set in until today...and i feel gutted,,,truly...Heath was an inspirtaional actor with the same traits as leo Dicaprio in that i mean he had a big career ahead of him and was about to earn the respect even more so off the whole world for what i know will be a breath taking portray of the Joker...So lets not feel somber but enjoy his last film given to us and enjoy seeing him do what he loved so much, and was looking foward to doing (ie playing the Joker) my heart goes out to his family and freinds.....i am so so sorry....and i will feel sad everytime i see him on the screen in front of me, but also happy that he will Always be around with us sharing his talent with the world forever ..... Watch down on us Heath and we will look up to you still and forever....... thanks.....................
simon taylor on Jan 23, 2008
Tis a shame (even though I usually have no remorse for the death of celeberaties as millions of "ordinary" people die each day). Whats even worse is the fact that the Westboro Baptist Church is going to picket at his funeral in protest to his role in brokeback mountain. No one has respect for anyone anymore.
ramez on Jan 23, 2008
NOOOO he can't be dead 🙁 🙁 i dont'e believe it! its all a set up and he will come back right before the movie comes out 🙁 🙁 its weird cause i felt like i lost a friend even though that is so ridiculous! i think its the roleds he played and how he portrayed them.
ha1rball on Jan 23, 2008
I was shocked to hear the news that Heath Ledger had died. Couldn't believed it. He was a terrific, talented actor. I'm sure it was accidental. 🙁
avoidz on Jan 23, 2008
"The biggest question of the moment is how this will affect Heath Ledger in his upcoming movie The Dark Knight?" you're sick dude, get a doctor and a life Farewell Heath.
Goodbye Ledger on Jan 24, 2008
Please to, and I've seen this MANY times, do not take Heath Ledger's death in vain by asking trivial questions and/or statements like "...why couldn't have been..." or "britney, paris, lindsay, etc" comparisons. To wish death upon someone else in the mourning of another is very counterproductive and most of all, disgusting. Rest in Peace to Heath Ledger, and I hope his family can get through this peacefully and God help the vultures of the media from stalking them.
angela on Jan 28, 2008
when i listened about death of ledger i really disturb for a moment GOD bless ledger
KHURRAM on Nov 18, 2010
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