23rd Jan 2008

Heath Ledger Is Found Dead at 28

May you stay forever young in the eternity, my love.

Yesterday, I fell on this old quote from American Beauty. Wish you had also this kind of feeling, in your very last moments.

“I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die…First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all…It stretches on forever, like an ocean of time…For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars …And yellow leaves from the maple trees that lined our street…Or my grandmother’s hand and the way her skin seemed like paper…And the first time, I saw my cousin Tony’s brand new FireBird…And Janie…And Janie…And …Carolyn…

I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me, but it’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once and it’s too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst…And then I remember to relax..and stop trying to hold on to it…And then it flows through me like rain…And I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life….

You have know idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry, you will someday”

Heath Ledger

The actor Heath Ledger was found dead Tuesday afternoon in an apartment in Manhattan, according to the New York City police. Signs pointed to a suicide or an accidental overdose, police sources said. Mr. Ledger was 28.

Heathcliff Andrew Ledger was born on April 4, 1979, to Sally Ledger, a French teacher, and Kim Ledger, an engineer. Named for a character in Emily Brontë’s “Wuthering Heights,” he and his older sister, Katherine, grew up in Perth, Australia; his parents were divorced when he was about 10. As a student, he joined a local theater company and appeared in a production of “Peter Pan,” which led to his being cast in children’s television programs.

Mr. Ledger’s first Hollywood film was the teenage romantic comedy “10 Things I Hate About You” (1999). He later appeared in romantic-hero roles in films like “A Knight’s Tale” (2001) and “Casanova” (2005).

But the role for which Mr. Ledger was probably best known by American audiences was in “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). The film, based on a short story by Annie Proulx about two cowboys who fall in love, won critical acclaim. Reviewing the film in The New York Times, the critic Stephen Holden wrote, “Mr. Ledger magically and mysteriously disappears beneath the skin of his lean, sinewy character. It is a great screen performance, as good as the best of Marlon Brando and Sean Penn.” Mr. Ledger was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor in January 2006. (His death came on the same day that the 2007 Oscar nominations were announced.)

Mr. Ledger met the actress Michelle Williams while filming ‘’Brokeback Mountain.” They became romantically involved and moved to Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, where their comings and goings were widely noted by the celebrity press. They had a daughter, Matilda Rose, who was born on Oct. 28, 2005. The couple separated last year.

In an interview in London for an article published in November, Mr. Ledger told The Times, ‘’I feel like I’m wasting time if I repeat myself.” He said in the interview that he was not proud of his latest role, in Todd Haynes’s “I’m Not There,” in which Mr. Ledger was one of a half-dozen actors depicting the musician Bob Dylan. ‘’I feel the same way about everything I do. The day I say, ‘It’s good’ is the day I should start doing something else,” he said in the interview.

Mr. Ledger had been cast as the Joker in the latest Batman installment, “The Dark Knight,” set to be released this summer.

Sewell Chan

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