Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Heath Ledger, R.I.P.

I don't ordinarily get into celebrity news (gossip or otherwise), but the unexpected death of Heath Ledger (only 28, and with a two-year-old daughter), on the day that the Associated Press had to defend the practice of preparing obituaries for at-risk celebrities under 30, is very strange, and very sad.

The above picture is of Ledger's one brief TV stint, as the star of "Roar," a Shaun Cassidy-created swords and sorcery series that was part of a late '90s Fox push into original scripted programming in the summer.

Life is weird -- and, for some, far too short.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear about this. Ledger was a fine actor.

Mo Ryan said...

It's really sad. His daughter is what, two years old? And he was talented. What a waste.

kenjfuj said...

This blog entry was the first time I heard about this today, and my first response was, "This is a joke, right?"

Then I realized it wasn't and felt I had to sound off in this comments section.

Not that I was a huge Heath Ledger fan or anything (although he was one of the best things about the otherwise overhyped Brokeback Mountain, to my mind), but this news genuinely shocked the hell out of me.

velvetcannibal said...

I came by hoping you'd post something, even though I didn't expect it. Brad Renfro was tragic, but not shocking because of his public struggles with drugs for the past ten years. This is so out of the blue. I feel so awful for his daughter, his family, his friends...

evie said...

Wow. The AP article looked pretty thrown together, to tell you the truth, which is why they do often prepare themselves ahead of time. NYT is saying it might be suicide. Either way, beyond tragic.

Kristin said...

For the teens and 20-somethings of today...this news is identical to the shock of River Phoenix's death to the Gen X crowd.

I'm stunned and saddened. My sympathies go out to his daughter and Michelle Williams.

jim treacher said...

For the last year or so, I'd see pictures of him on red carpets and such, and he just didn't seem like the same guy. Dressing weird, clearly miserable... Still. Didn't see this one coming. Well, I'm sure the writers on Law & Order can't wait to get back to work.

Theresa said...

Wow. I, too, thought this was going to be some column about some terrible new movie or something that Heath Ledger had done and was, in fact, kind of hoping it was going to be something along those lines. The alternative is just sad, and I'm sorry that's the case.

Don Porges said...

Just a couple of days ago I watched him and Matt Damon in Gilliam's Brothers Grimm. He acted Damon into the ground, by the way. (Also featured: Lena Headey, our new Sarah Connor.) Damn.

LA said...

It's a damn shame. May he rest in peace.

SJ said...

^ He was actually working on another Gilliam movie right now.

Great actor...will be missed.

Stef said...

This is so sad. And not to be a total downer, but I'm just really tired of all of the death lately. Not just celebrity stories like this, but I've actually known 4 people who've died in the past year... 2 from long illnesses, and 2 completely unexpectedly. They were all professional contacts, rather than close friends or family, but it's still really disturbing that this is part of getting older. And I'm only in my 30's.... I heard the news about Heath Ledger, which was pretty shocking, on my way to a memorial service tonight. Egad, I'm ready to call a moratorium on death.

Sorry for the rant... you can have your thread back now.

Anonymous said...

Stef, it only gets worse.

As BM being overhyped, HL's performance is one of the ten best, maybe five best in the last decade or so. i was NOT a fan of his going into that movie but I left a believer. It floored me like few performances have ever done. The movie is an instant classic.

Sunday night, as fate would have it, I watched the film for the first time since I saw it in a theater last and was floored again, texting my sister to tell her Heath got robbed at the Oscars.

Just sad.

Anonymous said...

The initial reaction is similar to the death of Phoenix as well.

plays88key said...

I didn't believe this at first. Especially since Ledger had a whole brilliant career ahead of him, and a daughter on top of it. With so many more visible self-destructing celebrities, this was a shock.

What hit me was seeing the 1979 birth year. Mine's the same, and seeing that in this context was a jolt. It's just terribly sad.

Oboe said...

Man, I really liked his work. I remember seeing him in 10 Things I Hate About You and being able to hear his Aussie accent creep in from time to time. He consistently improved as an actor with each role he took. As I straight guy, I remember going to watch Brokeback Mountain by myself. I hadn't cried at a movie since E.T. That last scene was just so haunting.It may sound silly, but it actually changed my views on gays.
Rest In Peace Heath

Joe in Haddonfield said...

Ledger's performance in Monster's Ball was disturbing. The self loathing of his character chilled my blood.
A sad loss.

Anonymous said...

It is incredibly tragic, for the little girl who will not know her dad, for his family, for his friends. My friend lives on the same block as him and she says the neighborhood has been a madhouse. I can only hope that it was not indeed a suicide and that it was an unfornuate mix of Ambien and anti-anxiety meds, like CNN is reporting. Sometimes, just a few of those pills each can have tragic consequences.

I remember reading a blog just last week about what a crime it was that Philip Seymour Hoffman was given the Oscar last year over Heath Ledger, and I had to agree. His performance in Brokeback Mountain (an overrated film in my opinion) was one of profound talent and raw honesty.

He will be very much missed.

Anonymous said...

Sadness. After I heard the news, I had to wait 24 hours before watching the onslaught of coverage. I have few fave celebs, and Heath was one of them. So talented and, yes, he was robbed at the Oscars. It's so rare to get another perfect fit of a such a great part, and the Academy did their usual "Oh, he's young; he'll get another shot.") Candy was the best film of 2006.

tracey said...

In an odd way, I think Joel McHale of The Soup had the most impressive tribute to him:

"Heath Ledger passed away this week, and in all the years we've been doing this show, we've never had cause to mention him. So stop digging through the dirt weasels. A talented, decent guy is gone and our thoughts go to those who knew him."

The Soup is known for reporting on celebrity misdeeds, and it is indeed quite impressive that Ledger never made any, in this day and age when young celebrities try to outdo each other's pathetic pleas for attention.