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Heath Ledger Not Troubled Before Death, Say Co-Stars

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Jul 01, 2008 | 4:55am EDT

Heath Ledger's state of mind before his death has been defended by his Dark Knight co-stars--who claim he was the perfect father to daughter Matilda.

Reports that Ledger had become maniacal after filming the new Batman movie--in which he plays the Joker--have been blasted by those who worked with him shortly before his death.

Gary Oldman, who plays Lt. Jim Gordon in the film, reveals that, while filming, Ledger was in high spirits, slamming reports that he had mood swings, sleeping problems and difficult relationships with other cast members.

He tells People.com, "Because he died, people want a dark story (that) he was so obsessed with the character, he was so contaminated by the Joker and he couldn't sleep and all of that stuff.

"(But) in between takes he would sit on the curbside and smoke a cigarette and laugh and talk about his daughter Matilda. I thought he was just a beautiful kid. I thought he was just wonderful. I had a real affection for him."

And far from being unbalanced, Ledger would constantly gush about his 2-year-old daughter Matilda, his child with actress Michelle Williams.

"Heath showed me pictures of (Matilda). (He) would come in and say she did this and she did that," reveals Aaron Eckhart, who plays District Attorney Harvey Dent in the sequel.

But Ledger was also passionate about his role in the film--and put all his energy into perfecting the part.

Eckhart adds, "He really created his look. That character--Heath loved so much. He really cared about the Joker."

Ledger was found dead in his New York apartment in January. Toxicology reports released a month later stated he was killed by an accidental overdose of prescribed medication. 

The Dark Knight is due in theaters later this month.

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