Heath Ledger

Actor
Despite a short-lived start on series television, Academy Award-winning actor Heath Ledger moved into features as a heartthrob in teen films, quickly developing into one of Hollywood's most prominent and gifted talents ... Read more »
Born: 04/03/1979 in Australia

Filmography

Actor (24)

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus 2009 (Movie)

Tony (Actor)

The Dark Knight 2008 (Movie)

The Joker (Actor)

I'm Not There 2007 (Movie)

Robbie (Actor)

What Perez Sez 2007 (Tv Show)

Actor

Candy 2006 (Movie)

Dan (Actor)

The 12th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards 2005 - 2006 (TV Show)

Actor

Brokeback Mountain 2005 (Movie)

Ennis Del Mar (Actor)

Casanova 2005 (Movie)

Casanova (Actor)

Lords of Dogtown 2005 (Movie)

Skip Engblom (Actor)

The Brothers Grimm 2005 (Movie)

Jacob Grimm (Actor)

Jimmy Kimmel Live 2004 (Tv Show)

Actor

Ned Kelly 2004 (Movie)

Ned Kelly (Actor)

The 2002 MTV Video Music Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

The Order 2003 (Movie)

Father Alex Bernier (Actor)

The Four Feathers 2002 (Movie)

Harry Faversham (Actor)

A Knight's Tale 2001 (Movie)

William Thatcher (Actor)

Monster's Ball 2001 (Movie)

Sonny Grotowski (Actor)

History or Hollywood? The Patriot 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

The Patriot 2000 (Movie)

Gabriel Martin (Actor)

10 Things I Hate About You 1999 (Movie)

Patrick Verona (Actor)

Two Hands 1998 (Movie)

Jimmy (Actor)

Blackrock 1997 (Movie)

Toby Ackland (Actor)

Roar 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Paws (TV Show)

Actor

Biography

Despite a short-lived start on series television, Academy Award-winning actor Heath Ledger moved into features as a heartthrob in teen films, quickly developing into one of Hollywood's most prominent and gifted talents, as well as a tabloid favorite for his very public relationships with actresses Naomi Watts and Michelle Williams. After a notable turn in his native Australia's "Blackrock" (1997), Ledger went on to stardom by way of leading roles in "10 Things I Hate About You" (1999), "The Patriot" (2000) and "A Knight's Tale" (2001). Though he languished a bit in little-seen features like "The Four Feathers" (2002) and "Ned Kelly" (2004), Ledger exploded into a bona fide star with his Oscar-nominated turn as a closeted homosexual ranch hand in Ang Lee's acclaimed "Brokeback Mountain" (2005). Building off the enormity of his "Brokeback" success, Ledger landed the role of a lifetime, playing The Joker in "The Dark Knight" (2008) and setting the stage for becoming a huge international star. But unfortunately - and quite shockingly - tragedy struck in early 2008, when Ledger was found dead in his apartment of an accidental prescription drug overdose, ending one of the most promising careers of his generation.

Relationships

Roger Bell

Step-Father
Married to Heath's mother

Sally Bell

Mother
Divorced Ledger's father c. 1989 Later remarried

Ashleigh Bell

Half-Sister
Born c. 1989 Parents were Sally and Roger Bell

Christina Cauchi

Companion
Reportedly lived together in early 2000 No longer together

Heather Graham Actor

Companion
Dated from October 2000 to June 2001

Kim Ledger

Father
Divorced Ledger's mother c. 1989 Lived with Emma Brown

Matilda Ledger

Daughter
Born October 28, 2005 in Brooklyn, NY; mother, Michelle Williams

Catherine Ledger

Sister
Older Named for the heroine of "Wuthering Heights"

Olivia Ledger

Half-Sister
Born c. 1997

Gemma Ward Actor

Companion
Reportedly dated at end of 2007

Naomi Watts Actor

Companion
Met in 2002 on the set of "Ned Kelly" (2004) Began dating in summer 2002 Separated briefly in 2003 Rekindled relationship in November 2003 Announced split in May 2004

Michelle Williams Actor

Companion
Met in 2004 while filming "Brokeback Mountain" (2005) Mother of his daughter Matilda Separated amicably in August 2007 after three years together Ledger died on Jan. 22, 2008 from an accidental overdose

Lisa Zane Actor

Companion
Sister of actor Billy Zane Became involved during the filming of "Roar" (1997) No longer together

EDUCATION

Marys Mount Primary School

Guildford Grammar School

Graduated at age 16

Milestones

2009

Appeared in final film, Terry Gilliam's "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus"; film was in production at the time of his death and his role was completed by Johnny Depp, Jude Law, and Colin Farrell

2008

Portrayed the Joker in the second installment of the revived "Batman" series, "The Dark Knight"; film was released after his death

2007

Portrayed Bob Dylan at one distinct stage of his life in Todd Haynes' film "I'm Not There"

2006

Directed the music video "Morning Yearning" for Ben Harper

2006

Played a drug addict in "Candy" opposite Abbie Cornish

2005

Cast as a ranch hand who falls in love with Jake Gyllenhaal in Ang Lee's "Brokeback Mountain"; earned Oscar, Independent Spirit Award, Golden Globe and SAG nominations for Best Actor

2005

Portrayed Skip Engblom, co-owner of the Zepher surf shop in Catherine Hardwicke's "Lords of Dogtown," a fictionalized take on a group of skateboarders that originated in Venice, CA during the 1970's

2005

Co-starred opposite Matt Damon in Terry Gilliam's "The Brothers Grimm"

2004

Cast as legendary Australian outlaw Ned Kelly in the film "Ned Kelly"

2003

Reunited with Helgeland and co-stars Mark Addy and Shannyn Sossamon in "The Order"

2002

Starred in the remake of "Four Feathers"

2001

Played Billy Bob Thornton's son in "Monster's Ball"

2001

Cast in the lead in "A Knight's Tale," directed by Brian Helgeland

2000

Played Mel Gibson's son in the Revolutionary War drama "The Patriot"

1999

Co-starred with Julia Stiles in "10 Things I Hate About You," an updated take on "The Taming of the Shrew"

1998

Had a starring role opposite Bryan Brown in the gangster comedy "Two Hands"

1997

Starred as a Celtic warrior prince on the Fox series "Roar"

1997

Feature acting debut, "Blackrock"

1996

Appeared in the Australian TV series "Sweat" as Snowey Bowles, a gay bicyclist hoping to land a spot on an Olympic team

Raised in Perth, Australia

Had been cast to play the Devil in "End of Days," but was replaced when another director assumed the reins

Bonus Trivia

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"Once every 50 years a guy like that comes along. For his age, Heath has an incredible manliness about him." – "A Knight's Tale" director Brian Helgeland in Vanity Fair magazine, August 2000

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"I'm in control of my life, not anyone in Hollywood. 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. I don't even want to spend the rest of my youth doing this in this inducstry. There's so much more I want to discover." – Ledger quoted in Vanity Fair magazine, August 2000

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"I had a year where I sat around on my butt and declined generous offers to do more teen movies and more of the same characters as the one from '10 Things.' I was literally living off ramen noodles and water just because I was sticking to my guns. It was very hard because they offer you so much money. It's so easy to say, 'Ah fuck it, at least I can live and eat.'" – Ledger quoted in Detour magazine, Summer 2000

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"I love acting. Oh, God, I love it. But all this fame and all this bullsh*t attention, I'm not supernatural. I've done nothing extremely special to deserve the position. It happens every couple of years, and it's happened to hundreds of people before me." – Ledger to Newsweek, July 10, 2000

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Ledger told The London Times (July 1, 2000) that he was "an extremely private dude and all this is happening so damn quick. I really haven't had any time to rationalize it. But it's nothing that I'm going to let freak me out or take control of me or my thoughts or my real life."

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Ledger told The London Times (July 1, 2000) that his motto was: "Work as if you didn't need the money. Love as if you've never been hurt. And dance as if no one's watching."

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"In order to tell this story, to portray this form of love, I needed to mature as an actor, and as a person, and that really excited me." – Ledger on his role in "Brokeback Mountain" to GQ magazine, December 2005

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"I hadn't done anything. I hadn't really proven myself. So over the last four years I've been somewhat destroying the career that was handed to me and creating one that I feel like I've deserved." – Ledger quoted in Empire magazine, March 2006

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Ledger formed a record company with musician Ben Harper in 2007.

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