January 22nd, 2008 in New York, Heath Ledger died. He died of an apparent overdose. The movie industry, movie fans, and fans of the actor were in shock. His loved ones in disbelief.
You know when you heard his name as the one who had died, your mouth dropped. You did a double take. Your first thought after the shock; he was so young. Sleeping pills did him in. Sleeping pills.
He admitted in interviews that he was having a rough time sleeping after playing the villain Joker in the latest Batman movie, the Dark Knight. One pill, which should knock you out for 8 hours, would knock him out for 90 minutes. So he would take several instead of understanding his body became immune to the pills shortly after taking them.
The Dark Knight movie seemed cursed from the get go. A stuntman died the 1st week of shooting. Another death happened. Then Heath's after filming. Then Morgan Freeman escaped death in the south. The weekend of the movie, Christian Balle's estranged family came after him. Crazy. Maybe Johnny Depp may want to rethink that Riddler character.
Heath Ledger jumped on the screen in 1999's Ten Things I Hate About You. Having modest success with movies such as A Knight's Tale, he took on the role of a gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain. Not getting the Oscar and jokes behind his back, Heath stood out in a role that would have been taboo and untouchable years prior, but he took the role which gained him respect.
After agreeing to take the Joker role, some questioned his acting ability to do that and how could a person who played a gay cowboy play that role. Leaks of Heath dressed in Joker garb dispelled most of that talk and had people going, wow, he is actually going to pull this off. It is a shame that Heath did not live to see how respected his version of the Joker is. How respected he is.
I must reiterate; If Heath does not only get nominated for an Oscar, and if he does not win it, the Academy Awards in many industry insiders eyes, will now be deemed as useless. Think of it as giving Denzel the Oscar for Training Day instead of the countless other movie roles he owned over the years. Why so serious? Because Heath Ledger was the Best in movies of 2008.-Dr.FB