Painting of ‘Joker’ by Joylene Lobo
Now that the trailer of the new Joker movie played by Joaquin Phoenix is out, many people are talking about the legendary and unforgettable performance of Heath Ledger in the movie The Dark Knight, which almost led to his sad ending. The promising actor before the premiere of the movie was found dead in his hotel room, among the burned comic books and the sound of Joker’s recordings.
Heath Ledger was the combination of talent and madness, but stay with CurioSips till the end, to find out what might have triggered his end! Heathcliff Andrew Ledger was born on April 4, 1979 in Australia. From childhood, he charmed everyone with his appearance and charisma. Although as a ten-year-old he appeared in school plays, he was more interested in sport. Some thought that he would succeed in hockey, but he was also very good at chess.
The passion for the cinema aroused in him by his older sister Kate, so much that at the age of 16 Heath left school and went to Sydney, where he allegedly started playing series after the first casting. After several successes in Australia, he decided to go to the States, where he was to appear in another series.
The production was cancelled, but he gotta know actress Lisa Zane who was 18 years his senior on the set and she became his partner and mentor. Soon after, he received the script of “10 Things I Hate About You,” a modernized version of Shakespeare’s comedy.
Despite the lack of experience, Heath decided to play the lead role in the film and he did! Teenagers all over the world fell in love with him, and his career had its first peak. He later starred in the film The Patriot alongside Mel Gibson and starred in the comedy A Knight’s Tale. The audience, especially the female, adored him, but he did not want the career of an empty hunk and the idol of women.
He was tired of promotional interviews, heated appearances on red carpets. He was not interested in being a celebrity. His ambitions grew when he met Billy Bob Thornton,who was not only an actor but a writer and director on the set of the drama “Monster’s Ball”.
Heath wanted that too. He planned to make a documentary about NickDrake, an English musician he was fascinated with, who suffered from depression and at the age of 26 took his own life. He also helped other Australians in building a career. His then girlfriend, Naomi Watts, recalled that the actor’s home was always open and full of guests who came to the States to pursue their dreams using his couch and advice.
Perhaps that’s why he decided to take a role in the movie Brokeback Mountain, which was rejected by Brad Pitt, Leonardo Dicaprio,Matt Damon and Ryan Phillippe. The controversial drama turned out to be a breakthrough in his career, and Ledger’s acting began to be compared to Marlon Brando. And although the film won recognition and many awards, its creation did not get an Oscar, and ended up only being nominated. But this did not matter much to the actor.
He met Michelle Williams on the film set, and he fell in love. They lived together, and soon after the premiere, in October 2005, their daughter Matilda was born, whose godfather was Jake Gyllenhaal. The actor loved fatherhood, but the increased media interest and fame frustrated him. His sleeping and stimulant problems intensified. Due to insomnia he became addicted to sleep medication. Michelle Williams, despite pleas and threats,finally did not stand it. And the news of the next betrayal of the actor, was the last straw for her so she left.
Crushed Heath Ledger threw himself into the vortex of work. He just started preparing for one of the most difficult roles in his career. He accepted the proposition of playing Joker In the Dark Knight of Christopher Nolan and devoted himself entirely to this character. He wanted to present something different from the unforgettable Jack Nicholson. Ledger’s joker was to be frightening, demented, but also real. He again succeeded, because his creation was loved by viewers around the world and the award shows.
On January 22, 2008, the housekeeper and masseuse of Ledger found him unconscious in a Manhattan apartment. By the time the doctor came to the place, he had died. And while it looked like a deliberate action, it was considered an accidental overdose. According to the autopsy report, the actor took too much prescription and analgesic painkillers. His body was cremated and the funeral took place in Australia. Hollywood and fans were shocked by the death of a 28-year-old star.
Michelle Williams, in interviews, blamed herself that her departure contributed to her ex partner’s problems. The fans of the celebrity believed, however,that he paid for his dedication to the role of Joker. Besides, the actor himself said that this movie finished him mentally, and boasted that he was reading a lot about madmen while preparing and imitating their behavior.
In a German documentary “Too young to die,”Ledger’s father shows the actor’s diary containing disturbing photos and entries from the time when he was developing the materials for the film. The atmosphere was also fueled by IGN journalists,who referred to an interview with the policemen in Ledger’s apartment. They said the place was filled with Joker’s Quotes from the movie, Batman’s battered posters, and Heath’s voice playing the character from the speakers.
Today, it is believed that the death of Heath Ledger was rather due to pneumonia, which he acquired during the shooting of the next movie The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Photographs were taken in London in the winter, usually at night, with rain falling. And although the doctor recommended the actorto rest, he refused to admit to insomnia and he feared that he would go crazy out of loneliness.
It also seems that Heath Ledger was not ready to part with this world. In the will of the actor written down in 2003, Matilda was not included, only his parents. As a result, the actors who completed The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus movie for Ledger, i.e. Colin Farrell, Johnny Depp, and Jude Law,handed their wages to his daughter. What do you think about all of this our CurioSity family?! Did the role of the Joker actually lead to the depression and the breakdown of the actor?
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